Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Shoe Envy

"Jealousy is an awkward homage which inferiority renders to merit."
--Mme. de Puixieux

This past weekend I took my lovely family to the State Fair. After all the livestock had been examined, the horses admired, the displays of agriculture, paintings, sculpture and horticulture had been reviewed, the tasty snacks consumed and the variously entertaining shows taken in, we found ourselves, as we invariably do, in the Exhibit Complex. This is just a garage sale for everything and sundry. Booths struggle against one another and vendors vie for your attention. And you can find anything: ladders, cookware, ring cleaning miracles, hair bands that make you an expert stylist, imported clothes from all over the globe, bling, even more bling, a smattering of religious and political factions expounding upon what is right and just and moral, and shoes.

Oh, I knew what z-coils were. I have seen them before. But never had I seen them displayed with such garish intensity. And never before in such variety.

It was frightening.

It is true that I find them frightening because I do not understand them. Or rather, I do not understand why a human being would choose to put springs on his or her feet. I'm more of a minimalist. Myself, I like things simple. Like my Five Fingers.

And I happened to be wearing my beloved Five Fingers that day as we walked through the wonders of the Exhibit Complex. And passed the z-coil booth. There was a ripple through the denizens of the booth. And whispers were passed around. It was shoe envy.
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