Sunday, March 13, 2005

Mad Max Wears Chuck Taylors

I should have taken a closer look at the new mattress Deb and I bought yesterday. I’m fairly sure when they deliver the thing on Thursday they’re going to try to pull a fast one. Instead of the nice Sealy we thought we were getting they’re going to leave us with some piece of crap stuffed with rat pelts. It would be easy to do.

We did a lot of spending this weekend (electronic tax refunds are fast). I had no idea all new mattresses are about seven feet deep. We don’t have sheets that’ll cover something like that.

I’d like to know the precise moment in my life when I became concerned with thread count.

The buying frenzy actually started on Friday afternoon. I took the afternoon off to run some errands. I wound up replacing all of our dishes, glassware and silverware. It wasn’t as expensive a proposition as it sounds. I got some bargains and spent far less than I expected. Plus, it was time. Our flatware was getting rust spots and our dinnerware was chipped and mismatched.

I’d like to know the precise moment in my life when I became concerned with whether or not our dinnerware was chipped or mismatched.

That Friday I stopped at a shoe store near the university. I wanted to find a pair of canvas shoes I could drop in the washing machine once they started to smell. This store always seems to have a wide selection of PF Flyers and Chuck Taylors so I thought I’d find something there.

I was trying on shoes when I paused to look at a scary guy who decided to shop for shoes that same day in the same store. He was tall and wore a stocking cap with a big horn that stuck out the top. At first I thought the horn was part of the cap but when I saw the tattoos and metal adornments he had on and in his face I wasn’t sure. The huge studded boots with matching pants kind of sealed the deal on me being more than a little uncomfortable with his presence.

Look, I’m no prude. I think people should express themselves anyway they like (as long as they’re not hurting anyone else). But I’ve seen Mad Max, I know people who look like this drive nitrous enhance dune buggies, favor shotguns as their weapon of choice and list vengeance and mayhem as hobbies on dating service applications.

I was walking around in a pair of low-rise Chuck Taylors when the guy with the tattoos on his face spoke. In a voice that sounded as practiced and smooth as a Christie’s auctioneer he said, “You know, you really should consider insoles for those. They can be hard on your feet.”

The sales guy and I looked at each other long enough for it to be noticeable. Then the sales guys said that was a good idea and fetched a set of insoles. I put them in the shoes. It made a huge difference. The sneakers became much more comfortable.

“Thanks for the tip,” I said to the tattoo-faced guy. “You’re welcome,” he said. From his tone and delivery I half-expected to hear, enjoy your stay, as if I’d just checked into a suite at the Four Seasons.

I went up to pay for the shoes and as the sales guy rang me up he said, “I should give that guy a job.” Once again we looked at each other long enough for it to be noticeable, then simultaneously we made a snorting sound with our noses.

Not a very nice reaction, but I think we deserve a little wiggle room when there is a horn and facial tattoos involved. Plus we were well away from the tattoo-faced guy and I’m sure there was no chance that we would have hurt his feelings. After all, there’s no way in hell I’d want that guy upset with me. In fact, I probably would have bought the insoles even if they were making my feet bleed just to make sure tattoo-faced guy and I were simpatico.

By the way, I think tattoo-faced guy bought a pair of hi-top Chuck Taylors.

Crazy. Like two peas in a pod, almost . . .

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