Yes. That's right. Shoelaces. Let's talk about them, shall we? I recently went to go buy a new pair of tennis shoes. Walked right into the first store I went to, found the pair I was looking for in the approximate right size and color, and decided to try them on. Sounds like a relatively low stress encounter so far, right? It was...easy. Too easy. Normally, life works in a way that requires you arduously shop to find the one product you want. You know...five hours and twenty dollars worth of gas just buy a forty dollar item. That's just how life...and more specifically shopping...works. So I should have been suspicious, and had my guard up. But I didn't, and I was suckered right in.
So I pop a shoe out of the box and try it on. It seems a little loose, but it's only laced halfway up, so all I have to do is lace it all the way up and see what the true fit is. So here we go and...what the hell? I was now looking at some sort of diabolical lacing method I have never seen. Now, I am a relatively intelligent fellow, so I'll just momentarily study the lacing pattern and...shit. I got it wrong. Somehow I did THE OPPOSITE of the lacing pattern. I study it some more and have the following thought: Why in the hell do we need a creative way to lace our shoes???? We've been lacing shoes perfectly fine for hundreds of years, and then one day some unemployed pot head decided "No way bro....I ain't gonna lace my shoes like the man. I'm going to be DIFFERENT. I'm going to be COOL. Rather than get an actual job, I'm going to make it my life's work to find a way to lace a shoe only a nineteen year old Cheeto, Halo, and Slurpee addict can comprehend." It all started back in the day with Doc Marten's and their "non-crossing tuck the lace in" thing to the current Chuck Taylor "candy stripe one direction voodoo" technique I was struggling with. And my thing is "Why?" Has anybody looked at someones shoes and said, "You know, I was beginning to think you're a total douche bag...but then I noticed your shoelaces. Nice incomprehensible pattern man. You are clearly a man of impeccable taste and high moral fiber. To you sir, I say, huzzah!" I'm thinking this probably hasn't occurred recently. Perhaps it's a calling card to others...you know, like a secret handshake? Two greasy haired weed huffers cross paths in the street and glance at the others shoes, and they JUST KNOW. Halo, Cheetos, Slurpees, weed. They then slyly and knowingly give each other a little nod and utter a "dude" and continue on their way...to 7-11 with $4.87 in their pocket they stole out of their mom's purse.
Needless to say, I yanked the lace out and re-laced it in a manner I understand, which is to say, the way I've been lacing my shoes since I was old enough to wear them. I don't mind not being the cutting edge of cool. I'm OK with it. My laces say something about me too. They say the following: "I have a job. I have responsibilities and obligations. I'm busy. I've got important life shit on my mind. My time is FAR TOO IMPORTANT to spend more than one nanosecond....wait, even one nanosecond would be too much...on thinking about new, exciting, and creative ways to lace my shoes. Oh...and put down the doob and the X-Box controller, and move out of mom's basement, you wanna be pathetic hipster twit."
So, there you go. Proof positive that I can find the absurdity and drama in almost anything...including shoe laces. Perhaps next time I'll share my thoughts on "non-screw top you need a bottle opener" beer bottles that frequently result in bloody finger tips and palms, damaged furniture corners, broken glass, the ingestion of small pieces of said broken glass, and the sudden over popularity of the one alcoholic that showed up with a bottle opener on his key chain.
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