Monday, March 1, 2010

Crocs for NothingZ

Warning: This essay is not about my dog or my motorcycle, it is about my sandals.

You wouldn't know it from these pictures but it has been an exceptionally wet winter, and so far I have slipped down the front stairs of my house-on-stilts not once but twice. My wife blames my falls (neither with any consequences) to the worn out state of my footwear. I took myself off to find new sandals.The Summerland Sandal shop is two miles from home and one cannot shop more locally than that. Plus she keeps a Morris Minor Traveller parked in front of her store. A standard Morris Minor was the first car I ever drove, around a bumpy English field with my twelve year old buddy the proud owner of the car and son of the proud owner of the field. Nostalgia notwithstanding the nice lady told me that Crocs doesn't make pink sandals in my size (large, wide plates-of-beef). Bugger. Wandering Key West in a daze of barely suppressed misery I saw these fine sandals mocking me from the window of a fishing(?) store. I trudged on by, dragged by my dog who was indifferent to my footwear follies. I did however remember that my wife bought me my pink crocs at the Big Pine Flea market, a place owned and operated by an odious Reverend who, on the one occasion I actually met him, gave me the vivid sensation that my hand would rot and fall off if I didn't rush home and wash it immediately after shaking his. My auto mechanics work across from the flea market and their stories about the so-called Reverend are legion. I am amazed they allow children to go to school at his organization, I find it hard to imagine they could possibly grow up to be model citizens. Nevertheless I needed pink sandals. Happily my wife also told me the stall at the flea market is operated by a shop in Key West: Neat Stuff (And Tropical Thrills) sells dust catchers and it's located on Flagler Avenue about opposite the Bank of America, that's the bank that's so big it's actually too big to fail, they say.Loreena reassured me immediately that she sold pink crocs in manly sizes and I went to try some on. These are in fact the trademarked Crocs, not the NothingZ brand that they sell at the flea market.$32 they cost me including sales tax (which Florida rather urgently needs these days), and they fit like a pair of gloves.These sandals are rather brighter than my old NothingZ and I was advised that they are actually known as "fuchsia" not "pink," said the design school graduate. I pointed out that I had very little idea what color chartreuse might be so she advised me to drink some, then I'd know. Which seemed like an eminently suitable suggestion. Meanwhile I am now going to be clad in fuchsia. Tres suave, sez I. I did however manage to resist laying into the other stuff for sale in the store:
I was surprised there wasn't a line of eager shoppers for pink crocs, a line that should have stretched out onto Flagler Avenue.
And there's a whole bunch of other stuff too, for to entice people in. It's amazing what you can pack into a small store front.
Yes, but...I am one of those who find it hard to throw away old clothes. I am by no means a pack rat, but clothes mold themselves to you, fit your life, are there when you need them and walk through the rain uncomplaining or shade you from the sun endlessly, and then when it's time it's time to say good bye. Out with the old and in with the new. I quite liked the nothingZ with their solid metal rivets for the strap:Crocs have a cute little logo at ankle height but the rivets are made of plastic: Rubber sandals like these are something I had to learn to like and it came from boating. Crocs are ideal around salt water especially in the Keys where shorelines are usually covered by pebbles and rocks and walking up the beach involves some amount of pain for the barefoot boater. More traditional sandals made of fabrics do not stand up to the rigors of sun and salt water like these things. I like wearing them when I walk the dog too because if I come across mud or "impassable" water fords in the middle of the track I can just keep on walking. And around here one is so close to sea level that a high tide or a heavy rain can put water just about everywhere. So my crocs sit by the front door ready for me to slip on at a moments notice.It happened that we had bought a pair of rubber shoes at a boat show years ago and my wife wanted to get me a new pair to replace my old blue things. "What color shall I get?" she asked and I replied (incautiously it turned out): " I don't care. Whatever you want." I was busy with more important things on my mind. She returned with the pink nothingZ and asked me sweetly if I'd like her to go back and get something more suitable. "Hell no," I said rashly because I don't give a fig for fashion. I promptly forgot I was wearing pink sandals but it was soon brought to my notice by acquaintances and people who have nothing better to do than read my on line diary. So now I am backed into a corner. And that's the true story of how I came to be wearing pink crocs. (fuchsia).I will miss my nothingZ but who knows perhaps my wife will snag me a spare pair for the day I tire of "fuchsia."