Tuesday, April 17, 2007


When I was a mere boy, I was promised three things in the world I would eventually inherit: flying cars, jet packs and shoes with wheels in them. Maybe I wasn’t promised that last one, but I really, really wanted something like that. Yet I never got them. Neither do I have a flying car or a jet pack. My kid, however, has the shoes with wheels in them. Heelys, they’re called. And they have become the bane of my existence.

C loves these things. So much, in fact, that they are currently his sole choice of shoe. The wheel pops out with the help of a special tool that is very easy to lose and very easy for his sister to take away from him, and lose. The fighting and screeching and whining that ensue from the tool being lost is only part of the problem. Another problem is that C is not the most … um … graceful boy. He falls down for no apparent reason on two normal shoes while standing still in the living room. So you put a pair of wheeled shoes on him and the likelihood of injury grows proportionally. Then there is the fact that they’re even worn in the house, on our hardwood floors. When he’s just walking normally, and not rolling through all 1200 sq. ft. we’re crammed into, it sounds like he’s tap dancing. It’s like living with an awkward, clumsy Mr. Bojangles. I’ve fantasized that these shoes might “accidentally” break, but C actually saved up his own money to buy them, so it seems wrong, somehow, for me to “accidentally” drive over them with the Volvo wagon. I’ve thought of simply banning them from the inside of the house, which is what the Memphis Zoo did recently. The Memphis Zoo, that wide-open space with miles of asphalt walkways, has banned shoes with wheels. The one place it actually makes sense for these kids to roll, and the first place I even saw a pair of these, has outlawed the shoes with wheels. So why can’t I?

I have to wonder, though, if part of my dislike for this conveyance isn’t jealousy. I mean, I dreamed of something like these as a kid, but never got them. And here they are. And I’m a grown man. But, as part of my relentless attention to detail and facts while writing this blog, I researched (Googled) shoes with wheels and I found that they come in adult sizes. Yes, I could have my very own pair of shoes with wheels. I could have my very own broken arm. My very own concussion. But just think of the fun and laughter as C and I race around the zoo, taunting the security that could never hope to catch us with their silly and staid 20th century shoes.