WORDS FROM W.W. December 24, 2011
It was a strange scene, hundreds of people standing outside the mall at a quarter to twelve midnight. Perhaps a celebrity was showing up, or the line to see Santa was so long that people were still waiting hours after the mall had closed.
But a closer look indicated that it was neither of those. The new retro Air Jordan athletic shoes were going on sale. I don’t remember there being lines back in the early seventies for “Chuck Taylor’s” when they went on sale, although I do remember wearing them until they were literally in shreds. No wonder we couldn’t jump in those days! We didn’t have any rubber left on the bottom of our shoes!
The scene was chaos as doors opened, got busted off their hinges and crowds of people ran frantically into the shoe store, only to have most of them be disappointed with the news “No shoes in the Mall!”
Even the fortunate ones who did get the precious pairs included very few people who actually needed a pair of shoes. Comments could be heard:
“I’m putting my pair on eBay for double the price!”
“I’m going to hold on to my pair for a couple of years and then make a mint off of them!”
“I’m just going to keep mine in the box, wrap it up in protective plastic wrap, and watch the value go up. Believe me! No one is going to take down the value of these shoes by actually wearing them!”
What to do? A crisis had emerged. Johnny Junior’s quest for a college scholarship and a lucrative professional contract someday was in jeopardy because there were no AJ’s to be had. Parents explained the repercussions of this shortage to store innkeepers, but to no avail. The only advice they received was “You might try the clearance rack over there. I think we have some old black high-top Converses. They aren’t as flashy, but they still fit feet.”
Some parents became adamant about the store producing more shoes, while others just walked away with downcast expressions. But one young boy found the clearance rack, noticed a brand spanking new pair of old Chuck Taylor’s and shouted out “I found my shoes!”
While others trampled on one another, pushed, punched, and pepper-sprayed, he walked out of the mall with his mom and dad, content, excited, and ready to lace them up!