Friday, January 15, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Circus

Little Jackie Showers recently joined a lawn bowling club. Yes it is true and you youngsters out there can stop chuckling. I didn't sign up because of an urge to lawn bowl, although I suspect I may try out the game next summer. I became a member because of croquet, which of course is no laughing matter.

The thing about a lawn bowling club is they are very protective of their grass. The rules require you to wear flat-soled shoes whether you are lawn bowling or playing croquet. And they mean flat. No heel and no tread. Being a rule follower since my earliest days I decided that I best go get me some flat shoes. I hoped for some Stan Smiths, but these proved to be elusive. I mean, I'm sure they were out there somewhere, but it was Christmas Eve and I needed these for a tournament on Boxing Day. I only had time for visiting one mall.

The sporty stores and the old people's walking shoe stores didn't have anything that fit the bill. Having no success I began to realize my options were dwindling. Desperate times...

Call for venturing into "Aldo". Now for those of you not familiar with "Aldo" it is a shoe store for cool people. I do not belong there. Sure, sometimes I'll tag along while the missus looks at shoes and one time I even went in there alone to buy her a pair of shoes she had pointed out on a previous trip. But go into "Aldo" alone for myself was like going into La Senza to browse. It wasn't right.

Of course I quickly sensed that my discomfort was matched by the young, attractive and clearly hip sales girl that approached me. You see, guys like me and the "Aldo" girls don't cross paths. Our worlds are far apart. This fact was as obvious to her as it was to me. I was wearing sweat pants after all.

As it turns out there were several flat-soled products to choose from so she dutifully went and got my size each time I asked to try a different one. She would bring me the box and then drift off about twenty feet to cooly watch me out of the corner of her eye as I tried on the different pairs. I must give her credit for maintaining a visage not unlike those guards outside of Buckingham palace. Not a grin or eye roll escaped. But inside that head I know there was a pretty good situation comedy going on.
This is the shoe.

I ended up shelling out way too much for the shoes and then, dammit, most of the other croquet players showed up in their sneakers.


  1. Those croquet players should have been sanctioned--perhaps made to play in their bare feet.

    Lemme get this straight. You go shopping in sweat pants? Isn't this, according to Seinfield, a sign that you have given up?

  2. Strange days indeed, Jack. Don't your clothes ever wear out?I think my last pair of sweatpants fell apart 5 years ago.Oh and cool people neither think about, or worry about, being cool.I also went and played lawn bowls with my soccer team one summer, it was a lot of fun!I plan to play it when I retire.You'll have to fill me in on the croquet at work next week. Cheers,xelA.

  3. Uh oh. Does this mean we'll have an all-white dress code for the Cactus Jack Mini-Golf Tournament this summer?

  4. The sweat pants comment might have been a slight exaggeration. Or at least my definition is perhaps stretched. They were more like sports slacks. Nylon with no elastic at the ankles. Having said that, as far as fashion goes it might be true that I have given up.

    As for the comment that cool people do not think about being cool, that just helps prove my theory that I am not cool. I think. However come to think of it, I don't worry about being cool or think about being cool. I only think about how uncool I am.

    On to mini-golf dress codes: The Extravaganza will continue to be multi-coloural.

  5. You have a "theory" you're not cool. I think it's beyond a theory at this point. Unless you mean it's a theory in the way that gravity and evolution is a theory. i.e. a given.

    Man, I just do not see the appeal of croquet. But lawn bowls... I'm all over that! I love that game. And did even when I was young, so it has nothing to do with my dotage.