Two years ago, a friend raved about Crocs, insisting that they were the wave of the future. I shelved her fashion advice in the same category reserved for interior design tips offered up by straight men. After all, she hadn’t likely gone to bed with Rush Limbaugh as many times as I had.
And then last month, two men whom I trust, certifiably heterosexual, red-blooded, beef-eating, Field & Stream-reading, all-American guys, revealed themselves shod in Crocs. And within plain view of the U.S. Capitol. This had to be some kind of joke left over from their days as fraternity brothers. When I suggested that these plastic shoes were akin to Birkenstocks, only worn by homosexuals, liberals and the infirm, they insisted that I try them on, adding that the shoes had been freshly washed. They even offered to buy me a pair. Straight men in committed relationships have never offered to buy me a pair of shoes. But they did feel comfortable, even though at the end of the day, a bed of nails up against the soles of your feet can also feel good. The next day found me wandering around at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, where I relented and bought my very own pair. Travel to the U.S. can do weird things to a person.
I still wasn’t ready to wear them without first getting permission from the Republican Party, just like someone might get a special dispensation from the Chief Rabbi of the World before nibbling on bacon or the Pope before having a steak on Good Friday. While those requests were pending, before my very eyes appears a picture of George W. Bush wearing Crocs. Obviously, this could be a doctored image put forth by Communists, terrorists or Hillary Clinton.
I’m not taking any chances. What do I care if shoes can be safely put in the dishwasher? (Who wants shoes laundered along with the dinnerware in Cascade?) Moreover, I’m deeply concerned that shoes cobbled from man-made materials will put the shoe-crafting industry out of business. After all, Chinese imports have deeply hurt the Mexican shoe trade. The next victims could be the houses of Ferragamo and Gucci. If you think I’m kidding, just consider how they’ve branched out into non-leather wares. Soon only the very wealthy and the very poor will be wearing leather shoes. Legions of shoe-shine men will be put right out of business.