It's Lovely Weather For A Shoe Smell Together With Yoooo...
By Tom Danehy
DECEMBER 28, 1998:
SOME RANDOM THOUGHTS on Christmas...
- It's December 24. Time to start shopping. I'll have to
go by myself, since my wife completed her shopping on June 12
this year. She's disappointed that it took her so long. At the
current rate of her schedule decay, by the time she's 187 years
old, she'll be doing her Christmas shopping in late October. Imagine
that, just one step ahead of the rabble.
She sees stuff in the store in June and actually says, "Wow,
this'll be great for your Uncle Al for Christmas." Who thinks
like that? On June 12, all I'm thinking is, "Oh my God, I
already hate summer and it hasn't officially started yet. Plus,
we're five months away from our first cool breeze."
- Someone once said that the most incredible invention of
all time is the Thermos. When asked to explain his choice, he
said, "Well, it keeps hot things hot and cold things cold.
But, how does it know?!"
Along those lines, I've found through painful personal experience
that the automobile, besides offering reasonable protection from
lightning in thunderstorms, also has the amazing power to insulate
drivers from the Christmas spirit.
What's weird is that people are really nice to each other inside
the mall. They're all crowded in there like the lab rats that
we all are, at the mercy of the evil merchants. People bump into
each other and it sounds like the waiting room at the Parole Board.
"Pardon me. Pardon me. Pardon me."
But these same people go out and get in the car and it's Death
Race 2000 to the nearest exit, where they'll wait for the first
incoming idiot to slow down ever so slightly to read the sign
that says "Incoming Traffic Does Not Stop," then dart
in front of the unsuspecting reader. After which they'll block
traffic for 17 minutes trying to make an illegal left turn.
- All I want for Christmas is to someday get a Letter to
the Editor that doesn't accuse me of being a fascist, a bore,
and/or an abusive parent.
- When I was growing up a poor, white child in Southern California,
all I ever got for Christmas was a pair of underwear and a couple
pairs of socks. I used to wonder if Christmas would get better
when I got older. Now socks come in 12-packs and underwear in
six-packs. And sometimes, Wal-Mart has seven pairs for the price
of six. Don't you tell me there isn't a Santa Claus.
- For last-minute shoppers I have a great idea. Tickets to
the Insightdotcombowl, or whatever it's called. I went to last
year's game, and it was great. Cold as a muh, but great. The weird
thing about last year's game is that I read that despite getting
a new sponsorship deal, a partnership with the Fiesta Bowl in
Tempe, and 50,000 frozen butts in the seats, the game still didn't
turn a profit. How is that possible?
I know the local bowl game brings people to town, stimulates
the local economy, and generally provides some great football
matchups, but gee whiz. You guys have an entire year to work on
the numbers. Get jiggy wit' em.
- As for this year's West Virginia-Missouri matchup, it could
be the best ever for the local bowl. West Virginia has one of
the best running backs in America in Amos Zereoue, while Missouri
has a whole bunch of guys who couldn't get into Nebraska (and
are kicking themselves for not having gone to Kansas State).
I'm just kidding; it should be a great game. Plus, Missouri will
bring thousands of fans who'll enjoy the weather, while West Virginia's
fans will delight in the indoor plumbing.
Actually, things aren't that bad. We drove through West Virginia
for about 10 minute last summer, and we didn't see one kid with
- I did get some shopping done last week. I stopped by the
Just For Feet on North Oracle to get some stuff for the kids.
You walk in the place and it's like visual overload. Steve Winwood's
"Roll With It" is blasting, giant TV screens are showing
bone-jarring NFL hits, and then there's the smell of the new shoes
(which beats new car any day).
Off to one side, a mother was trying to interest her teenage
son in a Broncos parka. The kid said (and I'm not making this
up), "Mom, that's last year's jacket." The kid
held up another one which looked identical in every way and said,
"This is this year's."
It was like that old Star Trek episode with the half-black
and half-white guys who were identical except the colors were
The store manager, one Robert Betancourt, strolled over and told
the kid, "Ah young man, that is last year's jacket.
But if you wear it, you can tell your friends you were a fan before
the Broncos won the Super Bowl. That way it's not like you're
jumping on the bandwagon."
The kid gave him a look which comes from having spent way too
many hours with a Nintendo controller in his hands, and smiled.
The mom, who was so impressed with Betancourt's salesmanship
and the fact that he had talked the kid into a lower-priced item,
showed her gratitude by over-spending her budget on other stuff.
I asked Robert how he does it, just stand there and smile amid
the wild scene. He said, "I love this atmosphere. It's like
a big old family reunion."
I don't ever want to see that dude's family.