Monday, February 13, 2006

Pick which one is the real Ferrari

OK. Examine these two photographs.

First this one:

Now this one:


I gotta admit it is hard to tell. But here's my clue: Ferrari's are usually painted red.

I guess I better explain this.

I've been complaining about my current basketball shoes for some time now. Everytime I come off the court my ankles are sore and sometimes also my arches. Alison has quickly gotten sick of my whinging and on Saturday she finally cracked. "Alright, we are going to buy you some new shoes!" She hunted around on the net and found a shop which specialises in basketball shoes, so off we went.

At the store, there are at least 30,000 different shoes on the wall, all ugly, all gaudy, many not really recognisable as shoes. Josephine is having a great time picking out the most disgusting ones, "Dad. Dad. DAD! Buy these. Pink and green. They've got little plastic springs on the bottom."

Torn equally between the thought to leave the game altogether for much younger people and the desire to strangle my second-born child, I eventually manage to find a pair that I can stomach, mainly because they have a high back which may help my ankles. Helpfully, they are labelled "Retro", which of course aids in bolstering my self-esteem.

"Can I try a size 11 in these, please." The young bloke alarmingly brings back a 10-½ and some 11's in a different model, same brand. I tried the 11 with my right-foot only (it is a size bigger than my left) — disastrously small. He measures my right foot: "I'll bring you back some 13's."

But they fit, and they are comfortable. Ignoring the feeling that as I get older, my feet really shouldn't be getting bigger, I try a few small jumps in them to get a feel, and it feels very strange. I look at the floorboards suspiciously, thinking that they must be deliberately sprung or something so that the shoes feel more comfortable than they really are, but the young bloke assures me that the shoes have a carbon-fibre base which spreads the impact throughout the foot rather than just concentrating it in the toes. And then he gives his line that he's certain will clinch the sale:

Look at these shoes. They've been modelled after MJ's [Michael Jordan's] Ferrari. See the intake. The shape of the moulding. The same sleak lines as his Ferrari. Beautiful, aren't they?

I must admit I'm speechless. I can't really think of a way of expressing my thoughts without swearing volubly in front of my children.

I ended up buying them regardless. Size 13.

Oh yes, and before you think my girlfriend's just too good to be true, finding the place to go, taking me there, putting up with me spending 30 minutes trying to find shoes that didn't look like grafitti, I should mention this: she bought a pair of shoes herself. Hmmmm.

I'll let you know how the Ferrari's work out.

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