Stranger Than Fiction: Road Runner Sneakers

This past Friday, I attended a wedding. It was in another city, so I planned to stay in a hotel room overnight with friends. I was leaving the house an hour before the ceremony, so I made sure I was Spanxified, dressed, and had in place all of the finishing touches: hair, makeup and jewellery.

Except for the shoes. I decided to wear a pair of raspberry coloured casual flats en route, then, once checked in, I would switch them for the python patterned cork soled platform sandals I’d packed in my overnight bag.

Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that I had failed to make the switch until just before the bride made her way down the aisle. Upon this discovery, I hissed a curse. One of the people I was sharing a hotel room with was sitting next to me, so, naturally, he asked what was the matter. As I quickly explained the situation to him, it triggered a particular childhood memory of mine, which happened, if I recall correctly, in third grade. Despite my notorious long-term memory, the details are sketchy, but I will do my best.

For some reason, I was a member of the school choir. Seriously, I don’t know why, because I really really can’t sing. Anyway, we were due to perform at a school recital that either happened during school hours or after school or at night. (Like I said – the details are sketchy.) What I know for sure is that this performance was to be taped, and that parents and other assorted family members would be included in the audience.

This performance required that we wear the same uniform that we always wore when we sang for an audience: a “light-coloured” (so, basically, white) top, dark (so, basically, black) bottoms, and black polished shoes, which usually meant loafers for boys and Mary Janes for girls.

In order to prevent my Mary Janes from getting scuffed on the way to school, I did the same thing then as I did for this wedding: pack them into the bag I was carrying with me, wear more functional shoes on the way there – and forget to switch them.

Said functional shoes were my Road Runner sneakers. From what I can remember they were pinkish – perhaps mauve or puce or something – with a decal of the Road Runner of Looney Tunes fame on each side, and I *think* the actual words “Road Runner” might have been included in the design.

While forgetting to switch shoes at a wedding where I am not the point of focus isn’t such a big deal. And I at least had time to shuttle back to the hotel and switch shoes before the reception. (The fact that they ended up killing my feet is another story.) But it’s kind of a big deal when every other kid but yourself is wearing black shoes and you are the sore thumb ruining the continuity by wearing sneakers in an obnoxious colour featuring an obnoxious cartoon character. Worse yet: you’re in the front row. Worser yet: you’re fucking being filmed. It was for a local TV station, but still.

God, I hope a tape of that performance does not exist, or if it does, that it’s been destroyed. I mean, it’s bad enough that I’m the one stupid kid not wearing the same type of shoes as the rest of the choir, but that I couldn’t keep my head still because I kept looking at the cameras, so I’m also the stupid kid with the constantly rotating head. Sigh.

Since we’re on the subject of Road Runner – which was one of my childhood obsessions, hence the shoes – I’ll love you and leave you with the theme song to one of the greatest shows of all time. OF ALL TIME! /kanyevoice.


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