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Home » 9to5to9

The clown shoes that run around the world

Submitted by on Friday, 8 January 2010 No Comment
running_shoesDo  you believe in luck, a niece asked over the holidays.

Yes and no, I thought.

I firmly abide by the old baseball superstition about not talking about a no-hitter while it's in progress. And I believe in bad luck, as in I had the misfortune in November to have a repairman who only half looked into the leaky pipe that went from a trickle to a tsunami this week.

"What kind of luck do you mean?" I asked.

"Lucky charms," she said.

"The cereal?"

"No!" she laughed. "Do you believe that carrying something around can bring you good luck. Like on a test or something."

"Not really, " I said.

"Me either. I think the lucky charm just makes you feel better, so  you do better," she said, an amazingly astute statement for a 9-year-old.

And one her uncle would disagree with, which is why his raggedy running shoes are going to Afghanistan.

He hadn't wanted them to begin with, preferring to stick with an even more raggedy pair he'd been worn for years. A case of shin splints as he started shaping up before basic training changed his mind.

He hesitated again at the shoe store, where he beloved Adidas came in only black with two colors of trim: Red or neon green. He let the guys pick, and they chose red. "I like the clown shoes," Big Guy said.

The Clown Shoes carried Dad through basic and advanced training. They've taken him down the streets and up the mountains at Fort Irwin. A year later, they're looking almost as raggedy as the ones they'd replaced. No wonder - they probably have more miles on them than I've put on my car in the past 12 months.

"You need a new pair," I said. "Let me get you a new pair for Christmas."

He refused.

I tried talking him into going with me to buy the guys soccer shoes, hoping that once inside the store the cushiony softness of new insoles and tread that didn't roll at the heels would tempt him.

He stood firm in his decrepit footwear.

"Nope. The Clown Shoes have seen me through a lot. I'm not going to abandon them now."

Fine. Have it your way. But if you happen to receive a shoe-box sized package in a month or so, please consider opening it before shin splints set in.

Copyright 2010 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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