the magic of hong cons

Hong Cons

I love Converse shoes. If I had to wear one pair of shoes for the rest of my life they would be cons: All Stars, of course. They’ve got to be the most versatile shoe. You can walk for days, dance for hours, and with a rubber sole like that, you can clean out the gutters without a fear of sliding off the roof. And, if I’m not too fussy, I can make them work with any outfit.

So I kinda live in the county, right. So there’s kinda no shops around here. So I default to the online mega-mall: ebay.

I don’t understand why there isn’t a universal shoe size. My first pair of cons are a size 4 now with holes in the soles. The next ones, worn out and tired, are a 4 ½. I chalked that up to a spreading foot and ordered a replacement pair of 4 ½ shoes from Hong Kong. These are too big. And I mean like clown shoes too big. I hid them from my husband somewhere in the garage and ordered another pair, size 3.

I’m truly not sure which shoes are the counterfeit shoes and I have no idea what size I am. That’s the magic of Hong Cons. So I’ve been thinking, if there can’t be a universal shoe size, we need to add the counterfeit size to the list of sizes.

“Do you know your size?”, enquires the shoe store attendant wearing the obligatory shoe store pair of shoes.

“Oh yes, I do!”, I proudly announce. “I’m a European 36, USA 5.5, UK 3.5, Japanese 22.5, and a Counterfeit 3… Do you have these in a counterfeit size 3?”


power to the suburban people

A few things in suburban life give me a true sense of power. I thought I’d share some.

First is the trigger hose. Innocent passers by are powerless against the soaking might of my eight function trigger nozzle. Standing legs slightly akimbo, my ergonomic pistol in hand, I’m ready to take out any dissident (or innocent). “Go ahead, make my day”, I threaten passers by. My top lip curled and twitching.

Number two, kitchen power tools. You know what I’m talking about, the way the power whisk magically beats egg whites to meringue, how the oven burns the bejeebers out of stuff when you’re not looking, and how the freezer makes ice. Awesome. It’s there, in the back of your mind, you’re thinking, “yeah, I did that, I put water in that ice tray and now look at it!”

That knob on the stereo that makes the sound move from one speaker to the other. Right, left, right. I can’t play an instrument but damn-straight I can make noise move!

Special treatment in the local establishment, only because you’re in the know (ie, you’re a local but don’t let that stop you feeling like celebrity). Striding through, you know you’re going too far when you give the Queen’s wave. Besides, almost everyone else is a local too and they don’t appreciate the wave.

Internet shopping. I’m buying all sorts of stuff and I haven’t even had to stand up!

So who said suburban life was dull … what gives you a sense of suburban power?


image: Edward Scissorhands (1990)

the postman only comes once

The postman brings out one’s Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder tendencies.

Unlike the garbage collection man, the postman runs to his own watch. He might be passing through in the morning but most likely it will end up being after lunch. Sometimes it’s closer to 3pm. And he will only come once. Much to the distress of the house-bound, mail-gathering, expectant, online-shopping 21st centurian. (I know that’s not a word, but I’m making it one.)

We are becoming so used to the immediacy of the internet to communicate. To share. To chat. To buy. The internet brings us mail at all times of day and night. I’m not dissing the postie here. I appreciate the day in day out consistency of the mail service. At times I’m also genuinely concerned for his safety.

His, or her for that matter, little bike is ideal for riding the footpath. Hopping the gutter. Skidding out on the lawn by the verge. In fact, the postie is the grown up professional equivalent of a skateboarding hoodlum. With that fluoro all-weather outfit, backpack full of other peoples stuff and his ‘go anywhere’ attitude.

But I fear for the poor postie’s life when he hits the highway! I mean, really, that thing barely goes more than 50 km per hour. He’s playing with fire. The world is rushing past and he’s there, hanging on for dear life. Flat stick, metal to the floor. He’s giving it all he’s got. He’s more exposed out there than a bug in the lights of a lorrie!

Our generation could be the last to experience the postie in all his fluoro glory. We may be the last to look through the window, expectantly, repeatedly. We may be last to witness his (or her) gutter jumping aerial manoeuvres. Take note, fellow online-shopping postal service watchers, as we witness the transformation of the letter delivering postie into The Package Delivery Man.

I’m quite fond of skateboarders and don’t really think they are all hoodlums that have other people’s stuff. In fact, I’ve found, aside from all their gutter jumping, they are actually some of our societies most grounded people. Perhaps it’s got to do with the frequency at which they come in contact with it.