Friday, November 28, 2008

John Mozeliak goes shoe shopping, part 4

John Mozeliak sat awaiting the manager of the shoe store, his foot tapping along with the muzak version of Just a Gigolo by David Lee Roth. He carefully scanned the shelves and tables again, checking for anything he may have missed earlier. 

Row after row of colorful shoes in every conceivable shape, texture, and size filled the small shop. Customers were busily digging through the bargain bins, shuffling through the boxes, and picking apart the sales ads as quickly as they could. The noise of shopping was all around, and John felt energized because of it. 

Suddenly, something caught his eye in the far corner of the store. There on the floor, nearly hidden from his view by the steady stream of customers moving back and forth across the small space and the piles of shoes strewn about, sat a very unremarkable box. 

Cardboard brown with no decorations, this box was not crying out for attention the way many of the shoe boxes were. In fact, if anything, it was trying to hide, to disappear into the background. 

Slowly, he made his way across the store toward the box. When he reached it, he stopped. The lid was askew and paper hung out the side as though the shoes inside had been tossed there carelessly by the last customer who tried them on. 

John bent down and opened the lid, pulling the paper back as he did so. What greeted him were running shoes, very similar to the ones he had tried on earlier. These, however, were more conservative--black and white--with no bold designs or bright colors. They were sturdy looking, and John thought for a moment that they reminded him of some shoes he'd owned in the past. 

John sat down on a nearby bench and pulled on the shoes. After tying them, he stood up and began his rigorous test of fit and performance. He jogged, he ran, he tip-toed, and he bounced. He stopped short, he spun around, and he scooted across the floor. He crouched down, and he sprang back up, and when he did, he nearly collided with the manager who had appeared out of the storeroom and was now standing beside him. 

"Sorry!" John apologized. "Didn't see you there." 

The manager smiled coldly, then nodded toward the shoes John was wearing. "Have you found something you like?" 

John considered this for a minute before answering. He was interested in these shoes, but what of the other pair? He was still interested in them, also, and this raised some serious questions for him. 

(1) Did he need more than one pair of running shoes? He must remember his tenets for shopping and not go overboard, especially considering that running shoes were only the beginning of his list. 

And (2) if he were only going to buy one pair, which pair would he choose? Each was comfortable and fit him well, and each was reasonably attractive. This wasn't likely to be an easy decision, and may very well come down to the bottom line: cost. 

To be continued some more....