Don’t Kill My Shoes!


“Don’t kill my shoes! Please don’t kill my shoes!”

Those were the words I shouted at the salesman in the shoe shop who had just informed me that my shoes…

the ones which I had been wearing,

which had been on my feet when I walked into the store,

and which I’d only taken off momentarily to try on a new pair,

a pair which I had yet to decide to buy,

…had been taken away to be incinerated.

I was shouting because I was in distress,

my feet were in distress,

because they couldn’t find their home,

they’d only left their home for a few seconds,

distracted by a possible new home,

but just because they were distracted by a possible new home did not mean that they did not appreciate the home which they had.

Yet someone else had made a presumption,

a presumptuous presumption,

and ordered the killing of my shoes.

The culprit was not this salesman,

this salesman had only been following orders,

orders which had come from his manager,

orders which his manager had given for reasons with which he was about to be confronted.

But first I had to save my shoes,

I was not allowed to do this myself,

for safety reasons,

for reasons of a sign which claimed no customers were allowed beyond this point.

I was not an official customer since I had not bought anything yet,

I was a potential customer,

and if the manager had his way,

then I would be obliged to live up to that potential,

as surely if I no longer had shoes I would be forced to buy a new pair.

He really didn’t know me.

When I had first walked into this shop, the manger had sized me up, he had judged me based on the shoes which I was wearing which were tatty and old. He saw in me, in my feet, in my shoes, a sure sale. Obviously I was in a desperate state and people who are in a desperate state are desperate enough to part with money to buy themselves out of their desperate state.

Desperation is a pheromone which attracts predators.

He zeroed in on me like a spider to a fly caught in its web, the vibrations of my struggle thrilled his avarice.

He peppered my ears with an aggressive spiel designed to knock my shoes off,

sweep me off my feet and into a brand new pair of shoes.


he made one very crucial mistake.

He really didn’t know me.

He criticised my shoes,

he tore them apart with his tongue,

and my feet were burned by the acid in his saliva.

I grabbed his tongue and cut it off.

“Do not try to convince me to buy new shoes, you can’t convince me to buy new shoes!”

His tongue wriggled in my fingers.

“I am very stubborn and nothing you can say or do will sway me to buy new shoes unless I choose to do so,

so please back off and leave me to browse, I will let you know when my browsing turns into buying.”

I waited for his tongue to stop wriggling, to stay still, then I returned it to him and turned my back on him.

Behind my back he plotted and planned,

and came up with a ploy to show me,

to show me that he could indeed convince me to buy a new pair of shoes.

He really didn’t know me.

While the salesman rushed away to save my shoes from incineration,

to unfollow the orders he had followed,

I turned with bare-footed defiance towards the manager,

who was smirking smugly at the results of his actions thus far,

licking his lips in anticipation of a win and a sure sale.

“If you think that I won’t walk out of this store in my bare feet, you, Sir, would be wrong.”

He doubted this very much.

“I actually had every intention of buying a new pair of shoes in this shop, which is why I came in here.

When I told you that you could not convince me to buy a pair of shoes, I meant it. I had already convinced myself that that was exactly what I was going to do.



have managed to convince me not to buy a pair of new shoes!”

And then I woke up.

β€œYou might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is a palace.” ― Frank McCourt