Another remarkable shoe story
Adam Bushby (AB)
The unusual events described in this chronicle occurred last Saturday in Angel, north London. I’d arranged to meet Rob MacDonald (co-editor of Magic Spongers) outside Highbury & Islington tube and then we walked up to the Craft Beer Co on White Lion Street. Although it’s always nice to go out for a drink, we’d ostensibly met to talk about our new book (Falling for football: The teams that shaped our obsession, publication date: soon). As we did so, my eyes fell on Rob’s shoes. “Are they your new maroon and black shoes that you got free from JD Sports?” I asked. “Maroon?” he asked incredulously. “They’re black.” They weren’t black. They were maroon and black.
Rob MacDonald (RM)
Although it’s always nice to go out for a drink, I’d ostensibly met Adam Bushby (co-editor of Magic Spongers) to talk about our new book (Falling for football: The teams that shaped our obsession, publication date: soon). We were sitting outside the Craft Beer Co on White Lion Street, mid-discussion, and I thought that while we were on the subject of things we’ve achieved by virtue of our fair blog, I’d point the shoes I’d got free from JD Sports in his general direction. “Are they your new maroon and black shoes that you got free from JD Sports?” he asked. “Maroon?”, I said incredulously. I was incredulous because I knew my shoes were black. But they weren’t black. They were maroon and black. I couldn’t believe it.
Because Rob’s reaction had been so disbelieving, I took another look at his shoes. “They’re maroon and black mate.” I was looking at them as I said this. They were indeed maroon and black. It looked like Rob couldn’t believe what he was seeing. “I thought they were black. They were black when I left the house.” “How can they now be maroon and black then?” I asked. “I don’t know.”
We started talking about the book a bit more and other things. But every now and then I made sure I looked at Rob’s shoes, to make sure they were still maroon and black. They were.
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I thought they were black. I said so. “They were black when I left the house”, I told Adam, who clearly wasn’t as surprised as me, perhaps because he was wearing maroon shoes himself and was used to seeing some on his feet. He tried to move the conversation on a bit more to the book and other things.
But every now and then I made sure I looked at my shoes, to make sure they were still maroon and black. They were.
Adam went to the bar, more comfortable now I’d accepted that I was wearing maroon and black shoes – which admittedly, did look very nice – but what he wasn’t to know was that I HADN’T accepted that fact. I hadn’t accepted it at all. Why would JD Sports send me shoes that didn’t work? Why would JD Sports send me MAGIC shoes? Magic shoes that only turned maroon under a heat lamp? Why didn’t they carry some sort of warning or consumer advice?
I thought I’d check with Adam who as it happened had received a free jacket from Scott’s Menswear around the same time. “Where’s that jacket you were wearing last week? The one you got free from Scott’s Menswear?” I asked as he put down another pair of pints on the table.
As I put down another pair of pints on the table, Rob said to me: “Where’s that jacket you were wearing last week? The one you got free from Scott’s Menswear?”
“It’s a little too flimsy for this inclement weather. But I’ve had nothing but compliments for it,” I replied. Rob nodded, as if to say “I see” and then I added: “But you can find this and a range of jackets at scottsmenswear.com.” I didn’t add the www. because I thought Rob would know that already.
I didn’t have a clue what Adam was talking about. He was just babbling away in some kind of binary code or something. I kind of understood that his jacket wasn’t really the type you could wear when sitting outside in mid-to-late November, which seemed fair enough. But didn’t deal with the questions surrounding my (possibly) magic shoes at all.
Although further discussion of our upcoming book (in which 44 contributors recall the first formative moments football became more than a blur of colour and noise in their lives – coming soon in digital and print) took my mind off it a little, I kept checking my shoes. I tried to put them in shadow so the effects of the heat lamp above my head would wear off. But it didn’t make a difference.
Eventually we left the pub. I was quietly hopeful that my shoes would be black again once we got out of what was clearly some kind of hallucination. We walked down Chapel Market, not two minutes from White Lion Street. My shoes were black. Black as night, apart from the white flashes. “MY SHOES ARE BLACK AGAIN” I proclaimed, a little too loudly if anything.
After a little bit more discussion about the upcoming book (Falling for football: The teams that shaped our obsession), we left the pub. Now, the last time I’d looked at Rob’s shoes, they were maroon and black. As this was the first time I’d seen Rob’s shoes, that he got free from JD Sports, presumably in return for something far, far better than this blog post, to me they were indeed just these really nice maroon and black shoes. So imagine my horror when we walked down Chapel Market and there’s Rob strutting not four yards from me, IN BLACK SHOES.
His shoes were maroon and black under the heat lamp in the beer garden at The Craft Beer Co. I checked with alarming and perhaps unnecessary regularity. On Chapel Market, they were completely black. And I cannot fathom how this has happened. I couldn’t even see if it was a strange effect of the heat lamp because hilariously I was ACTUALLY wearing maroon shoes on Saturday night, so mine never changed.
I did not know WHAT to think.
Are there any conclusions to be drawn from this cautionary tale? Well, yes, as it happens. Here they are:
A) Be wary giving us free stuff in return for blog posts.
B) Get yourself to JD Sports if you want a pair of magic shoes
C) Get yourself to Scott’s Menswear if you want a jacket that’s a little too flimsy to be worn in inclement weather but will more than do the job from about March onwards.
D) OUR BOOK, FALLING FOR FOOTBALL, IS COMING SOON AND IT IS MINT.