Monday, August 4, 2008

The Red Shoes

amazing pump 1950s

After a childhood of scaring myself with Hans Christian Andersen stories (and let's not even get started with the perfectly-named Grimm Brothers, and their wicked stepfather Bruno Bettelheim), I am a little wary of this ad.

Red shoes that walk softly. Red shoes that walk around, seemingly, by themselves. They are the softest shoes that ever walked! They will walk right out of your closet, when you leave the house (perhaps you are too frightened to wear the gleaming scarlet shoes!) They go through your stuff and then they sneak away - very softly - no one notices that they are gone. Gone off to - I want to say "wreak havoc" but unfortunately I used this phrase yesterday. Gone off to menace the fashion world, perhaps. They will stomp on people's feet, quite hard, in crowds. They will kick at subway passengers and start fights. They will tap dance at 3 am in hotel corridors when everyone is trying to get some sleep (I think they may have been at one of the places we stayed at last summer).

And if they are Hans Christian Andersen shoes they will mostly be dancing - always there is the dancing! They just can't stop. Good thing you didn't wear them after all! The girl in the story did, because she was vain, and things did not come to a nice, happy ending! Hans Christian did not like a happily-ever-after Disney ending, did he. The poor girl had to have her feet cut off and then she repented of her vanity, all right. (I'd just be sorry I went to the wrong kind of shoe store! I see a lawsuit in there, somewhere, in the 21st century version of the story).

After all that, the red shoes just kept on going, as if powered by Eveready batteries.

It is a terrible story, really! It was one of the ones I read a lot, couldn't help reading, but it was tough to sleep after that. Not that I was wearing evil-minded red shoes, ever. I wore brown suede Hush Puppies and they did nothing except wear down at the heel after too much hopscotch.

But that is another matter....The ad. Back to the ad.

This ad shouts about how amazing, amazing, amazing these shoes are in every way. Tell me about it! I wouldn't be crunching them in the toe, that's for sure. You have to be polite to the Red Shoes. They are probably going to ask you some tricky questions. And possibly send you out to get them golden innersoles that are only available at a department store in Valhalla.

This ad is from the early 1950s, by the way.

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