In my lifetime, I have been blessed to see literally thousands of inventions that have made our lives as human beings easier and more fulfilling.
Among the more important creations I’ve seen incorporated into society over the years are remote control devices, the Internet, cable television, pizza with cheese cooked inside the crust, the Flowbee Precision Home Haircutting System, Chia pets, laptop computers, cellular phones, spray-on hair, VCRs, compact discs, stain-free pants, that yellow line that shows where the first-down marker is on TV, and medicine that makes riding a bike enjoyable even if you have a venereal disease.
But in recent years, I have become enamored with an invention, or perhaps an innovation, that is maybe the greatest development of my lifetime – laceless shoes.
Yes, I know, shoes without laces have been around for eons. There are penny loafers, moccasins, boots, slippers, etc., etc. But recently I have seen an increase in the production and popularity of all types of shoes that are now lace- less – tennis shoes, running shoes, dress shoes, bowling shoes, Irish dance shoes, galoshes, sabatons. This wasn’t the case before.
Why am I so thrilled with this laceless shoe innovation? Basically, because I’m lazy.
Tying shoes is hard. You have to bend or crouch down to tie them. They can come undone and you have to tie them again. And then when you want to take them off, you have to bend or crouch down again and untie them. What if you’re moving furniture into a house in Japan? Think about how many times you would have to tie and untie your shoes going into and out of the house.
Add that physical stress to the mental strain of having to remember how to tie your laces. My brain basically was filled to capacity in 10th grade. If I were allowed to forget how to tie my shoes at that point, I would have probably been able to at least make a C in Geometry.
My education suffered because I had to keep that shoe-tying stuff in my noggin. Not listening didn’t help either. Oh, and not studying too.
Future generations won’t have to suffer the same fate. Slip-on footwear requires minimal thought, and more importantly, maximum comfort.
Just the other day, I was in a meeting – one of those meetings where it lasts three hours and napping is frowned upon. Usually, with lace-up shoes, after about 10 minutes, I get fidgety and uncomfortable and want to take off my shoes – or pants. Of course, to do so, I would have to go under the table, which is also frowned upon.
But with my new laceless leather shoes, I just slipped my shoes on and off at will, with no one the wiser. What is usually a tedious chore turned into a thoroughly enjoyable experience – minus the guy who incessantly complained that “something in here smells like a dead dog.”
Currently, I am in the process of transforming my entire shoe collection – all 5 1/2 of them – from laced to laceless. I suggest you do the same.
A laceless society could turn pain into pleasure, tedium into triumph, gloom into glee, and exhaustion into exultation. And maybe, with our brains free from having to recall the lace-tying formula, everyone will be able to remember their spouse’s birthday.
Footloose and fancy free, I be. How ‘bout you?