things that make me happy

Children with Wheels in Their Shoes Falling Over

Things that make me happy: #2

Recently, I went for an hour-long walk. At the end of this hour-long walk, I walked up a steep flight of stairs. At the end of the flight of stairs, I tried to beat all of my weightlifting records. At the end of making my body hate me for 90 minutes, I went for an hour-long walk.

I gingerly walked along Oriental Parade, my thighs meekly complaining with each step. “Why. did. you. do. this. to. us?”
I had just enough energy left to do two things: move forward in a straight line, and pay attention to Greg Proops’ nasal pontificating. I did not have the energy to play slalom with the hundreds of people zigzagging across the footpath.

Children are hazardous and unpredictable. We all know this. By the time I have kids, I hope that society has done a 180 and has decided that putting one’s offspring on a leash is acceptable. However, as it stands now, it seems that parents are all about letting little Sally and Timmy experience the world. Run free! Don’t worry about the grimacing girl hobbling along the path! Consider the entire world your playground!

To make matters worse, it seemed that all of these hippie parents had decided to affix wheels to their wee urchins. Scooters, rollerblades, tricycles… I felt like I was in some sort of treacherous circus.

And that’s not even the worst part.

More than once I passed an innocuous looking child, scampering along the path. Then, with one sudden leg flick, wheels descended from their shoes and they were gliding.

Worse than Crocs, in my opinion.
Worse than Crocs, in my opinion.

I find these shoes incredibly, unspeakably horrifying. Children with wheel’ed limbs become a cross between a wheeler (the creepiest characters in Return to Oz: a movie that also contained a rock demon and a woman with a hallway full of disembodied heads that could speak) and one of the Gentlemen from the ‘Hush’ episode of Buffy.

I wish I had this Wheeler's eye makeup skills.
I wish I had this Wheeler’s eye makeup skills.
The Gentlemen. Not as polite as the name would suggest.
The Gentlemen. Not as polite as the name would suggest.

…now, hopefully you’re on board with both of these pop-culture references. If not, all I’ve done is show you some guys with funny makeup on, so you’ll just have to use your imagination, and picture them all gliding around, no hinging of the knee necessary, no heel-toe walk, just alarming FLOATING. And now go rent both of these things, because they are amazing.

So, my thighs are protesting, Greg Proops is soliloquising, and all around me, these innocent looking sprites are transforming into unpredictable gliding monsters. Ten minutes of playing dodge ’em with these imps and I’m ready to get on a bus. Then something glorious happens. One of them falls down. He wasn’t hurt, just embarrassed. And I felt a flutter of delight.

Here’s where I should tell you not to judge me. I should tell you I’m a good person, I promise, I put money in buckets. But perhaps I’m not that nice, really. Because the shiver of schadenfreude I felt when I saw that kid flail and fall is still with me. The little internal chuckle of delight has lasted for a week and shows no signs of mutating into guilt. So, to add to my list of things that make me happy (read #1 here):

#2: When children with wheels in their shoes fall over (not a proper faceplant, but just a tumble); leaving them red-faced and perhaps a little wary of continuing to wear their creepy, gliding shoes.

8 thoughts on “Children with Wheels in Their Shoes Falling Over”

  1. I love that Return to Oz and Buffy are mentioned within the same paragraph here. Pretty much an unbeatable combo

  2. I still have nightmares about Return to Oz. Wheelies laughing, talking rocks.. it was all a bit much for me.

    Also, I think putting your kid on a leash is perfectly acceptable as long as the leash is attached to a fluffy cute monkey backpack, and not just a bit of old rotting rope.

    1. I think I need to return to Return to Oz. It’s been ages since I’ve seen it.

      Old rotting rope is no good, you’re right. If they pull too hard it might snap, then you lose your kid and need to go make a new kid. Effort.

      1. Suppose we were a divorced couple.. and I got custody of the kid. Now suppose the kid dies and I gotta buy a new kid.

        Give me $400!

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