“Anybody seen my shoes?”

The shoelace is one mankind’s greatest inventions, right there with the wheel, the zipper, the ballpoint pen, the tie clip and false teeth. I checked; it was around 2000 BC when the first evidence of shoelaces showed up in the timeline of man.

Unfortunately, I think the shoelace business is not going to be around much longer. A couple of months ago I was standing in a line to pick up my prescription, and noticed not one person using shoelaces to hold their shoes on. One person sported a pair of fake leopard skin house slippers, very eye-catching. An elderly gentleman had decided to wear penny loafers. Two more were wearing rubber boots with zippers, I guess to allow easy entry of their big feet. The most curious “shoes” in the line belonged to 2 people wearing flip-flops, curious because it was raining and the temperature was in the low thirties. On my way out of the store I saw Velcro fastened shoes, some more boots, a pair of wing tips (yes, without shoelaces) and what my wife calls “flats”. The only shoestrings I saw were in some basketball shoes worn by some high school kids.  Not one shoestring out of the bunch was tied. Maybe shoelaces last longer when you don’t tie them. Maybe these guys only tie them when they’re playing basketball.   

I’m wondering, 30 years from now, will kids even know how to tie shoelaces or drive a stick shift? Will shoelaces and a stick shift still be around?


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