Thursday, February 12, 2009

Shoe story

Before my first trip to the US, I was at the receiving end of a lot of ‘legends’ about public safety and rules there. I was told, in an appropriately hushed voice, that in the US, wearing expensive shoes in a not-so-nice part of town was sure to invite the attentions of a mugger. So if I happened to wear a branded pair of shoes, I’d be wise to keep to lit and crowded places. (Or go bare foot instead?) I, on my part, was so eager to test this out and make a beeline for the rough part of a city I did not know much about, wishing I’d get to meet a ‘real’ mugger that I was ready to sacrifice my 2 year old well worn but branded Reeboks for this once-in-a-lifetime chance. 

Now, this was long before the world discovered the “Bootchuck” mechanism. Shoes, branded or otherwise, leather or suede - are no longer safe. Muggers now have acute competition from a new tribe. Members of this tribe are found in huge roving droves (I like the way these 2 last words roll off the tongue, don’ you?) at events called “Protest marches”, “Press conferences”. The tribe claims that it has its origins in Iraq and its members are propagating their practices all over the globe. Latest reports in from Thailand note the trendsetting ways of this tribe. Read here.

The Shoe Sena, here in India, has vehemently denied this claim and wants to invite the tribesmen to India in order to experience the bootchuck first hand. The Sena says that the “bootchuck” was an Indian invention and ancient India’s gift to the world. Much like Aryabhatta’s Zero. They have put together a video of parliamentary proceedings (for anyone interested in watching it) that shows without a doubt that when short of furniture, mikes, speaker notes and other bodies, the “bootchuck” is the most popular alternative used by the people’s representatives. Now with their representatives actively setting such a trend, the people are sure to follow, is the Sena’s line of reasoning.

Not to be left far behind the world, the country (at that time) led by The Former President, has blazed its own track in responding to this upcoming trend. They have proudly unveiled the “Bootduck” mechanism from their arsenal for the world to see. While the accuracy of “Bootchuck” is still to be perfected, the “Bootduck” has evolved quite rapidly considering they just got a split second to come up with an appropriate reaction. “Bootduck” is already on its way to become a popular custom for heads of state, press secretaries and anyone else who has to face the roving droves often.
May the tribes increase!