An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
Comments welcome!

Friday, December 23, 2011

A whole new level of shoe geek

Yesterday, I questioned my shoe geekism.

In fact, I don't even think "shoe geek" applies in this case. Something way beyond that was at work here. I'm somewhat in awe...

And a little concerned.

So here's how it happened...

I took an extra day of vacation so that I could spend the day with my wife and daughter, and we went into downtown Seattle to check out the gingerbread houses at the Sheraton, and to have lunch and play a while at
Gameworks. Driving from Puyallup to Seattle, we missed the driveway to the parking garage and had to go around a couple blocks (darn one-way streets). We finally parked in the garage on the same block as Gameworks at about 12:15, and as we exited the garage I saw all these people on the sidewalk in lawn chairs, wrapped with blankets and coats.

At first I thought it was some Occupy movement.

But as I got to the corner, I realized they were all in line to get into
Niketown. But the store was already open.

Seriously? I turned around and looked back, and the line stretched as far down the block as I could see. Everyone seemed to be smiling. Or else their faces were just frozen in a grimace. Did I mention it was cold? Well, most midwesterners wouldn't think that the 37 or so at the time was "cold". I had to turn back and take a couple pictures.

As I stood there with my phone poised to take the picture, I heard a van door open next to me. "Pretty crazy, huh? The line goes way down around the corner."

I turned around and there were four guys in the van. They were taking a shift in the van to warm up a bit. I asked what was up.

Huge grins: "
Jordans. The Retro 11."

"You mean you're in line to buy shoes?"

At this point I knew I among a different league altogether.

I had to catch up to my wife and daughter, who had gone on ahead to Gameworks to get out of the cold. We had lunch, played a while (my daughter really liked the motorcycle racing game), then went across the street to the Sheraton and went through a relatively fast-moving line to view the gingerbread displays. This year's theme must have been railroads. I liked the Island of Misfit Toys themed display, while my daughter and wife preferred the Harry Potter one.

Then it was time to head home, about 3:30.

They were still there. I stopped to talk to them a bit more. I met Justin, who was standing up at the time, but I recognized him as one of the gentlemen in the van earlier. He was in about 5th in line, very near the front.

"We've been here since about nine," he said.


"Yeah, the key is the heaters. You just can't sleep when you're all cold and shivering." I looked down and saw two large
propane heaters set up about a foot from where they were sitting.

Wait... SLEEP!?!?! "You mean you've been here since 9 yesterday?"

"Yesterday morning. Yeah."

I was dumbfounded. And after all that, they still had another eight hours plus before the store would re-open just for this introduction.

I looked over at their van, still parked in the same place.

"So that's your van there? Do you have to move it every once in a while?"

"Naw, the police kind of look the other way."

One of the other gentlemen whom I also recognized from the van earlier was there as well. "Yeah, they posted all these rules this time. Last time it was a huge mess, and they handed out numbered wrist bands and sent people away to come back later. This is much better."

I shook their hands and wished them well, and we went on our way to check out the
Clam Lights at Coulon Park in Renton.

So at midnight last night, they'd finally get their chance to buy up to two pair of Jordan Retro 11 basketball shoes.

At $200 each.

I'm not worthy!!!

Think we'll see lines at REI when the new Merrell Barefoot Road Glove arrives? Or maybe at the Born to Run store when the New Balance Zero line comes out? Midnight openings?


Hey Justin, I hope they had your size.


Brian said...

Great article!

Ragnor relay said...

I bet I got to love your post! Thanks.