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Heels on Wheels


Heels on Wheels

by Kenneth Lyen

I was nearly knocked over by a little kid today. It was during my lunch break. I had just eaten at a nearby hawker centre. Duck noodles accompanied by a bowl of soup. Chopstick licking good. Burp.

Sauntering back to my office, punctuated by casual window shopping, I suddenly saw hurtling towards me, a high speed lump of child. He couldn’t stop in time, and my reflexes were dulled by post-prandial hypoglycaemia. "Hey, watch it" he shouted at me, as if it was my fault that I trespassed into his flight path. I was too stunned to react appropriately, and my instinct, trained by my conservative middle class parents, was to be perpetually polite. "Are you all right?" I asked the boy. Without even a word of apology, he sped off quick as The Flash.

I realised that the problem arose because he was wearing shoes with wheels embedded into the heels (heelies). These shoes are now ubiquitous, and has largely replaced both the squeaky sports shoes, and heels that light up when you put your weight on them. This is a new fad. Children think it is cool to race across shopping centres and any pedestrian walkways wearing these heels on wheels.

"Freedom is a wheel in your sole", screams a poster advertising these shoes. "Freedom obligates responsibilities", I thought to myself.

My friend who owns a shop, said that when he was shown a pair of these shoes, before the fad caught on, he dismissed it. "It would never catch on" he told the distributor. Now he lives to regret his decision. Trying to comfort him, I told him the true story of Timex Watch, who was offered the distributorship of shiny colourful plastic watches, before they became fashionable. They turned their noses at these cheap-looking "toy" watches, and lived to regret turning down one of the most profitable distributorship of Swatch watches.

Curiously enough, I would have expected the rate of fractured arms and head injuries to have shot up with the sale of these heelies. But this does not seem to have happened. I guess the reflexes of young children are lightning fast and they usually avert disaster in the nick of time.

Like all fads, I’ll give it a year or two, tops. And these heelies will end up in the eternal resting place of all yesteryear’s fads. Yep, I know, at bottom, I’m a heel! Hehe!