(I think that’s a much snappier title than ‘Need For Speed’, don’t you?)
This is a need I’ve not had for about a year and a half, but I feel it may remerge in the next few weeks. These shoes, scoopy shoes, are ones with a flat front, without laces, and a slightly upturned nose; an unadventurous example would be these ones. Such footwear is needed for school, not out of uniform constraints, but out of the great British pastime that is playing football at lunchtime in a suit; the problem is that, in the interests of lessening their window-repairing expenses, our school will only let us play with tennis-ball sized plastic balls, that look like this. Therefore, the best players are not necessarily those with a great touch, excellent vision or physical strength, but those with the scoopiest shoes, to flick the ball up the highest, opening up far more types of passes and shots than non-scoopy-shoed losers.
This is why I suck playing at school; I’m hardly the best in proper football, but at least I can kick that ball. My flat-fronted footwear means that I will never be as fancy in possession as other players.
And with the long-awaited reopening of the Sixth Form playground, after an 18-month closure, lunchtime football will become a thing again, which may actually be helpful as we get closer to exams as physical exercise is always a welcome break from rote-learning the difference between a revisionist and post-revisionist view of the beginning of the Cold War.
It’s not like I use these shoes for anything else: trainers do the job fine for all voluntary service/running/football/shopping/hair-cutting/rain-tasting arrangements I have to keep elsewhere, and so shouldn’t I be encouraged to look for pointy, scoopy shoes to improve my football prowess? Sadly, not as much as I’d like to be.
I’m only going to be at school for another three weeks of lessons, plus six days of exams in Summer, so buying new shoes probably isn’t worth it. Also, that would require a trip to the shoe shop, which I am opposed to on the grounds that going to buy something to go on your feet, while wearing the perfectly good things on your feet that got you to that shop, is deeply illogical, and a damning reflection of the little extravagant narcissists we all secretly are. Stalin wouldn’t have it this way, I can tell you that.
Also, there is the perpetual fear that I’ll go too far with the pointy shoe pursuit, and end up with cartoon pixie slippers, or straight-up clogs which, while may be very useful for playing football (I’ve never seen a team of Dutch pixies lose a football match) would undermine the whole ‘world- and self-loathing’ image I’ve got going on here with my black background and general lack of hope for the future of our species, and image is important these days. On that note, I wear a fully black suit (tie, shirt, jacket and trousers) to school, so green pixie slippers may not fit my outfit, you see.
So I probably won’t wear new, scoopy shoes for these last two and a half weeks of school, which means that, by extension, I can crank out the old ‘I’m much better with a real football’ excuse that’s kept my identity almost credible for the last seven years.