Go ahead. Add “post-almost-bike crash traumatic disorder” to the list of things for which we are suing the manufacturers of Crocs (you know, the molded rubber-substitute monstrosities reluctantly categorized as “shoes”). That’s after, of course, “severe aesthetic distress,” “acute depression in regards to the future, as in, what could possibly be the next craze? Styrofoam sneaker-pumps?” and “recurring nightmares caused by the sight of a pylon-orange, perforated pair on the feet of the hitherto respected Julian Schnabel.”
The bike crash in question nearly—near-fatally—occurred on Queen Street West, just east of Spadina, at that post-sunset, pre-nightfall hour during which sleepy eyes are prone to play cruel tricks. In fact, that’s what we thought those five little white letters were: an optical illusion of sorts. Surely they spelled “Docs,” as in Martens, the shoe we actually want to wear this fall. But no. We did a double take. And promptly missed the back of a taxi cab by about, oh, one and a half centimetres.
Because, see, if you had told us six months ago that a Crocs store would be opening in Toronto, we would have shrugged smugly and said “Umm, Etobicoke doesn’t count as Toronto. Sorry.”
And if you had told us that, actually, said invasion would be occurring in the very heart of our city, at the precise intersection of downtown cool and post-Starbucks gentrification, we would have laughed in your face.
And then, Crocs showed up in ours, and we couldn’t look away. A black hole of taste opening up between French Connection and the Stem Diner (soon to be turned into a Dairy Queen, no doubt), the new store is being constructed at a relentless pace. We close our eyes when we cycle past, thinking that perhaps, after all, it would be better to die by bike crash than to live on a street trod by such hideous heels.
Look, we’re not judging you for wearing the things. We totally get that not all of you can look good all the time. Like, some of you Crocs-wearers are apparently stay-at-home parents? Awesome. As long as you actually stay at home in your thirty dollar atrocities. Nurses? We’d frankly rather see you smoking outside the hospital doors than stepping foot through them in purple poly-whatever-they’re-made-of, but sure, whatever.
What we’re saying is, if these crimes against fashion (nay, humanity) have to be bought, must they be bought on the city’s busiest shopping street? Can’t they be sold like drugs, out of the puffy pockets of Brampton-dwelling dealers? Or like cigarettes these days, in white cupboards with labels in squint-inducingly tiny type? Must we publicly acknowledge the middle class’ sick fixation on comfort over style? Openly face the horror, the horror of this darkest imaginable place of the sole?
You see it. Believe it. Now please, do something about it. A little class action, if you will, for what little class Queen Street has left.
Photo by Miles Storey/Torontoist.