Thursday, April 23, 2015

Listen, street corner shoe-shine guy, it's not that I don't appreciate the offer. It's just that these boots are supposed to look a little beat up, that's kind of the point.

I'm sure you've got skillz, and I know you work hard, and $3 is really pretty good. Those tweens back in Plaza Grande charged like...twice that.

But the last time I let someone who wasn't me shine my shoes, they ended up an entirely different color. I mean sure, I should have seen it coming. Street children in a plaza in Quito probably can't tell the difference between brown and cordovan. I imagine you can, in fact I think I saw distinct stains of each on your apron. But since that fateful Ecuadoran afternoon, no one puts polish on my shoes but me.

Also, and I hate to be pedantic, but once someone turns down your (admittedly cheap) services, you're probably not going to have any better results with "Well lemme get you to buy me a hot dog for $3, then," that's not an effective use of the foot-in-the-door phenomenon. And I know, for a fact, that that hot dog would become a dog/chips/drink meal the second we got to the cart. You're not gonna grift me like that. Never again.

But I wish you the best, hopefully someone less finicky than me will hire you for a quick shine-up.

Also, good luck with the imminent turf war between you and that well-dressed young blood with the sound system halfway up the block. Sure, he's more technological, and he drapes a towel over his bent forearm like a waiter at a fancy restaurant, but you've had that spot WAY longer. Frankly, I prefer your old-school barking to his DJ-style pronouncements that he recorded himself and repeats aloud while it plays.

And he's going to learn pretty quick how hard it is to get cordovan stains out of a suit jacket.


...on a crooked corner of a dirty street.

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