DP wants to know about a toy you craved, but never received. What about those toys you did get that did not measure up? I am here to address a wrong committed against my six year old self. Take the red shoes that advertised you could fly.
To this day, no other gift was so greatly anticipated and nothing was ever so disappointing as the failure of those shoes to make me fly like a rocket. I drove my parents mad, and Santa over the North Pole in my desire for those shoes. Bright shiny red with springs that you put on your feet and then you jumped up and down and it would be like flying. Oh my gosh, could anything be better than that?!
Keep in mind, I was a superb acrobat, phenomenal on monkey bars and a champion at swings. Near as I remember, I was six or seven years old when these shoes were being advertised as the end all be all. Up until then, a pair of toy gold high heels with elastic gold straps had been my favorite for dress-up. Never mind they broke after the second wearing, they were dangerous, adult, and swanky. And, because they were made for little girls, there was a good chance they would fit. Boss! Just boss!
Then, in 1962, they started advertising these babies:
(black & white photo doesn’t do justice to the pure snazziness of satellite jumping shoes!)
However, they were much cooler than the black & white photo demonstrates. They were fire engine red and, according to the commercial, you could jump better than on a pogo stick, leap tall buildings in a single bound. Christmas Eve I had the most marvelous dream:
I had received those red rocket shoes. My heart was bursting. I put them on and began to fly – leaping buildings. In my dream, I went to my school and was leaping over the swing sets, scaling walls, much like Spider Man today. I was good. The feeling of soaring was like nothing ever before. It was easy. I was spectacular and my friends were envious at what I could do.
Well, it doesn’t get better than that, does it?!
Christmas Day dawned and I was downstairs, dancing in anticipation in front of the tree. Yes, yes, yes, all the other stuff was great. Get to the shoes, already! My parents handed me a wrapped box. It was shoe box shaped. I trembled in pure ecstatic joy. Today, I would fly! I tore the wrapping paper, lifted the lid… pushed aside the tissue paper and there they were:
As soon as I could, I was up those stairs and out the front door to sit on the sidewalk and put my flying shoes on. Strapped ’em tight, did a couple of testing footsteps – a bit awkward, I admitted to myself, but obviously they were not designed for walking, Huntie, they were designed for flying! Jump for Pete’s sake!
I JUMPED! Ooohh, about a half a foot off the ground…. Hmmm…. took a deep breath, checked the shoes, took another breath and JUMPED!!! This time, maybe a little over a half a foot. JUMP, JUMP, JUMP, JUMP, CRASH! Hit the ground, hard. Okay, some practice was involved, but the child in me was beginning to suspect we’d been had. This didn’t match my dream at all and the contrast of ease in the dream and outright sweat in realtime was ….DISAPPOINTING…. JUMP, JUMP, CRASH! JUMP, JUMP, CRASH! JUMP, CRASH, stand up, CRASH!
I’ve been told I can hold a grudge better than anybody else on the face of planet earth. To this day, I am furious about the failure of those shoes to make me leap tall buildings in a single bound. Here’s the kicker: they are selling for $84.00 today. Go figure. Sheesh.