STEPPING IN STYLE
My high school teacher, Mrs. Campbell, always said, “It is rude to make fun of anybody’s name.”
I tried to obey her wishes until I heard the name Zappos from a friend who bought her shoes from them. I didn’t want to be rude, so I tried to listen to the name without smirking, hiccuping or going cross eyed, trying not to laugh. It isn’t the name that is so funny, but my association with it.
Zappo sounds like a secret Marx brother: the sneaky one who zapped people when they weren’t looking.
I see the brothers in my mind: Chico, Harpo, Groucho Gummo and Zeppo. Harpo, the silent one, Groucho, the wisecracking one with the mustache, bushy eyebrows and cigar. Zeppo and his kid brother Zappo: doesn’t it fit perfectly? My image of him is a guy with a purple mohawk and red horn rimmed glasses.
In reality, Zappos is an online shoe company. It offers a long picture catalogue of shoes for different tastes or lack thereof. What customers like most is their policy of not charging for shipping, postage or pigeon express delivery.
On dull, dreary days or bright freezing ones you can wile away some time ordering funky shoes in outrageous colors just for fun, and return them when something more important arises, like the call to the QVC network.
Recently I received a serious warning in an email from Zappos. It said that their computers had been hacked. Personal information may have been stolen. How frightening!
Now I live in fear that someone may be lurking around, looking for a woman wearing size 8 1/2 shoes, who prefers flats to high heels, understated classic styles to showy, boisterous ones, and modest, not lavish prices.
What could happen if the shoe hackers find me? My closet would go beserk. My Patent Leather shoes might unleash the Uggs, the Nubucks slip away with the Sling Backs, the Ballet Slippers bond with the Boots.
I deserve whatever happens to me and my shoes, because I disregarded Mrs. Campbell’s serious warning about making fun of anyone’s name.