Mr. Yellow Toes (or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love to Pack)
by Mark Boyle
October 29, 2012
After cavorting around The Association for 24 seasons, I have the art of packing down to a science. I have certain bags I use for short trips, different bags I use for the longer trips, and a method of selecting and stowing the clothes and other accoutrements I need that is foolproof.
Or so I thought.
We were in South Bend last Thursday and Friday for the final game of the pre-season. I enjoy these trips to non-NBA cities because it gives us a chance to see and do things we don't normally get a chance to experience. In this case, we were afforded a behind-the-scenes look at Notre Dame Stadium and I also schlepped out on my own to take a look at the Compton Family Ice Center, the new home of the Fighting Irish hockey team. As the photo of George Hill and Touchdown Jesus indicates, a good time was had by all.
Random thought: Before Notre Dame became relevant again this season, why wasn't Touchdown Jesus known as I Surrender Jesus? Arm motion is the same, and the name would have more accurately reflected the status of the football program. But I digress.
Anyway, in getting ready for the game, I couldn't find my dress shoes. I wasn't too concerned, since every once in a while housekeeping moves stuff around and it winds up somewhere other than the place you originally put it. But as I started packing things away for the trip home, it became apparent that my shoes had not made the trip and that I would be faced with a choice.
I could suck it up and wander around the Joyce Center in my stocking feet, or I could complement what I considered to be a stylish ensemble with a pair of tennis shoes and hope my fashion sense wouldn't be too badly ridiculed. Ordinarily, this would be a no-brainer. However, the casual footwear I had on this trip was not some unobtrusive, generic pair of white sneakers. No. I had my good friend Yellow Toes on the ride this time, and there was no way a pair of shoes as bright and gaudy as these would go unnoticed.
And they didn't. But rather than the ridicule I anticipated, the comments were almost universally positive. So much so that I'm semi-seriously considering going this way all the time. Perhaps I can start a fashion trend, becoming the Giorgio Armani or Hugo Boss of NBA Broadcasters.
And despite this misadventure, I remain committed to the packing system I've refined over countless road trips through the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Because Friday's gaffe illustrates something I already knew.
No system is foolproof if the person using it is a fool.