Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Shoe Hospital

I’m usually on my game prior to traveling. All electronic items charged, packed a few days in advanced, shoes…. crap! I had to pack a variety of shoes for the different activities in which I would be participating the next two weeks I and realized after the fact that my two pairs of dress shoes needed to be shined. More people notice shoes and their appearance than many of us like to think and I like shined shoes.

I’m in Chicago, Midway Airport and I’m wearing one of the pairs of shoes that need to be shined. I’m doing one of my pre-flight rituals, walking the airport. My mindset is, “If I’m going to be sitting on a plane for awhile, I may as well try to get some exercise prior to flying.” Plus, I dig airports. So, I’m walking around Midway and I was perusing the scene when I came across a sign that read, “Shoe Hospital.” I deduced that it may be a place to get my shoes shined. There were no patients in the shoe hospital and the older gentleman I took to be the shoe doctor asked me, “Would you like to get your shoes shined? And I replied, “Yes, sir.” We began conversing as my shoes were being shined, first time I ever had my shoes shined  like this. I asked, “How’s business?” The gentleman shining my shoes replied, “ Business is always slow in the summer time, people don’t wear shoes, they wear flip-flops and sandals.” I never thought about that. He shared with me that he used to work on the other side of Chicago at O’Hare Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world. He said, “Business was good at O’Hare, but Midway is closer to home and more convenient. The last question I asked was, “Sir, why is your business called the Shoe Hospital and why are you the Shoe Doctor? At this, the proprietor shot me a huge smile and began laughing as he said, “Because I save soles.”

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