I took my mom somewhere today because I inadvertently made the mistake of telling her I was going somewhere she likes to go.
Target. Because everybody’s mom likes Target.
The COVID has changed life to the point where I actually walked through a pair of shoes. True story. Not having a gym means walking up and down hills every morning, which means logging about 360 miles the past three months, according to my phone. Which, coincidentally, was how long I’ve had my latest pair of cheap shoes.
Two more weeks and, if I would’ve just kept walking straight that first day back in March, I’d be writing this from Disneyland.
My feet hurt this fine Saturday morning so—being a trained observer—I examined my shoes. I found holes clean through both heels. Seriously; one was big enough to watch TV through.
So, because I will never understand why people pay more for shoes than they do a decent pizza, I went to Target to buy shoes. With my mom. In her car … because that’s her gas and the car it powers doesn’t overheat if you idle more than three minutes, like mine.
Yes … I have first world problems. The world is going straight to hell while I tirelessly search for more affordable recreational footwear.
But, to be fair …Target carries really awful shoes.
They didn’t used to but, you know … 2020. Whatever. The downside of driving my mom’s much better car than mine is listening to her very old radio station (the music – I have no idea how old the radio station is). In such situations, I’ve found having a run-in with famous singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka becomes inevitable. This day was no different.
When my mom’s friend Neil started singing—and I know they’re friends, because my mom yelled his name and kind of punched the air in front of her when his voice showed up … so they must be friends—I said something that didn’t seem odd at the time.
“I’ve seen Neil Sedaka in his underwear.”
My mom, whom we’ll call Lynne, because that’s her name, looked at me and, as usual, pretended whatever nutty drivel that just spilled from my mouth never existed. Which I’m pretty used to, as I sometimes (often) just say things that sound sensible to me, but not to healthy people.
Then I got to thinking: I’ve seen some really weird shit.
Besides, spending Saturday afternoon in a store with hundreds of people whose faces were covered up by fashion masks doesn’t feel so weird anymore. Not this year. And, yes, I did see Neil Sedaka in the locker room of a suburban gym walk right past me. Without pants. In Walnut Creek, of all places.
And it really was Neil Sedaka … I checked. I didn’t ask at the time because I don’t just approach strangers while at least one of you isn’t wearing pants. It’s just not courteous. Neither is asking for ID. He obviously didn’t have his wallet on him.
Plus, I was sleeping with someone who worked at the gym, so … I verified it with her.
I can too say that. She was my wife. At least she was then …
But back to the weird stuff, because it’s a weird age we live in and, to truly get someone’s attention these days requires a level of pure weirdness that’s generally hard to come by. Partially naked Neil Sedaka certainly qualifies.
Things are mighty serious these days, and rightfully so. It’s an absolute blessing to be able to complain about shoes. Which I didn’t find anyway, because Target no longer carries any shoes decent enough for this cheap slob to purchase.
I’ll have to go to the mall tomorrow. The same mall where, as a child, I once saw Ginger Rogers, standing in front of JC Penney.
Follow music critic Tony Hicks at Twitter.com/TonyBaloney1967.