Category: Narrative

Everybody Loves Baby Chucks

Have you ever gone through, for example, a grocery store and saw a toddler wearing a pair of baby Chucks? You know what I’m talking about, baby Chucks. They must be the most adorable thing you have ever seen. Tiny versions of your favorite Chuck Taylors in all different colors. Now that’s what I am talking about. Next time you see some baby Chucks, be sure to give props to the ‘rents that have such stylish kids. Spread the love in this Chuckverse. You know what it is.

Chuckerella: A Short Story

So get this.

I’m on eBay, salivating as I browse through the listings of custom Chucks.  I’m just passing the time away when suddenly I see them: a pair of low-top Chuck Taylor All-stars, golden glow, size ten, $15 new.  I black-out for a millisecond and look up at a screen saying “Thank you for your purchase”.

A week later and I get this knock at my door.  I hastily drop the old copy of Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition I’m holding and fling the door open to see a UPS man with a handlebar mustache sporting a pair of aviators that are glinting in the sun.  He’s standing like a boss with his right hand behind his back and his left extended outward toward me holding a brown, boxed package.

I snatch up the box with a quick “thanks” and rip it open Hulk style.  Low and behold, I’m staring at the most epic pair of Chucks I’ve ever owned.  They smell like Taylor’s oughtta smell; the fabric is smooth and vibrant, and as I slip them on my quivering feet and tie those laces I swear that the power of the Earth gods flows out of the ground I’m standing on and is siphoned into my shoes.  Yet as I raised from my bent position to stand upright I am met with a peculiar sight.

There, on the ground at my feet, is ANOTHER pair of Chucks in the same style but WAY smaller than the glorious pair on my feetsies.  I realize that I am witnessing a miracle and I’m trying to figure out what it means.  My first thought was that somehow I rubbed my feet together with my Chucks on –which of course would cause both of my feet to orgasm simultaneously and thus produce some lil’ Chuck babies (Chuckies, if you will).  Then I just realized that the dude from eBay accidentally sent me an extra pair.

Now even though these Chuckies are epic, I know there is no way in hell that I’m gonna fit my gorilla feet in em’.  But being the true Chuck lover I am, there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell that I’m about to abandon these babies on the street.

Outgoing mass text to all my female friends: “Free Chucks!”  24 replies.

Twenty-minutes later, my house is stuffed with enough females to satisfy Wilt the Stilt for a night and all of them want a shot at these Chucks.  One by one, each of the femmes desperately try to stuff themselves into the epic Chucks and one by one, they fail.  Big, medium, and even small women leave my house feeling like ugly stepsisters being rejected by a handsome prince.

Til up walks this one bad chick, let’s call her Zippy.  Zippy got game; she’s one of them real bad mamma jammas with an attitude to match her good looks.  She steps up to the Chucks, looks right into my eyes, and slips them shits on NO PROBLEM.  And in that moment, the cosmos aligned as we stood face to face in our matching golden glow chucks gazing deep into each other’s eyes.  We both leaned in for the kiss –I the handsome prince and her my princess- and right at the moment before our lips touch, she leans into my ear and whispers “thanks for the shoes Marcie” and walks out the door.  Tease.

I haven’t seen Zippy since then, nor has anyone else for that matter.  Some say that she met up with some musicians and is now producing beats for a secret underground rap society.  Others say that she set off as a lone wanderer of the American wastelands.  But I’m not worried about her.  Wherever she is, I know I’ll see her again –for the cosmos align but once in a lifetime and determine our fates.  And once two fates have become intertwined, nothing can separate their destiny: not even a new pair of Chucks.

Even shoes have a sole

A Public Service Announcement of tarsal coverings

Chucks are a memory, a footprint of years of concerts and fun times. I’ve had this one pair since I was 17 and its been to every concert with me. They have been to venues varying from the basement of a friend, to a coffee house, to the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. they have withstood anything from punk bass-lines to the extreme mosh pits of bands like Children of Bodom or In Flames. These shoes are a memory of some of the best times in my life. Regardless of how they smell or look, these Chucks are mine and to throw them out is to throw away the only physical proof of the places I have stepped.

So next time you are about to throw a way an old pair of Chucks, remember the good times you have had together… give them a second chance.

Chuck Taylor All Star Jeff

My name is Jeff. I grew up in Chicago. I now live in Nashville, TN, where I’m a songwriter and record producer. I like good coffee, great restaurants, the Chicago Cubs, the Chicago Bears, anything F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, and the Beatles. I like all that. However, I am madly in love with my Converse Chuck Taylor shoes.

Right now, I own 5 pairs that I rotate between. I want 7…one for each day of the week. I think I have 3 or 4 additional pairs in “worn too much/beat to death” retirement. I wear them all the time. On stage, in the studio, at a bar, on a date…wherever. If you meet me, there’s a 96.8% chance I’m wearing Chucks. If I’m not, I’m also probably wearing a suit and tie, and wishing I was instead wearing a pair of my favorite shoes.

Chuck Taylor’s are both completely classic and completely modern. They tie you to the past, yet you can still write your own story in them. You want to channel Pistol Pete Maravich on the basketball court in the 60s? Chucks. Are you a Silverlake hipster rocking skinny jeans? Better have Chucks. Want to be hip hop? Yep…Chucks are there too. Are you the introspective songwriter type? You know it…Chucks. Want to find a way to express your own individual fashion ideal within a context our culture has known and loved for 50 years? It’s Chucks.

Just like the guitar, Chucks will never go out of style, they will never not be cool. If you don’t have a pair, slap yourself and get one. If you do have a pair, get another. How many pairs is too many? I don’t even understand that question.

Meanwhile, I’ll be in Nashville trying to write a great song and drinking coffee from Crema. Perhaps I’ll see you there.

Check out Jeff’s Twitter Page @jeffpardo