Friday, April 30, 2010

Quick Takes - The Shape Ups invasion


Did you know that Joe Montana made $80 million last year?

$80 million. Joe Montana. Who retired from the NFL in 1994. 16 years after his NFL playing career ended, Joe Montana made $80 million. Doesn't that seem suspicious to you? It seemed suspicious to me, until I realized what Joe Montana wears on his feet.

Skechers Shape Ups.

Yes, the shoes. I've watched the Skechers commercials with hand-clapping glee for a long time, I've researched the product, trying to understand if these supposed "health benefits" are true or if it's just some evil plan to get people to wear goofy shoes in public. Apparently Dr. Horrible's moved on from the Freeze Ray. But the more I researched the Shape Ups, the more my brain started to sway, I felt close to the Shape Ups, connected to the Shape Ups, I heard them talk to me, the sole of the shoe flapping free from the top ...

"Erik ... join us ... join the collective."

Skechers Shape Ups come from a distant planet of oddly-shaped foot creatures. Their planet was destroyed and the Shape Ups, the only remnants of their once-great foot society, traveled millions of light years, lost, alone, looking for a new host planet to infest, before crash landing on Earth many years ago. Government researchers tested the shoe mullets in a private lab under the Liberty Bell, blowing them up, melting them, carbon dating them, even putting them on and walking over the fake terrain they have at REI.

Suddenly, the researchers felt different, they felt ... alive. They could hear each other's thoughts, communicating through the shoes. The hive mind was reborn. They infiltrated Skechers, a shoe company that made things you bought in high school, using catchy marketing and "doctor recommendations" to begin their quest to take over the world, and then, ultimately, Joe Montana. He put them on as a joke one time for his kids, never realizing that his life was going to change forever. They chose him, for his popularity, for his influence, and, mostly, for his great hair.

Joe Montana was going to be the Shape Ups hive queen.

Yes, Joe Montana made $80 million last year, and yes, his back feels great, his abdominals are being flexed as he walks, his buttocks are firm, and his blood circulation is in tip-top shape, but it came with a price. Oh yes, Joe Montana, it came with a price. You may have your millions of dollars and your hilarious TV commercial, and through the power of the Shape Ups hive you grow stronger every day, but you are forever linked with the Shape Ups, you are forever their champion, and only when you die, if they even let you, will you be free from the grasp of the Shape Ups collective.

Pam, from Massachusetts, a former freethinker who sadly fell under the alien shoespell, left a testimonial on the Skechers Shape Ups Web site.

"They are so nice to walk in and in fact really inspire you to walk by the way they propel you ... they're very supportive and made really well ... I don't know how I ever lived without them!"

Nor they you, Pam.

Nor they you.

What Pam doesn't (and can't) report on the Web site is that she can't bring herself to take the shoes off. Look, they support her, they inspire her, she can't live without them. They are Mother. I've never seen someone who owns a pair of Skechers Shape Ups NOT wearing them. That's because they fuse to the bones of the foot, twist up the fibula and connect to the base of the spinal cord. The Shape Ups are physically holding people like Pam's posture upright, yet another blessing/curse of the shoe sensation.

My only question is who's next? Will it be LeBron James who fortuitously laces up a pair of Shape Ups? Maybe he'll finally win a championship wearing them, but, like Montana, will live out the rest of his days a cold, empty husk, a meal for a hungry parasite. Will Alex Rodriguez, in yet another money-hungry move, slip into a warm pair of form-fitting Shape Ups for an advertising gig and fall victim to the power of Joe Montana's feet?

It may already be too late.
  • As if LeBron James couldn't fall deeper into the catacombs of hatred ... wait, let me brand that, The Catacombs of Hatred (I smell a column) ... he shoots a left-handed free throw in a four-point playoff game because he bonked his elbow three weeks ago. Listen, LeBrizzle, I know you think you're hot shit, I know you've bought into your own hype, I know you hear people say you're the best ever even though you've never won a championship and you believe it, but you crossed the line against the Bulls. You tossed your warm-ups to the floor as a Bulls warm-up kid waited with arms extended to collect them. Classy as always. When Derrick Rose (baller) jumped into you and you "injured" your elbow, you immediately grabbed your face like Lee Harvey Oswald opened fire from the upper deck, quickly realized the refs didn't buy it and grabbed your elbow instead. And finally, you shot a left-handed free throw in a FOUR POINT PLAYOFF GAME. Why? Because you wanted a Jordan Moment. You wanted the eyes-closed free throw a la mode. You wanted even more attention than ESPN gives you. You're the neediest, most self-serving whore of an NBA player the league has ever known and that's going to come back to bite you for the rest of your career. LeBron's total number of championships: Zero.
  • This is like selfish week in Quick Takes. Up next on our show is Cristiano Ronaldo, midfielder for Real Madrid and the most expensive footballer in the world. Crissy, as he's known in my house, left Manchester United for greener ($$$) pastures last year, joining Madrid in the richest transfer and wage deal in the history of football. Just ONE YEAR into his Madrid career, Crissy's already looking ahead. "I spent several years wanting to play in Madrid but I don't see myself here at 40. Football is all about cycles - if you have already won everything with a team you have to change." No! Wrong! Football is about loyalty! It's about sustained success for the city and fans that devote so much of their time and money to YOU. Not according to Crissy Ronaldo, who thinks wherever the next big paycheck is where he should be, which ultimately means one thing: The L.A. Galaxy! Paris Hilton, bust out the Hypnotiq and dust off your vagina, Crissy Ronaldo's coming to town soon.
  • The Raiders are reportedly going to cut JaMarcus Russell! If Japan ever starts a professional football league, a) that'd be incredible to watch and b) JaMarcus Russell has to join the league and go all Ochocinco on us and put "Godzilla" on the back of his jersey.
  • Back to the Japanese Football League (JFL), I think I'm really onto something here. The Japanese do everything better! Step one, put everyone in skin-tight leotards. Step two, surround the field with razor wire. Step three, giant mascots that wander onto the field and can be used in game situations once per quarter. Step four, octopi. Step five, more octopi. Step six, make the ball explode at random moments throughout the game. I could probably do this for another hour ...
  • What questions should be off limits? That's the raging debate in the NFL right now after Miami Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland asked draft prospect Dez Bryant if his mother was a prostitute. Personally, I think it's a valid question. A general manager, especially in South Beach, should be worried about his players' access to paid sex. What's the team going to be focused on with a hooker amidst its ranks, football or sex? My guess is sex. Or, potentially, sex-football if those can somehow come together (lord knows I've tried). But why stop there, Ireland? Other potential questions John Ireland could have asked Dez Bryant: When you see the color red, does it make you think of that guy you killed? Are you sure you didn't kill anybody?  If you were to kill a guy, how would you do it? Is your mother, by any chance, a hooker? ... Wow, even next to murder allegations that hooker question looks out of place.
  • Let's explore this deeper. Maybe Jeff Ireland is having marital issues at home and "fancied" Dez Bryant's mom. I think we really need to look into the context of the question: Did he say, "Dez, this is going to directly impact our decision to draft you, we live in Miami, our players are always distracted by the nightlife here, and having a prostitute in the locker room might send the wrong message ... so ... is your mom a prostitute?" ... OR ... did he say, "Dez, your mom, she's, uh, she's quite a looker, she wouldn't happen to, now don't get offended by this, okay? She wouldn't happen to ... accept money for sexual ... yeah, you know what, nevermind ... just forget it. How much did you say you can bench?" Context is key, people!
  • I think Phil Jackson is trying to Jedi mind-trick the entire NBA.
  • Prediction: Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith, and Kenyon Martin will rob a bank by the year 2030.
  • There are 103 early entries into the NBA Draft this year. There are only 60 total picks available in each draft. If they couldn't do the basic math to understand why they probably won't get drafted, they certainly weren't going to graduate anyway.
  • Santonio Holmes refused to turn off his iPod as his plane prepared to land on Friday. I like Miley Cyrus' "The Climb" as much as the next guy, but when a flight attendant tells me to put my clothes back on and turn off the jams, I do it, okay?
  • Milton Bradley is brainwashing me into loving him. I knew this was going to happen. After forcing a bases-loaded walk to drive in the go-ahead run against the Kansas City Royals this week, the Mariners outfielder did a Barry Bonds-esque bat flip like he'd just hit a 700-foot homerun. As Milton jogged down to first base, Royals manager Trey Hillman yelled, "Save it, buddy!" Trey, it's Milton Effing Bradley (new nickname, done and done), he's bulletproof. If he wants to do a bat flip after a walk, let him do a bat flip after a walk. If he wants to say the team won because of his "eagle eyes" in the postgame press conference, just nod and smile (that actually happened). If MEB wants to sit down in left field and bake cookies in an Easy-Bake Oven he smuggled in his pants, let him go, man. Just let him go. He's a grizzly bear ... don't be a salmon.
 Until next time, Duck Dodgers.

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