Sometimes I find it hard to believe what I read.
I saw a Wall Street Journal article this past week that said Nike will be releasing a new shoe - the LeBron X, to honor LeBron James, the Miami Heat superstar.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for a good pair of kicks. But my fashion sense on footwear stops at the tried and true Chuck Taylor All Stars of my youth, at about $7.95.
Black low tops, a classic like that will never die.
But the LeBron X? Nike announced that these will list at around $300 plus - but don't fret, they have an "un-hyped" version that only will set you back $185.
One hundred and eighty-five dollars for a shoe!
My most recent pair of sneakers set me back a whopping $14 at the big box store, and my most recent pair of non-sneakers, a pretty sturdy work boot, somewhat more, but I was still able to pick them up without talking to a loan manager.
Not bad on a reporter's salary.
But 300 smackers?
Lets put that in perspective:
My first car? $150. It was a fine looking Toyota Corolla wagon, a beautiful red number with an even snappier green door. It came with some great features, like the removable steering wheel, the combination stick shift-billy club, and the passenger seat that doubled as a flotation device.
I actually got a chance to test it out on a little trip to, or more precisely into, the San Francisco Bay one night in 1983.
That night I lost my watch, my wallet, and my best friend Bob.
He waded into the marina a few days later, no worse for the wear, carrying the passenger seat and a flounder.
I betcha a $300 shoe wouldn't have lasted three days in the bay.
The front bumper also worked great as a bottle opener, but that's another story and may have played a part in the salt-water fiasco.
I rented an apartment one time that didn't cost $300.
It was a nice place near the corner of Turk and Taylor in San Francisco that was underneath a really nice bar.
I don't mean downstairs, but more of underneath.
You had to go into the bar, lift a trap door on the storage room floor and climb down a ladder to get in, but it was really nice.
It had a lot of what we liked to call "character."
By "character" I mean some really interesting smells.
Maybe we should move on.
I once bought a motorcycle for less than three hundred bucks, and aside from missing a wheel, half a handle bar, and the seat, it was a classic.
I'm sure if I ever found the piston, I could have whipped it around for a pretty hefty profit too.
I bought it from the guy that owned the bar.
My first camera? A Kodak 126 mm cartridge model that I used for my intro to photography class, freshman year of high school.
Total cost? $1.80 at a thrift store.
And look at me now, a professional photographer who can't afford new tennis shoes.
So, I guess my point is, save your $300 and look for a smart investment instead, something that will last for years to come.
Like the lawsuit that comes from trying to sell a one-wheeled, seatless Yamaha.
Which brings up another shopping tip. If you're going to pay top dollar for something, make it your lawyer.