Friday, November 27, 2009


I have walked past Superior Shoe Repair and Shoeshine Parlor twice a workday for the past 10 years and never set foot in the place.

With Thanksgiving coming up I decided it was time my shoes got shined and stepped in on my way home from work Wednesday night. It was like walking into another world.

I walked in, set my coat on chair covered in 30 years worth of boot black and climbed up high above my shoe shine man into the stained office chair. My shoe shine man took my feet and placed them on the handy steel footstands and got to work.

He was a personable guy, smiling and joking the whole time and I gathered he had some sort of bet going with the one of the shoe repair guys because they were trading barbs about what they were going to do with the money.

My guy was supposed to get $13 if he won and shoe repair guy was supposed to get $10.

This went on for a while when my curiosity finally got to me and I asked what the bet was about.

She repair guy had bet my guy that eggnog was available in liquor stores year round. I didn't ask about the difference in the bet between 10 and 13. Let's just call it the eggnog offset. They had arrived at the eggnog offset before I walked in.

Apparently my guy was a real eggnog affectionado and of course was confident in his choice saying thing like "I knows my eggnog". He even had the money already spent. On eggnog. All the while he was shining my shoes, rolling up my pants, untying my shoes and buffing away.

The drama reached it's zenith when shoe repair guy called the PLCB Wine and Spirits store around the corner on Broad and asked them if they had eggnog is stock. Then he asked them if they carried it year round, all the while nodding his head like they were agreeing with his side of the bet. He was saying uh-huh,uh-huh and nodding up and down.

Then he got off the phone and said "see?".

My guy wasn't going down without a fight. I didn't believe him and they bantered back and forth for while when a guy that can only be described as Chicken George came in the store. Chicken George didn't work there, I think he just hung out there. Chicken George was decked out in Washington Redskins gear from head to toe. Immaculate Redskins gear. Hat, shirt, satin jacket. All Redskins - all the time. Chicken George mumbled something in authentic urban street gibberish like "gad dag num num hadd blumerly EGGNOG". It was like he was trying to get in on the drama. I had no idea what he said.

Finally my guy had enough and threatened to call the PLCB himself when shoe repair guy relented and said my guy was right. The drama was over, but not for Chicken George.

He started saying the following over and over:

"Da hen lays da egg - eve-ry-day"

Which in his mind, must have meant something about how eggnog should be available everyday or something.

I paid for my shine, tipped my guy and headed out the door.

Chicken George came up to me and said:

"Da hen lays da egg - eve-ry-day".

He followed me out the door.

"Da hen lays da egg - eve-ry-day"

I just smiled and nodded.

No comments: