What's with 'Parade of Shoes', anyway?

The name of this Web site relates to a Derek anecdote itself. Several years ago, when I was in Worcester as a carless froshie, I managed to con Derek, who had a car, into taking me across the lake to a shopping center in nearby Shrewsbury by the name of White City. This shopping center had a Child World (remember them? They're out of business now), which was the nearest toy store I knew of. I forget what I was looking for, but it isn't important.

So, we piled into Derek's beat-up old Plymouth Volare station wagon, along with Adam (pfloyd) Johnson, who tagged along, and off we went. As we were swinging into the parking lot, Derek noticed a curbside space was open in front of another store in the shopping plaza, a shoe shop by the name of "Parade of Shoes".

Derek relished a particular skill of his: his ability to know precisely how big his car was and what space it would fit into, and then pull into those spaces at speeds and angles guaranteed to give his passengers heart palpitations. This he proceeded to do, guiding the Volare speedily into the space with one hand while looking over his shoulder to us (pfloyd up front, me in the back on the side), and saying grandiosely,

"Today, gentlemen, we'll be parking in front of: Paraaaaade - of - Shooooes!"

Now, Derek had executed this sweeping parking maneuver perfectly, save for one very small detail: he had forgotten to apply the brakes.

And so, just as he finished his grandious announcement, WHAM the car's front wheels plowed into the curb, bringing the car to an abrupt halt and hurling us around inside. A girl standing in the open doorway of the Parade of Shoes shop scrambled hastily inside, thinking we might come right up that curb and into the store.

As we all extricated ourselves, giggling like fiends, from the car, I remarked, "Good job, Derek. We almost parked -inside- Paraaaaade - of - Shoooooes!"

"Paraaaade of Shoooooes!" became one of Derek's most indelible break triggers, effective to the last.

Benjamin D. Hutchins