A young woman waits demurely in a stark room. Before her on a table sit scissors and one half of a pair of Crocs.Full article is HERE.
For the next two minutes and 35 seconds, as a jaunty Cole Porter score plays, she takes scissors to shoe, shredding the rubbery yellow thing into sad little slivers. The slivers she pulverizes in a blender.
A smile never leaves her face.
The dismemberment, enjoyed by more then 60,000 people on YouTube, comes compliments of the folks behind Ihatecrocs.com, an Internet site dedicated to the elimination of Crocs and those who think that their excuses for wearing them are viable.
Though that mission is failing miserably -- sales of the pliable, holey, cloggish Crocs are as relentless as their fans evangelistic -- Crocs haters remain convinced of the shoe's in-your-face obnoxiousness. They want to cut them to pieces, burn them and feed them to woodchippers.
"They repulse me," says Vincenzo Ravina, who founded Ihatecrocs.com with his friend Kate Leth, the happy snipper. "They are to your eyes what secondhand smoke is to your lungs."
Ravina's Web site tops 1,000 hits a day.
His products -- including the $17 T-shirt with the slogan "Friends Don't Let Friends Wear Crocs" -- have found devotees internationally.
Like many haters, ihatecrocs.com founder Vincenzo's aversion grew from feelings of helplessness -- he felt as if he had lost control.
One day "the weird kid" in class showed up with Crocs. Vincenzo snickered disparagingly with his friend, Matt. Two weeks later, Matt got a pair.
"And his girlfriend. And all my other friends," the Canadian college sophomore says. "I'm looking around and going, 'What's changed?'"
All Vincenzo knows for sure is that he'd love to stick a few pairs in a woodchipper -- if only it weren't so expensive to rent one.
Instead he's chewing over the idea of laying a Croc or two on the tracks before a speeding train.
"Like Snidely Whiplash," he says with undeniable enthusiasm.
In the meantime, he promises not to slip, like so many others, over to the Croc side. Even if they are anti-bacterial. Even if they do come in lavender. Even if they are as comfortable as people say.
"The comfort level required to overlook their extreme ugliness would have to be amazing," he says. "They would have to be like walking on a cloud."
Also, we got an email in reference to the article that incensed me a bit. Here is the email and my subsequent response:
I just read the interview in the Baltimore Sun and then went to your website.I'll keep you posted on his response.
Wow... you guys are HARD-CORE!! If you guys focused your efforts on world hunger, everyone on the planet would have three square meals a day! Too bad you're obsessed with plastic shoes.
Maybe you should learn a trade instead of trying to call yourself a journalist. If all you can focus on is plastic shoes, then you'll be penniless soon.
Who's next - Nike, Adidas, Puma, Birkenstocks??
Scott in MD
Dear Scott in MD,
Precisely what do you mean by "trying to call [myself] a journalist"? I mean, I go to a school of journalism, I'm in the Honours program, I've written quite a few articles and I've been published a few times. I take notes constantly and I interview people. Now look up the word "journalism" and then the word "journalist".
Also, I can focus on more than plastic shoes. It just so happens that you visited the site of mine that is all to do with plastic shoes. Perhaps if you were to explore my personal website, you'd get a better idea of my varied focuses. As to your comment that I'll be penniless soon as a result of said focus on plastic shoes, I highly doubt it, as most of my income comes from, you know, working.
As a journalist, I absolutely hate errors of fact. I can't stand when people don't do their research properly. It is so easy. We live in an information age. Use Google. Please write back with more valid arguments or at least better researched ones and then we'll talk. And I do hope that you write back, honestly.