The Illogic of Storing Your Brains in Your Feet

It is said that people can be ridiculously unreasonable. It turns out that this is true.

It is also said that it is human nature to shift responsibility from oneself to someone else. As it turns out, this is also true.

But consider for a moment someone trying to shift responsibility off someone else and onto herself. This would seem reasonable in such cases as a mother protecting her son's best friend's aunt's pet mouse, where this mother would feel some responsibility toward the mouse.

But consider this. Consider one complete stranger trying to take responsibility for another complete stranger when the complete stranger whose responsibility it is wants to take the responsibility.

I am, of course, talking about a shoe store bizarre enough to try to attract customers by denying them sales.

"Why," asks boy's mother, "won't you sell me these shoes?"

"Because," replies sales representative, "they are too big for him. It is bad for his feet."

"But," argues boy's mother, "he always wears shoes a bit big for him. They're more comfortable."

"But," argues sales rep right back at boy's mother, "it will lead to damage later in life. I can't in good conscious make this sale."

"But you," states boy's mother, remaining surprisingly respectful and calm, "don't need to worry about his feet."

"I am sorry," replies sales rep. "But I have to refuse the sale. Your feet are more important than your head, you know."

As it turns out, this is not actually true, despite how convincing and infallible this logic may seem.

"I will take responsibility for my son's feet," argues boy's mother, ignoring the apparent fact that this sales representative stores her brains in her feet and must assume that all humans do.

Still, sales rep, in an aim for better business, refuses the sale again and boy and boy's mother and boy's sister, who wants nothing more than to escape to the bookstore, all leave.

Appropriately, they find a lovely pair of shoes at a store that does considerably better with sales and is therefore much larger and can, therefore, sell half their shoes at half price. Boy's mother purchases at this store a pair of shoes, approximately one and one-half sizes too large for boy's feet, and the chosen shoe size is never questioned. Apparently the people working at this store were warned of the incorrect brain-in-feet logic.


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