What a croc

There’s a characteristically entertaining and acerbic piece from Maureen Dowd on the NY Times site at the moment. As usual, it’s spiked with barbs of insider-ish gossip, but this time they are quoted, rather than culled directly by her.

One of her sources is Matt Latimer’s “Speech-less” – an account of his time as part of George W Bush’s speechwriting team (also reviewed, as it happens, on yesterday evening’s edition of Radio 4’s Front Row – podcast available here). One vignette Dowd picks out is of W ‘padding around the White House in Crocs’ – an image which, as she says, is hard to get out of your mind once it’s in there.

It reminded me of the last time I arrived at Narita airport: at the top of the first escalator we encountered after getting off the plane, there was a warning (in English) to wearers of “vinyl shoes” that they should take care not to get snagged in the escalator and mangled to death. Well, it didn’t actually spell out that last bit, but there was a helpful picture of a Croc-clad foot.

Now, I have no wish to be gratuitously insulting to Croc-wearers, but I couldn’t help thinking that those of us with other footwear (even shoes with laces, forsooth) have mostly worked that out for ourselves by the time we’re old enough to walk on and off a plane.

Then again, W’s mental edifice was always dogged by accusations of being somewhat sparsely tenanted. After all, it bodes ill when an adult human is bested by a small pretzel, for instance. I did love the irony that “Bonesman” Bush should have been laid low by the closest thing the biscuit world has to a miniature skull-and-crossbones.