Over the past few months I have come to acquire a new pet peeve and that is those horribly trendy things that all the kids are wearing these days. I think (from information that my 10-year-old niece gives me) that they're called Heelies. I'm referring to the sneakers with wheels in the soles that kids can either walk or sort of roll around in.
Now, at 24 years old, I like to think that I embody a balanced combination of up-to-date cultural knowhow and common sense, but I really don't see how these things aren't outright banned. They can't really be used as roller skates per se, since I think they only have one wheel in each shoe, yet the many kids I've seen wearing them usually go from a run into a roll, which implies that you need to build up momentum (from running) in order to actually roll anywhere in them. Okay, I can see how that might be fun, but I've seen kids wearing these in places where you should never let kids run, let alone skate, including:
- at least two indoor shopping malls, one of them having been extremely crowded at the time (right before the holidays)
- the sidewalk on a downtown street. Not a large town, but still not a place where you would wnat kids running around
- a crowded Amtrak station, with many people, not to mention pieces of luggage, to run into
- the Washington Metro. SERIOUSLY. I had many a vision of some kid rolling right onto the tracks, their parents oblivious.
Every time I've seen a kid wearing, and running amuck in, Heelies, their parents have seemed mostly, if not totally, oblivious to the fact that, trendy toy shoes or no, these kids are running and rolling around way too fast on hard surfaces to fall on and amidst many (living and not) obstacles to run into. Call me old-fashioned, but doesn't that seem a tad dangerous?
My niece informs me that Heelies have been banned at her school (good for them!). They remind me a little of those "slap" bracelets that were popular when I was little, which were banned because they had metal strips in them that were cutting into kids' wrists. Heelies seem worse to me because they are encouraging kids to run/roll in places where they shouldn't. What do you folks think?