It’s late September and the rains have arrived. The temperature has dropped like a stone and households up and down the country are starting to get itchy fingers when they pass the thermostat in their hallways.
In fairness this has been the way for the best part of the last couple of decades – I am not suggesting that the onset of Autumn is a new phenomenon. Indeed Autumn has been following summer for a number of years now. There has been a subtle sea change when it comes to one area though – I’m talking of course about flooring.
In the olden days before we had telly floors were made from stone or wood. They could feel quite cold underfoot and people had to grow bunions, warts and verrucas to help insulate their feet. When the NHS was invented and impressionable groups like women had medical books read to them by their menfolk these foot enhancements went out of fashion with some commentators even describing them as “unattractive”. A quick fix was needed and it came in the form of the carpet.
Carpets served the country well. Mites, bugs and insects that had all seen their natural environments destroyed by the post-war building boom suddenly had a deliciously comfortable new home.Young schoolboys coming home after a game of football in the park no longer had to wipe their shoes on the doormat as these new carpets could easily hide most forms of mud and excrement. Sadly though, despite all the obvious benefits, carpets were blamed for the huge increase in childhood asthma. In 2006 the then Labour Government, fearing that the courts would be clogged up under a deluge of negligence claims against carpet manufacturers, banned the sale of any flooring cover containing over 10 threads per square inch.
Wooden floors were back. The public liked them – for the thirty minutes after they had been cleaned they looked quite nice though there were inevitably grumblings about the mysterious fluff that began settling within a couple of hours. There was one big problem though – once again the people of Britain had cold feet. A resolution was needed.
And so it came to be that slippers were invented. At first they were purely a functional device, initially known as “Marpets” (Mobile Carpets) and little heed was given to the way they looked. Parents struggled to encourage their children to swap their fashionable training shoes for marpets when they came indoors so the industry began designing novelty versions to appeal to their less-developed brains.
Costs were kept down by ensuring that only materials that could make the feet heavily sweat were used. Internationally styled marpets also became popular. Here are a pair that I own.
Unfortunately Marpets weren’t sexy. Figures released by the World Health Organization(sic) in 2008 showed that in households where carpets had been removed and replaced with marpets birth rates had fallen by almost 50%. Women just didn’t like guys in marpets. Similarly one study conducted by Playboy in 2009 famously quoted international playboy Marky Mark as saying “they just make women look a bit like mummy. I don’t want to do it with mummy.” The marpet needed a new image.
First to go was the name. A co-ordinated industry think tank ploughed over £3million into coming up with a name that would appeal to the masses and be sexy. Without any explanation they settled on the word “slipper” and it stuck.
Early attempts at designing sexy slippers nearly ended in disaster. The whole Cinderella debacle was cleverly spun to avoid the public finding out about the horrific injuries that could be sustained when a glass slipper shattered. Manufacturers went back to using softer materials.
I’d like to say that there was more to this tale, that they were successful in creating a sexy slipper. This though, is not a story with a happy ending. Every day I receive literally tens of tweets asking where people can obtain sexy slippers from. There is no answer. Somehow, in 2012, with a multi-billion fashion and sex industry thriving, we are yet to see slippers available for both men and women that are both stylish and sexy. Here is a Google image search I did for “sexy slippers” only this morning.
Something’s not right Britain. Let’s make slippers sexy.
(If you are a slipper manufacturer and believe that you can prove me wrong by supplying a free, size 9, sexy pair of slippers I would be happy to change all my beliefs immediately and totally pimp your wares – please contact me)