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Steve Hansen Can’t we find a solution to banning of high heels at Grape Bowl graduation?

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Steve Hansen

Posted: Thursday, April 7, 2011 12:00 am

A recent Lodi High School bulletin had the following announcement: “Senior Girls — As you begin your graduation shopping ... please be aware you need to wear flat-soled shoes at graduation due to the artificial turf at the Grape Bowl facilities.

“If anyone shows up to graduation with heels of any kind, you will not be able to participate in the ceremony and you will be sent home. Removing your shoes and going barefoot will not be an option!”

Is nothing sacred anymore? No heels at graduation? This could be a fate worse than banning beehive hairdos! Lindsay Lohan never could have earned a diploma under these rules!

I can see it now. A promising young lady applies to an Ivy League college. She makes it to the interview. Then, the coup de grace question is asked:

“Why were you banned from high school graduation?” the interview team inquires. “You had a 4.3 grade-point average and a perfect 2400 SAT score. What happened?”

The young lady hangs her head in shame. Tears began to flow from her chestnut eyes.

She sobs her lamentable answer: “My academic future was destroyed by those dang Sergio Zelini platform pumps and grass made from recycled plastic!”

Come on, folks. There’s got to be a practical solution for this dilemma. Surely, we don’t want to tear up that new artificial turf, but is it really that feeble? Does this mean football centers can’t wear spikes? Will bandstands be banned? Will our field of green now be held together with Gorilla Glue and duct tape?

What was wrong with real grass anyway? It seemed to work just fine for all those years.

Dogs sniffed it. Kids rolled in it. Working people mowed it.

But what’s done is done. I guess we’ll just have to adapt. Here are some suggestions:

1. The miracle of plywood: Do we still have woodshop classes in school, or have they all been replaced with algebra and tofu delights for healthy living? If so, why couldn’t these guys and gals make little platforms and use drywall screws to fasten them to the soles and heels of the offending footwear? Later on, they could always be reused as snowshoes or grape crushers.

2. Go barefoot: What’s wrong with this idea? If it was good enough for the 12 Apostles, shouldn’t it be good enough for a Lodi High School graduation?

3. Try the legal approach: How about a Title IX lawsuit, claiming that this policy is discriminatory against women? Hey, I don’t see anything in this bulletin that says men can’t wear heels!

4. Have everyone wear sporting shoes: In every tragedy, there is a silver lining. Maybe it’s time heels went by the wayside. Ask any orthopedic surgeon: In the long run, these weight-shifters only cause spinal problems. Perhaps it’s time to start a new graduation trend. Have everyone wear jogging shoes with little lights on the back. Won’t that be a cool sight when all those LED bulbs are flashing on the feet of 400 kids?

What is life but problem-solving anyway?

So school administrators, hear my plea: You just need to be creative in your solutions. If you don’t like the suggestions expressed here, think of some on your own.

It’s hard enough to be admitted to a good university. Must students now have to bear the shame and humiliation of rejection — just for trying to look like a Hollywood starlet at graduation?

Steve Hansen is a Lodi writer and satirist.

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