Shoe Herb

Is this Black Friday deal straight from Hong Kong too good to be true? Probably.

Courtesy of Herb Benham

Nov. 24, Black Friday, 8 a.m.

I don’t know about you but I’m home right now. Barely up from underneath the covers. Padding downstairs to make breakfast.

“Breakfast.” A big pot of Jose’s Colombian Supremo coffee, two pounds of applewood smoked bacon; 12 eggs, scrambled and seasoned with salt, pepper, several shakes of Tabasco and shaved pepper jack cheese and cooked in some of the bacon grease; and toast made with Greenlee’s cinnamon bread.

You get the picture. It’s the big country breakfast. The big country breakfast is always welcome but never more so than the morning after Thanksgiving with children and grandchildren present and with the evil spirits from Black Friday looming outside.

A week ago, my editor asked if I would write a column on Black Friday. Black Friday? The only thing I knew about Black Friday were reports of people getting trampled in stores while trying to get the last pizza oven.

A few days ago, I was flipping through emails and “Black Friday” was in the subject line of one of them.

The email was from a company called NewChic and it featured a non-slip, casual shoe with exquisite hand stitching, microfiber leather and a soft rubber outsole. I fell in love. Not only did I fall in love but because it was Black Friday, the shoe was selling for $31.53, a 50 percent discount.

Fifty percent off. I love Black Friday. So this is what people have been talking about. Why have I been fighting exquisite microfiber leather at 50 percent off?

I was so fired up I spent 20 minutes on the website blowing up the picture, looking at the shoe from different angles and imagining how good the shoe, hand-stitched and with the soft rubber outsole, would look on my feet.

I wanted that shoe worse than anything in my whole life. I would have pushed aside a pregnant woman and a person with a service dog to get it. I finally understood the Black Friday mentality: “Don’t even think about getting in my way or you’ll be as flat as a French pancake.”

I wondered if the regular size 10 would fit or if I should order the wide. I almost didn’t care. The shoe looked wide enough, surely, it would fit.

I scrolled down to the bottom of the page so I could order the shoe and written in red it stated,

"Attention: This pair of shoes is popular. The daily order quantity has exceeded the normal production range of our factory production. We will try our best to produce and deliver the goods in time. If there is any delay in delivery, but also hope you can understand, thank you for your support.”

That didn’t sound good, especially the part that read “If there is any delay in delivery, but also hope you can understand, thank you for your support” which sounded like it was missing a couple of words between the “delivery” and the “but,” because it had been translated from another language.

Where did these shoes come from? The website indicated that the company was based in Hong Kong. That’s OK, I’ve ordered from overseas before and as long as they took care of the shipping, we were fine.

The shipping was on me? So were the returns should the shoe with the bewitching, microfiber leather prove not to be wide enough?

Let me review: I have to pay for shipping and returns and because the shoe is so popular, I may not get them at all.

So, where am I?

I’ll tell you where I am. Home. Fixing the big country breakfast. Surrounded by children and grandchildren. Luxuriating in one more memorable Black Friday.

Herb Benham is a columnist for the Bakersfield Californian and can be reached at or (661) 395-7279.

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