Thursday, July 23, 2009

George Clooney, turnaround guy. (What the Croc?)

Rumors of Crocs impending bankruptcy have been lurking for months.

In fact, the noise has been as persistent and ominous as the tick-tock from the alarm clock in the belly of the crocodile that stalked Captain Hook in Peter Pan.

The economic downturn. The inevitable boom-bust of a trendy product once the flash mob is on to the next. The problem inherent in a product that just doesn't seem to breakdown or wear out. (Sheeesh! Didn't these guys get the memo on built-in obsolescence?)

Were Crocs just a flash in the not-so-Peter pan?

But the decibel level increased last week when the Washington Post published an article suggesting that Crocs was doomed - an idea sharply countered by Crocs CEO John Deurden on his blog, not surprisingly.

What I found most interesting in the Post article, however, was this line:

Actor George Clooney has promised to work with the company, Duerden told analysts.

George Clooney, turnaround guy? Say what?

Now, I like George Clooney as much as the next gal.  He's cute and I've always been a sucker for the parochial school wise-guy with a heart of gold sort.  And even though I'd actually never seen the show ER when he was on it, I so missed Dr. Doug Ross when he left the hospital. I mean, who wouldn't?

But what, exactly, is George Clooney going to do for Crocs?

Is he going to wear them? Will this inspire others to wear them?

Other than the middle-aged women who are already wearing them, what demographic is George Clooney going to inspire?

I say this not because George is so ghastly long in the tooth. But he is pushing hard on 50, and I really don't think that George Clooney in Crocs is going to cause hip young shoe wearers, for whom Crocs have long jumped the fashion shark, to don this antimicrobial foam apparel.

I have never owned a pair of Crocs, but I am not one of those anti-Crocs-ists who takes the Captain Hook approach to them. I don't believe that their "existence is quite unforgivable."*

In fact, they always make me kind of smile - other when I see them on a grown man who is not in his garden or backyard, or at the beach, that is. (Call me a sexist, but I wasn't thrilled either to see a guy in Boston Common yesterday wearing turquoise espadrilles. Black or navy, maybe. Even striped, for a bit of Mediterranean je ne sais quois.  But turquoise. What was his girlfriend thinking? Must have been a couple of those darned hipsters.)

Turquoise espadrilles and men wearing Crocs in public-public aside, I'm personally in favor of any shoe that's comfortable. (And, by the way, those espadrilles did not look comfortable. Talk about no support.)

While others may swear at them, those who wear Crocs swear by them.

Thus, I hope they remain in business.

Since they don't seem to come in narrow widths - my foot being the one narrow part of my body -  I am unlikely to ever buy a pair for myself. Even if George Clooney knocks on my bedroom door and asks me to buy them, pretty please. (Well, maybe then.)

But I do defend the right of people - I guess even men in public-public - to wear them.

Hey, if I'm going to join the fashion police, first up will be women of a certain age and size wearing Winnie the Pooh sweatshirts.

As for George Clooney, I actually don't mind when actors step out of role for political or humanitarian reasons. But I don't like it when they take work that could go to less employable and wealthy actors. So I don't like to hear the voice of Martin Sheen or Michael Douglas coming at me on behalf of some product. I'd rather the work went to an off-off-Broadway type with a similarly comfy voice.

Same goes for George Clooney as a turnaround guy.

With all the unemployed MBAs out there, surely there's someone who can help turn Crocs around.

Maybe not. (Tick-tock, tick-tock.)


*"Captain Hook's Waltz", from Peter Pan.


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