I'll Have A Shoe Christmas Without You
No, no, he's off to go window-shop for shoes. He goes to the very department store where the very shoes that fell out of the very truck in the front of the very Rob Lowe are on display. The piano trinkle of recognition seals the deal -- these shoes will be perfect for chasing his mom's so-you're-dying-during-the-holidays blues. Trouble is, the shoes are $19.99, which just happens to be $19.99 more than Nathan has on him at the moment. But not to fret -- he's going to get himself a job. He runs off to tell his father, who is busy dealing with the delicate sensibilities of Rob Lowe and his German automotive machine -- I find it amusing that Jack's flunky now openly refers to Rob Lowe as Cappuccino Man. "You kept my car an extra week," Rob Lowe says, flourishing his bill, "and where do you get these numbers?" Jack points out that fixing the fuel injector on an import can be a pricey proposition. "Money like that for an injector, no wonder you're dying," Rob Lowe snarls before driving off. He does not add, "Which is an extra-insensitive remark in light of your wife's recent heart troubles, but hey -- I'm a prick," though he may just as well have. Jack picks up the crumpled Coke can Rob Lowe has angrily flung away. "A nickel's a nickel," he says. And that gives young Nathan an idea. A terrible, wonderful, environmentally-friendly idea. Yes, Nathan is going to start scrounging for cans. As he explains to Dalton in the very next scene, "If I get 20 of them, it's a dollar, and if I get a whole lot more, that's even more money. And then I can buy my mom a special Christmas present." And if that doesn't work, Nathan, there are these Nigerians who are always writing me who seem very eager to help other people get their hands on some quick cash.
Up until now, I've largely ignored the plot line where Rob Lowe represents a bunch of farmers who face the prospect of losing their land because 1) it's not particularly germane to the gouda being served up in our main plot and 2) it bores the stuffing out of me. But there's just one scene I can't ignore -- it features Rob Lowe going to meet with the farmers, and it's supposed to show us that, jerk or no, Rob Lowe is a kind, caring man at heart who's simply lost his way in the hustle and bustle of our crazy modern times. That's the boring part. What's interesting here is what this scene suggests about the world view of The Christmas Shoes' creators. The farmers, you see, are being sued by a group of radical environmentalist developers who are alleging that the farmers are killing off fish with their shoddy irrigation methods. Ah, but these are trumped-up charges concocted by the radical environmentalist developers so that they can cheat the farmers out of their land at firesale prices. Wrap your tiny mind around that one. "It ain't the fish that's endangered," says one farmer. "It's us." Well, to be fair, you're both having a bad year.