A friend of mine called today to let me know that today is National Flip Flop Day. Did you know there was a day to celebrate flip flops? I didn't, but I can sure understand why. I love flip flops! In fact, I just spent some birthday money purchasing flip flops.
And I used a $10 money back certificate that Old Navy sent me to purchase four pairs of flip flops for my kiddos (I use the term "purchase" rather loosely since the flip flops were 2 for $5 and after the coupon, I paid nothing!).
In honor of this holiday (which BTW I don't think its a real holiday, just a marketing tool invented by Tropical Smoothie), I want to take a little time to tell the the story of the flip flop bandits. I did after all, promise here and here to tell you about this. My hesitancy is that I won't properly recount the tale and you'll be left saying, "what's the big deal?"
The Story of the Flip Flop Bandits
Once upon a time, there were six friends who loved to get together for each others' birthdays. They would meet at a restaurant or someone's house to eat, laugh, open gifts and enjoy some girl time. On one particular spring night, the six friends were enjoying a birthday meal on the patio. The night was quiet, the breeze was soft, the food was good and the companionship was comfy. All wore the cutest pair of flower-adorned flip flops in various colors given to them as souvenirs from the recent travels of one of the friends.
It just so happened that the small town in which the six friends lived was in the midst of a mayoral election. There were four candidates running for mayor and all were members of the same church that the six friends attended. The idea was hatched that since the pastor of the church couldn't really advertise his choice for mayor (as not to offend any candidate or family member of a candidate), it would be hilarious if campaign signs for each of the candidates were to mysteriously appear in his front yard.
Heads conferred (amidst lots of giggles), plans were made and the friends waited for the appropriately late hour to work their mischief. At the appointed hour, all pranksters squeezed into a vehicle and sneaked into the streets. Their first stop was a family member's house to pick up the first sign. Problem was, they didn't have the three other signs they needed. To avoid being accused of trespassing or theft, they must find the signs they needed on right-of-ways, not on other people's property.
Some of the friends were having a blast, other's were scared to death! At one stop to get signs, one of the friends was plastered to the floor board for fear of being seen. This, of course, was the source great fits of laughter from the other pranksters.
Finally, signs were secured and phase two must be initiated. The friends drove to the pastor's neighborhood, parking their car several houses away, of course. Then one must imagine in the mind's eye what happened next: Five flower-adorned flip flop-wearing mischief makers walked down that neighborhood street (the "plastered to the floor for fear of being caught" flip flop wearer was too afraid to join in the prank; she designated herself as the driver of the get-away vehicle). One would think that the ladies carrying out this dastardly deed would have the presence of mind to be quiet while working out their plans, but that was not the case. A severe case of giggles had erupted long before arriving in the neighborhood, and they were unable to keep from laughing.
With hearts racing and giggles escaping from their lips, the bandits carried the signs to the pastor's front yard and hurriedly placed them in strategic places for all passers-by to see. The "plastered to the floor for fear of being caught designated driver" swooped in for the pick up. She was so flustered, she practically dragged her cohorts down the street before they were able to jump in the vehicle. As one can imagine, the ride back home was loud with uncontrolled fits of laughter and boisterous recountings of the escapade!
The six friends have never forgotten their adventures that night and have dubbed themselves the flip flop bandits. Their prank lives on in small town lore and is often alluded to with covert winks and lots of giggles.
Epilogue: The pastor received a card from the bandits the following Christmas. On it was a group photo of the pranksters. The photo was altered to show a yellow smiley face in the place of the ladies faces and the caption read, "Merry Christmas from the flip flop bandits."
There you have it: the event that deepened my love for flip flops and made me thrilled to find out that now there's a holiday for celebrating my favorite footwear.