On Halloween morning, 2000, the fine people at The William W. Backus Hospital rolled me into an operating room in the same-day surgery suite. At the ungodly hour of 7 a.m., I was questioned about my medical history and pumped full of drugs.

Less than three hours later, a miracle had occurred. I had nice feet.

Well, not nice, really. But ones that didn't have huge lumps of bone protruding from the side and no longer continually ached for six months out of the year.

Little did I know that the pain I endured - from the former feet, the surgery and subsequent recovery - with the goal in mind of wearing cute footwear in a few months, would all be for naught. The expected sunshine in my fall season was quickly clouded.

Because right around that time, the ugliest footwear known to man was being mass produced and snatched off of shelves by less-than-discriminating consumers.

I'm talking about the ugg boot style.

Commonly called "UGGs," and which I whole-heartedly believe stands for "ugg-ly," the boots are said to have originated in Australia or New Zealand. According to Wikipedia, they were worn by World War I pilots, shearers in rural Australia during the 1920s and surfers and competitive swimmers who wore them in the 1960s and 1970s for keeping warm while out of the water.

In the year or so following my surgery, the craze was in full swing.

Everybody had them. Stay-at-home moms, the dude behind the counter at CVS and, of course, countless celebrities.

But UGGs seemed most popular among college students, who would pair them with flannel pajama pants and a hoodie and drag themselves to their 8 a.m. Econ classes.

I just don't get it. Yes, they may be warm. But they are ugly. And for the love of Pete, they were worn by sheep herders! So I don't understand why people in California are wearing them. What is the coldest that it gets in L.A., 45 degrees? Brrr, frigid.

Maybe part of my problem with UGGs is I've always had an issue with trends. Sure, I wore thickies in my sneakers in fifth grade when I went through my break-dancing phase, and these days I can't live without a pair of Old Navy boot cut jeans.

But that's a huge difference from wearing ankle- or near-length butt-ugly fur-covered footwear just because it's "trendy." That's just downright silly.

The same goes for Crocs and gladiator sandals - they are a waste of space. Despite the funky eye-catching colors that the former come in, they should be restricted to toddlers who wear them only at the beach.

And unless the latter is accompanied by a sword and Russell Crowe in a loin cloth, I don't want to see it.

Give me a pair of Timberlands any day.

This is the opinion of Katrina T. Gathers.


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