Tinker Tailor Cobbler Spy

Peace Corps / Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Earlier this week, I had a run-in with a cobbler. No, I did not have a delicious dessert fiasco, rather I and to get my shoes repaired.

How many of you out there knew that the person who repairs shoes is called a cobbler? Most of us know that a tailor mends and alters clothes. What about the guy who fixes pots, pans and other metal utensils? Did you know he was called a tinker? I did. Useless knowledge, for the win.

But, the question remains, why is this useless knowledge? When was the last time you had your shoes repaired? Isn’t it easier to buy a new pot or pan to replaced the old, gouged ones you use? Personally, I enjoy taking my clothes to the tailor because they come back looking nicer on me than when I brought them in.

The fact remains, I only know of one place in Wisconsin where I could find a cobbler and the shop looks rather rundown. I can picture the man sitting out on his bench, dirty apron on, hoping for customers. I don’t know of any tinkers but I could imagine them sitting near the cobblers, waiting for business. Why do we have to be such a throw-away society? They don’t make things like they used to, that’s part of it. But when it’s cheaper to get things repaired than buy new ones, why do we feel the urge to upgrade?

For at most, a tenth of the price of a new pair of shoes, I had the heel of my shoe glued and sewn back together. It also saved the time and agony of having to enter a shoe store and buy shoes using my sparse Russian. Plus, Ukrainian style is far pointier in the shoes than I’d prefer.

So, if you have an old pair of shoes you want to throw out due to a small tear in them or a scuff, do yourself a favor and save some money by taking them to a cobbler. While you’re at it, bring the cobbler a cobbler (peach is best) and take a photo of it for the awesomeness it would create.

P.S. I am aware this post has nothing to do with spies. Sorry.

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