RIP: The end of flip-flops evokes bittersweet remembrance

September 9, 2019 — by Allen Chen

If you were here last year, you may have noticed that school doesn’t quite feel the same. No matter where you go on campus, it just feels like a certain something is missing — namely, the previously ubiquitous flip flop hall passes.

Sadly, our time together was too fleeting, too beautiful to really register. Perhaps we took them for granted. I remember when we mocked them when they were implemented a year ago. God, we were fools.

But of course, in the end, the flip-flops were struck down by the establishment, and what were they replaced with? Flimsy laminated paper, supported by flimsier lies. The administration says that this pass will be healthier, but with a greater surface area and a higher likelihood of slipping from your hand, the laminated hall passes are sure to become just as grimy and germ-infested.

Furthermore, the shape of the flip-flops meant that a flick would send them sailing through the air in satisfying curves. Between classes, I would look for them in the halls. The multicolored flip-flops stuck in the ceiling assured me that there were still constants in the world.

Meanwhile, the laminated hall passes are complete failures in aerodynamics. They flutter and stall, never going where you want them to go. Even throwing them frisbee style doesn’t ensure accuracy.

Worse still, the passes are ridiculously easy to counterfeit. Just print some copies, laminate them at Staples, and you have a hall pass with little to no effort. The flip-flops, an extremely rare variety purportedly purchased from a deep cover agent living in Brazil, are much much harder to obtain.

What this means is that leaving them in absurdly far away places is no longer meaningful. When I see a flip-flop with a strap and a number in a urinal at Eastridge Mall, I know that someone put in the effort to deliver it all the way there and make it back to class within the space of a period, all without arousing the suspicion of their teacher. The logistical care, driving finesse and, honestly, courage required to pull that off is at least respectable.

When I see a laminated hall pass in a urinal at Eastridge Mall, I can’t help but think that it’s just a counterfeit. And even if it’s not, the achievement is tainted by that sneaking suspicion.

Alas, we’re going to have to move on eventually from our love affair with flip flops. We’ll grow up, and our lives will continue. But every once in a while, we’ll spot a discarded flip flop in a Taco Bell stall, and we’ll remember the good old days — and realize that what is physically missing is never really gone from our hearts. May the legend continue.

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