Lydia Hadfield

December 11, 2020

Do you ever get credit for inventing/prophesizing Crocs in Slave of Spiegel?


Dear Mr. Pinkwater,

In your Five Novels, published in 1997, there are several mentions in “Slaves of Spiegel” of plastic perforated shoes. This alliterative, visionary image haunted me like bright blue Spiegelian garlic. When Crocs, the plastic perforated shoe, appeared on the market in 2002, I was certain Earth’s takeover by interstellar Fat Men was nigh. Who’s to say we are not currently in thrall?

Have you, sir, been given your due for this great and terrible vision? Fame, fortune or free footwear? It is not the vindication you deserve, but it is true nonetheless: I think about “Slaves of Spiegel” every single time I see a Croc or a Crocapair.

In fact, I was listening to a vapid podcast this morning when plastic perforated loafers were invoked. Corpulent thoughts entered my orbit. Find Daniel Pinkwater’s contact information, these thoughts said. Let him know you acknowledge his genius. Ask him if, urge him to, receive his due. Ordinarily, I’d bat these thoughts away with their rejoinders: You will not reach him. Mr. Pinkwater is happy, living his undoubtedly bohemian best life, and how dare you plant this penny of thought in his contented cake?! Yet today…this morning…I became soluble to those cognitive globules.

My will was not my own, it seemed, as I opened my laptop. I had become subservient to a louder, fatter, more righteous need…Scrawny, divorced, deeply unsuccessful ex-lunchlady no more…I have become Slave to Spiegel. Hail Pinkwater! Cassandra of the Croc! May you reign 100 years without degredation, like plastic perforated shoes.

Humbly submitted,

Lydia Hadfield

Daniel replies:

Well, you see, it's not generally known, not that I make a secret of it, that I usually write, or dictate, in a state of trance, while curled up on the top shelf in the hall closet. My wife, a trusted friend, or really anybody available who has time, sits on a folding chair in the open closet door with a clipboard and a yellow legal pad, and takes down what I say. (People are always interested in a writer's method or process, so I hope this will satisfy you and possibly some others.) Anyway, very often my trance narration includes prophecies, unusual cures for illnesses, (such as an all-gherkin diet for knee injuries), locations of lost treasures, and all manner of surprising things. I never remember what I said, and since I also never read my books, your news about shoes is news to me.