Occasional Series on Hiper-Paiz: The Shoe Store Conspiracy

By Steve Mullaney

Ah, Hiper Paiz: 47 stores that sell shoes, 38 phone kiosks, and an enormous grocery store. The mall, clearly designed after one person watched Mallrats once, is a wonder of capitalism: how can it possibly exist? Why don’t the shoe stores go out of business? Who actually pays Q40 for a pillow at the Hiper grocery store? Clearly, some nefarious action is going on. This new mini-feature will explore conspiracy theories behind different aspects of Hiper Pais. May: Why are there so many shoe stores?

At Hiper there are no stores that are not shoe stores—even at the food court. It’s a little known fact that there’s a Happy Chica Combo Meal at Pollo Campero includes a pair of size-5 pumps. And yet, every day, there’s a new shoe store opening. Is there a need for a 48th shoe store? At Hiper, apparently, the answer is yes.

In fact, it’s hard to make it out of HiperPaiz without purchasing shoes. Those guards that are stationed at the doors supposedly checking your receipts are actually making sure that you have purchased a pair of shoes. If not, you’ll be harassed by sandal vendors between the exit and the microbus station.

It seems that there’s been an unfortunate misallocation of resources: instead of devoting resources to the construction of shoe factories instead of say…schools, or hospitals, or classes on how to scoot over on the microbus so that 37 people don’t need to climb over you in order to sit down. Which brings us to the conspiracy theory of the month: nobody makes the shoes…the shoes come from the Great Guatemalan Shoe Caves.

What are the Great Guatemalan Shoe Caves you may ask? Well, they are caves. And they are filled with shoes. (Also, they are great and Guatemalan. Duh.) Much like Saudi Arabia is filled with oil, Guatemala is filled with rich veins of shoes ready to be sold. Nobody knows about the shoe caves because they are a top-secret classified government discovery.  But, as they have been excavating the caves the government needs a place to dump all of the shoes that they have been excavating.  Once the strategic reserves (La Demo, Minerva, etc.) filled up the only solution was to build HiperPais in order to have a depository to dump excess shoes. In that sense shoe shopping is less a luxury and more of a national responsibility. Support responsible excavation of the Great Guatemalan Shoe Caves through your shoe purchase today!

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