By Joe Natale

Not that I’m one to make much of a fashion statement, but I recently picked me up a pair of navy blue suede shoes.

I was not particularly in the market for blue suede shoes, but considering the soles of my shoes were splitting, I had to do something, especially since I discovered the wardrobe malfunction on a rainy day.

I saw a pair of powder blue suede shoes in a store window in Memphis. I figured those must be the kind Elvis sang about, but they weren’t my style.  After I stumbled upon the pair of blue suede shoes that I purchased, a co-worker told me that navy blue suede shoes were now trending, which, for no apparent reason, brings us to the discussion of the word “blue” and a derivative thereof, specifically, Bluetooth.

As pointed out in Tom Pavlik’s “Law” column in this issue of Springfield Business Journal, effective Jan. 1, 2014 drivers cannot use hand-held cell phones while navigating Illinois roadways. A driver may use a Bluetooth device to avoid hefty fines and jail time, so don’t say you weren’t warned.

Neither do I talk on my cell phone while I’m driving, nor do I use a Bluetooth device. Whenever I see a person talking on a Bluetooth headset, it reminds me of someone on a street corner talking to no one in particular; although that’s not as strange as a young kid I saw at a bus stop the other day with his hair dyed powder blue. Again, not my style.

By the way, the word “Bluetooth” comes from a character named Harald Bluetooth from a historical novel about 10th century Vikings entitled, “The Long Ships.”  Harald united various tribes of Denmark into a single kingdom, resulting in a nation where something could go rotten.

A developer of the technology that allows mobile devices to communicate with computers was reading the book in 1997, and proposed the word “Bluetooth” because  it unites communication protocols into one universal standard. Relax, you won’t be tested on this.

My point? I won’t step on your Bluetooth devices if you don’t step on my blue suede shoes.

Joe Natale


Joe Natale is a freelance writer from Springfield.