If aerobics instructors in Maine thought the Zumba madam scandal brought shame to their profession, wait until a hot new trend in major U.S. cities trickles down to smaller communities like Portland: “Heel Hop.”

Or, to put it more simply, workouts in high heels.

According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, instructors of Heel Hop say it’s akin to “vertical Pilates” and strengthens ankle, back and abdominal muscles, resulting in a more relaxed, fluid movement in high heels for regular high-heel wear — like, I suppose, having a night on the town or starring in an adult movie.

Not surprisingly, doctors warn that prolonged exercise in high heels can result in permanent damage to the feet and ankles. Which makes this one of the dumbest fads ever.

Maybe because we no longer have to worry about the perils of everyday life that threatened to kill our ancestors at every turn, we have too much free time on our hands and feel the need to fill that time with stupid stuff.

Like these fads, which thankfully crashed and burned much like someone trying to do a high-heeled kick to a Ke$ha song:

• PET ROCKS: The ’70s were responsible for a lot of really stupid fads — think bell-bottoms, home CB radios, Magic 8-Balls and Barry Manilow — but nothing was dumber than spending money to buy a rock in a box. You could even purchase a training manual for your hunk of granite. Once kids realized their rocks couldn’t be trained to do anything other than, well, be rocks, the “pets” became part of the driveway.

• THE ROBOT DANCE: Another fad from the ’70s, which was probably devised by some guy who was so lame he couldn’t even do the Hustle. Thankfully, the people who did this dance probably never got the chance to mate, so you don’t see it anymore.

• VIRTUAL PETS: The forerunner to smart phones in terms of taking over our lives, these were handheld digital devices that demanded their owners check on their status every other second — and if they didn’t, they would get angry or sick. The result was a nation full of kids ignoring everything else to attend to the needs of their whiny gadgets, which eventually wound up in their teachers’ desk drawers for slow euthanization.

• SAGGY PANTS: Sometime in the late ’80s, millions of teens thought it would be cool to wear their pants so low, they could only move by slowly shuffling along like zombies out of “Night of the Living Dead.” Only the zombies were better dressed.

• ANNOYING FACEBOOK FEATURES: If you want me to “like” you, a virtual poking isn’t going to do it. Neither is hitting me up for items so you can spend your day playing virtual farmer, virtual mobster, virtual circus chimp or whatever. In fact, it makes me want to virtual monkey-slap you for wasting my time deleting all your virtual requests.

• PLANKING: Maybe I’m getting old, but back in my day, we called lying face-down in random public places “passing out.”

• BAGEL FOREHEADS: Honest to God, I am not making this up: In Japan, the latest fashion trend is to inject saline into your forehead and make an indentation in the middle of the balloon protrusion so that it looks like you had a bagel surgically implanted under your skin. Thankfully, this hasn’t yet caught on in the States, but maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the high-heeled aerobics crowd.

Having an artificial bagel on your head would cushion your fall, after all. Then you could say you were just planking.

Deputy Managing Editor Rod Harmon may be contacted at 791-6450 or:


Twitter: RHarmonPPH