Four years ago, Ben Hedblom was a freshman at Land O' Lakes (Florida) High School with a new pair Nike Shox sneakers.
At that time, he made a bet with Adrain Antonini, a Spanish teacher at the school. The bet: Ben would wear the same pair of sneakers every day he was in high school, and would wear them to his graduation.
The stakes for the bet: the loser would shave his head and eyebrows.
Looks like Señor Antonini will be bald in just a few more days -- because Ben, now 17, has worn the same sneakers every day for the last four years.
The black sneakers are now tattered shells with "air conditioned" toes and soles. They are so ratty that Ben wears them with plastic bags on stormy, wet days. The nearly-detached soles flop with each step... but soon they will be flopping across the graduation stage.
The experience has taught Ben some valuable lessons. He has learned that there are many kind people (who have offered to buy him new sneakers). He has learned that having the "best and beautiful" really isn't all that important. The sneakers have made him more confident and outgoing.
As for Antonini, he left the faculty of LOLHS (?!) the year after the bet. However, he has been tracked-down and been informed of his impending baldness. He doesn't remember making the bet, but he is sure he did it and intends to make good in his end of the bargain.
The sneakers will be retired after graduation. Ben hopes that the now-legendary sneakers will be admitted into the school's trophy case.