Friday, November 9, 2012

November 9: Lost shoes

I was walking down the street to the Greek Orthodox church to vote this past Tuesday. It's only about 4 long blocks. As a I passed an apartment building, I noticed a gray Nike sneaker in the grass by the sidewalk. A few yards further, in front of an abandoned house with a realtor's sign in the yard, I saw a brown leather short boot. And another 15 yards down in front of a big brick house with beautiful landscaping, I found a bright red sneaker.

Only one of each. Three times. And they were all decent shoes too.

It's not uncommon to see one shoe along the side of the road. And haven't we all commented on it at one time or another. Haven't we all turned to our traveling companion and asked, "Why do you always see one shoe along the side of the road and never a pair?" Even though we know the only answer that makes sense is, "I dunno."

Because there's really not a logical explanation for the number of widowed shoes you see out there on the road or along the sidewalk on Election Tuesday. It's not like a person would be walking along the side of the interstate in a pair of shoes, walk out of one of them, and then just continue on without noticing.

Shoes aren't something people tend to tie to the roof of the car, so that one might blow off. 

It's not the kind of thing you might throw out the window out of spite. "Fine. If you're going to be an asshole, I'm going to throw one of my shoes out the window. But only one, you asshole."

Occam's razor won't save us here because we have no explanation, simple or complex.

In fact, since there's no logical explanation, we might as well assume that a race of super-intelligent beings has found Earth, and they're fucking with us using their super-sense of humor. Can you imagine the conversation on the space ship?

Alien A: "These pieces of meat think they're so smart. They can be such bipedal little assholes. Look what they've done to their polar caps. They don't do anything about something huge like that, but they worry about who will be the next American Idol."
Alien B: "Yeah, I've really been tempted to fuck with them just to watch them squirm."
Alien A: "Me too. OH! I know! Let's land the space ship in their agricultural areas and make weird patterns. They'll never figure that shit out."
Alien B: "OMG, yes! And let's randomly flash our high beams as we fly through the mountains and then zoom off before they can catch us in their little airplanes."
Alien A: "Yes, but those are so obvious. We can come up with something better than that .......  I've got it! We'll scatter random shoes around -- just one. Not pairs. Just single shoes. They'll never figure that out."
Alien B: "I love it! And you know what else we could do? Steal socks. Just one from the pair. And leave the other one there."
Alien A: "What will we do with all those shoes and socks though?"
Alien B: "We'll just dump them on Mars. These Earthlings will never find them there."

It makes as much sense as any other explanation.

One Sunday night my friend Smooth Jazz and I walked out of a bar downtown, talking and laughing. Suddenly we both stopped and stared. On top of an overflowing trash can we saw this:

One acrylic fuck-me shoe standing proudly on top of the trash can. Just one. And it certainly wasn't there when I walked by on my way in. I couldn't have missed it.

We searched around -- with our eyes; of course, we didn't touch anything -- for the other one.

But no. The proud, lonely shoe stood, a solitary sentinal in the cool fall air on a deserted street.

How the fuck did that happen?

Do you have a single shoe story? Better yet, do you have an explanation for this phenomenon? Because this has been going on as long as I can remember, and I'd really like to know what the hell happened to all those other shoes.



  1. I (am clearly way behind on reading your blog and) was told once that this was an indication that drugs were being sold inside, with the type of drug indicated by the type of shoe, but that could just be rumor.

    1. I've never heard of that. I suppose it could be a sign that the guy in the adult goodies store is selling drugs. I've never seen a shoe there before though.