Social Question

rojo's avatar

What do you think the story is?

Asked by rojo (22066points) February 7th, 2013

Today, on the way to work, I saw a single shoe in the gutter. Maybe it was a brown loafer, maybe it was a red fuck-me pump.

Regardless, how did it end up on the side of the road? Why one shoe? Why not both? Whatever happened to the other one or the person who is walking around semi-shoeless?

Give me some ideas. Give me some stories. Use your imagination.

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24 Answers

ZEPHYRA's avatar

On the way back home from an amputation operation, the owner rolled down the car window and in pain and fury tossed out the other shoe. “Guess I won’t be needing it any more!”

ragingloli's avatar

Someone poor slut got abducted by a driving by van to be raped.
We will be posting the video of it shortly.

rooeytoo's avatar

On this side of the world everyone wears thongs. The standard Kiwi joke is, “how can you tell if it’s an aussie’s wedding day?” And the answer is “Because he is wearing new thongs! Now mind you, these are the kind you wear on your feet, not the anal floss type. Anyhow, all over Australia, everywhere you go, you see one lonely thong, lying on the beach, in the gutter, along the side of the road, in the middle of the footpath.

I always wonder as you do, where is the other thong??? And didn’t the person wearing them realize that suddenly they only had a thong on one foot? The mind boggles! But my conclusion is that the missing thongs are all residing in the same place as all of the missing socks in the world!

Jeruba's avatar

I actually wrote a story called “The Other Shoe” some 30 or so years ago for that very purpose: to explain one of the many instances I’ve seen of a solitary shoe by the side of the road. I started noticing them when I was a youngster and continue to see them now and then, sometimes on the street but more often on the highway.

The story was no good, but the exercise was entertaining.

The single shoe belonging to a small child always makes me smile a little because it is so easy to picture a little kid taking a shoe off and throwing it out the window—why not?—and the parent’s inevitable consternation when they arrive at their destination.

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

A group of shoe-gnomes went to a house and stole a pair of shoes. Because of a shoe-gnome’s size (roughly the size of a fingernail) a shoe takes a team of three shoe-gnomes to carry it. Two in the back (around the heel) and one in the front.

So team A and team B, successfully stole a pair of shoes from someone’s house and was taking it back to their shoe-gnome village. Because it had recently rained in that area their underground tunnel system was flooded out so they had to carry it across the road.

Team A successfully crossed the road. While team B was trying to cross the road the lead shoe-gnome was watching “Walking Dead” (how ironic) on his shoe-gnome ipod (yes they are real they are just really small ipods) so therefore he didn’t look both ways before crossing and a car ran over him, squishing him on the bottom of the shoe. The other two shoe-gnomes on his team didn’t feel like it was right to leave him in the middle of the road. (Kind of like some serial killers don’t feel right just letting their victims lay around and rot so they cut them into little pieces and put them in the trash can. So even in death they can still keep their dignity) So they carefully drug the shoe across the road. Once they got the shoe off of the road they caught up with team A, explained the situation and helped them carry their shoe back to their shoe-gnome village.

I know you probably think I’m crazy or just making this up, but if you don’t believe me, go find the shoe. The shoe-gnome is still stuck to the bottom of it. He will look like bubble gum because that’s just how shoe-gnomes are when they get squished. Shoe-gnome scientists have been trying to figure out why since the biblical times when everyone wore sandals but they just don’t know why.

So the next time you go out on a walk and you think you have stepped in “gum” before you start cursing, complaining and saying “Whoa is me,” while it is possible you have stepped in some gum, it is possible you have killed someone’s father, son, husband, brother and best friend; you have just killed a shoe-gnome and I hope you burn in hell for it!

Earthgirl's avatar

@Self_Consuming_Cannibal That was great! Now that I’m inspired I have to work on a story of my own. I’ll be back

Seek's avatar

@Jeruba I think you just saved me years of therapy. Seeing a kid’s shoe had always made me incredibly sad. But that window thing is beautiful.

LuckyGuy's avatar

A woman I worked with misstepped while getting off the subway and caught her shoe on the platform edge. It fell down between the car and the platform.
It was so crowded she just continued on to work holding one shoe. She threw it out after getting to the office and telling the story.

The thought of walking on city streets in bare feet still gives me the creeps. Bleeech!

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

@Earthgirl I’m glad you liked my story. The first time I tried to post it in response to this question I accidentally hit the back button on my browser and lost the whole thing, so I had to retype it. But I thought it was such an odd story and I wrote it spur of the moment. So I needed to re-post it so I wouldn’t forget it. It’s kind of like when I write a song, if I don’t record it right away, I will forget it.

I look forward to hearing your story.

RandomGirl's avatar

The shoes on the side of the road in my area are always in pairs, tied together, and hanging on telephone lines. What’s the theory here? People say it’s teenagers proving their strength to their friends. I don’t know.

Brian1946's avatar


The first time I tried to post it in response to this question I accidentally hit the back button on my browser and lost the whole thing….

That’s also happened to me, but I can’t remember what other key I accidentally hit to cause that.

I think what that key combination does is send you back to the previous page.

IIRC, what’s worked for me in that case is hitting the forward arrow in my navigation toolbar. Using Firefox as my browser, I find that my text is still in the answer box.

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

I’m using Firefox as well but I didn’t think of doing that. Thanks for the tip, next time I will give it a shot.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Clearly it belonged to someone who had lost their sole. It is now in search of its solemate.

marinelife's avatar

Sadly, it is often an accident victim’s.

Seek's avatar

@marinelife – Aaaand, back to therapy.

thorninmud's avatar

All too often, it’s a story of sibling rivalry. It can be hard having a twin, forever yoked by a mere accident of birth to this other, unable to be seen as an individual with your own distinct talents and dreams. When you’re a shoe, you learn early on that to protect your own sanity it’s best to stifle that inner longing for the recognition that rightfully belongs to you alone.

But not all shoes manage to silence this demon. The resentment can slowly fester until, late one moonless night, the unthinkable decision is made. Two leave the house on a “long walk”; only one returns.

The giddy high of liberation from this despised brother is short-lived, however; the link of shared destiny is not so easily snipped. With the dawn comes the horrible recognition that instead of finally being something without this other, it is utterly nothing.

mazingerz88's avatar

@Self_Consuming_Cannibal I’m not yet solved on feeling bad for the shoe-gnomes getting squished. They’re stealing shoes! Lol.

flutherother's avatar

I’ve wondered this myself as I have occasionally seen single shoes lying discarded in the gutters of our fair city. When lots of alcohol is consumed strange things tend to happen otherwise it is difficult to explain a smart highly polished shoe just lying there on its own.

Jeruba's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr, surely you’ve seen a toddler on his mother’s hip kick off a shoe and leave it on the sidewalk while she’s looking in store windows. I’ve been the one a couple of times to pick it up and take it back to her. Some little kids will ditch their shoes as often as they get a chance, and they don’t care where they drop them. (Maybe your own has done this.) That’s what I always think of when I see the lone child’s shoe in an odd place.

For years we used to have a mad search every morning for my sons’ shoes before they could leave for preschool or school. Didn’t matter what I did, they’d end up someplace weird at night and disappear by morning.

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

@mazingerz88 I understand, but they only steal shoes to eat them. That’s what they live off of. It’s like vampires need blood, zombies need brains, cows need hay and people need, well a lot of things.

It’s not like they steal them for fun, they do it for survival. While it can be quite inconvenient to lose a shoe or two, I would steal your shoes as well if it was the only way for me and my family to survive. LOL

mazingerz88's avatar

@Self_Consuming_Cannibal Oh no, I shall dread the day a family of shoe-gnome munches on my toxic shoes. Think about those poor shoe-gnome kids! I’d buy them a nice pair of Jordans if they would like that. : )

Adagio's avatar

@RandomGirl I used to wonder that myself, I live in NZ and have been told it means someone in the vicinity is selling grass, not sure whether it means that in the US but maybe…

RandomGirl's avatar

@Adagio: I wouldn’t be surprised in this town.

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

@mazingerz88 Well that is very considerate of you to buy shoes specifically for the shoe-gnomes to eat. As far as your toxic shoes, think of them like children and guns:

Please keep all of your toxic shoes safely out of reach of the shoe-gnomes.

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