The Shoe on the Side of the Road


I approached the onramp to the Turnpike from the Goethals bridge, and there it was. There, just at the bend in the road, a single dress shoe #oxfordsNotBrogues.

What chain of events leads to a single article of clothing in the middle of a pedestrian “no man’s land”, better yet, a single article that is normally part of pair*. My mind began to run with the possibilities. I’m going to share those with you now, absurd as they are.


The sleeping friends theory:I’m usually the one driving when I’m with a group of friends. We have taken many road trips in my vehicles. I’m particularly capable when it comes to endurance rounds, like 8 hours in the middle of the night traveling down the east coast. There is usually a time during the journey where all your “friends” fall asleep. RUDE. There are many ways to deal with this. You can wait for a good opportunity to scream and slightly swerve. You can slowly approach a red light and when you get there just JAM on the brakes at that last inch before fully stopping. OR MAYBE, you grab the shoe of your quitter friend in the backseat that has his foot up on the center armrest, rip it off, and chuck it out the window! NAILED IT! Unfortunately, that is likely not what happened. Because,who throws a shoe? honestly…

The itchy foot supposal: I tried to imagine a scenario where the driver throws his or her own shoe out the window. We have all been there, right? You are driving along, then suddenly, out of nowhere, it starts. The smallest sensation creeps out from the center of the underside of your foot. First, you try to will it away, talking yourself out of it: “You are not itchy. That sensation is in your head. You can overpower it”. Congrats! You have made the small tingling sensation a full-blown itch that absolutely cannot go unscratched. Then you attempt to stop the itch with force as if you can beat it into submission. You stomp on the floor of your vehicle, maybe you shimmy it side to side. If you are unfortunate enough for this to be happening on your right foot, you are finding opportunities to do this in between feathering the gas pedal. Inevitably you lose this battle. In a final last ditch effort, you attempt to find an opportunity when you can lift your knee up toward your torso and slide your index finger between your shoe and the inside of your foot while keeping your eyes on the road and the other hand on the wheel. You attempt this acrobatic bomb defusal with the hand on the same side as the itch: right foot, right hand. You get your finger inside your shoe only to realize,*spoiler alert*,your finger bends the other way. Do you do what’s logical and switch hands? NO! you try to contort your arm so that it’s in a position where your index finger can bend under your foot. For some of you, this may hit close to home. It doesn’t have to happen to you many times. If you experienced this once then you totally get where I am coming from. This is the kind of inconvenience that sticks with you. Now, you may be thinking about your own experience. If you are, you may be asking yourself: “Wait, how did I get out of this conundrum?”. Allow me to explain. You gave up on trying to scratch that itch with your finger. That plan was doomed from the start. You placed both hands on the wheel and tried to think of some other way to solve the problem when someone on the road does something stupid. Maybe you get cut off. Maybe the guy in front of you keeps drifting over the line. Maybe the guy behind you is riding on your bumper. Whatever this person has done, he or she serves as the Deus ex Machinain our Tale of the Itchy Foot. Your completely warranted hatred is now so laser focused on this spinchoon that you have forgotten about the itch, and it has gone away. The itchy foot supposal states: For the owner of the shoe on the side of the road, the spinchoon never came. The owner’s hand was forced. Fraught with anger and frustration, in a fit of rage, the driver kicked off the shoe of the offending foot and chucked it out the window, free to scratch vigorously.


The anarchist hypothesis:This hypothesis states that an individual placed the shoe in an unusual location. This anarchist, (NAY! sociopath!) gets off on the fact that people like me are losing their minds over it. This some-bitch is just sitting at home laughing maniacally like The Joker while my mind races with the possibilities. This is likely the same person that breaks into another person’s home and takes nothing. #rememberWhenDaneWasFunny



*Is it strange that I would be completely unaffected by this discovery had both shoes been present? Probably.

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