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Author Topic: What's with Shoes on Wires?
snopes
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You see them everywhere. But what does it mean, all of those pairs of sneakers hanging by their laces over phone, cable, and power lines?

http://www.klas-tv.com/Global/story.asp?S=1482560&nav=168XIXDy

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resELution
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Yeah, I always thought it was just a prank. It's like running someone's bra or panties up a flag pole. Or, if you really want to roast someone buy a HUGE pair of panties, run it up the flagpole and tell everyone that they belong to so and so.

It's very juvenille.

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Karama
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I was wondering if it was just a local thing... I never heard of it being widespread before, but a pair appeared on my regular route to work months ago, and is still there. I saw another one in another part of the city a few weeks back.

I guess it's not just a new local fad.

Karama

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oh pleeze
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i don't recall why we did it, but back in the seventies we did. the fad seemed to disappear during the 80's, but lately i've been noticing them again too. in the 70's in lived in PA & NJ, i'm in FL now. [Razz]

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There's something UN the WINg...
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I don't know how much thought the throwers put into getting them up there, but have you ever considered the problem of getting them down? They're not going to come down accidentally, because the shoes are too heavy, and may have wrapped around. You're not going to get them down by poking them, or throwing things at them (which is inadvisable anyway). There just stuck. It's like gum in the hair. Sounds like no big deal, until it happens.
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Tags973
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I think it's the challenge, then of course those who master it may consider it an art. I've never done it but it probably takes many tries and is just something you don't give up until you get the job done- then you see if you can do it again.

As for getting them down, I'm sure it's just part of routine maintenance for the power companies and is no big deal with their cherry pickers.ED By routine, I meant they could fetch anything as they worked on lines, I didn't mean to imply that they have a "shoe patrol" or anything like that.

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Jason Threadslayer
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There's a tree on West Campus of Georgia Tech with dozens of shoes hanging from it. I've seen people throwing them up there.

I seem to recall a video from the late 1970's/early 1980's showing kids throwing shoes on to power lines.

The power companies don't routinely take things down off of power lines -- we've got a piece of practice tackle my brother tangled on the power lines when he was practising fly casting.

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Momanon
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At Indiana University this was very popular in the late-80's. Especially during the '87 basketball championship win. There was one street in particular that had hundreds of shoes on one powerline. Sometimes it wasn't just shoes. I remember a doll that was hanging from the line with a string and a weight tied to the other end. A picture of this powerline graces the cover of a book chronicling sports at IU.

-Momanon

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Morutistopheles
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It couldn't have anything to do with Sergeant William Schumann aka "The Old Shoe" could it? [Razz] [lol]
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unbroken
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Saw a BIKE at the top of a telephone pole the other day, no idea how it got there. It was gone the next day. Much oddness.

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BeachLife
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quote:
Originally posted by Lid:
Saw a BIKE at the top of a telephone pole the other day, no idea how it got there. It was gone the next day. Much oddness.

That post was almost poetry.

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WonkoTheSane
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Off topic:

Is anyone else wondering about the horrible spelling and sentence structure errors in this supposedly professional article? Apparently Michael Geeser needs to turn in his Consumer Editor hat and head back to journalism school. Maybe English 101?

quote:
"I have no idea," says one man who walks bear chested down Senson Avenue, shoes hanging just above him on a wire.

A website that debunks urban legends suggests its believed that tennis shoes hanging from utility lines designate "gang territory" or a location to buy street drugs. But Metro's gang unit says it does not have information suggesting that.

...some inner city kids were playing around and threw some tennis shoes up on the telephone polls," says Metro Sgt. Rod Hunt.

I don't want to waste posting space by showing all of the mistakes. Maybe I'm a little too anal, but I understood writers were meant to be able to WRITE...

Wonko "butt I coud be wrong" the Sane

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tlqeeeee
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quote:
Originally posted by Morutistopheles:
It couldn't have anything to do with Sergeant William Schumann aka "The Old Shoe" could it? [Razz] [lol]

I was wondering if anyone would bring that up. That's what came to MY mind first!

I mean, the timing doesn't quite work... I remember seeing shoes on powerlines YEARS before the movie came out, back when character "Connie Breen" was probably still in college [Big Grin]

--tlqEEEEE

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Methos Divino
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I've ALWAYS seen shoes on power lines.
But it's almost always in inner city areas, that I can remember.

And I live in Puerto Rico, BTW.

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Methos Divino
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I've ALWAYS seen shoes on power lines.
But it's almost always in inner city areas, that I can remember.

And I live in Puerto Rico, BTW.

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"But, what does it do?"
"It doesn't DO anything, that's the beauty of it."

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Darqstar
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I grew up in the 60's and 70's, middle class neighborhood in Massachusetts and we used to throw our shoes over the wires, or at least try. We'd do it at the end of the school year, when our mothers would take us out to buy new sneakers. It was symbolic. Getting rid of the old sneakers for new ones.
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Jinxie
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quote:
Or, if you really want to roast someone buy a HUGE pair of panties, run it up the flagpole and tell everyone that they belong to so and so.

The pastor (family friend) that married my hubby and I yold him to get a huge pair and pull it out instead of the garter. Hubby didn't want to embarass me though.

Chappell"sometimes he can be a very wise man."78

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guruwan2b
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There is a tree on the way to our lake place. Every spring the trees get cut back and the shoes from last year are removed. Every summer more shoes show up on the same tree. There have been as many as 10 pair on that one limb.
Kim

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Dara bhur gCara
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It's not always as innocent as that. In my experience, they're often not throwing their own shoes on the line, they belong to someone else. Often a tubby child, or one with glasses, or plays a musical instrument, or who does well in all the tests. Said child then has to run home in their socks, and then their parents shout at them for 'losing' their new trainers.

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Amelora
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ok my sister who belives she is 'oh so getho' (we live in the 'burbs) has desided that it is where a 'home boy' has fallen to a rival gang shooting. she is probly full of it but there you have it
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Cervus
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We also have a "shoe tree" at the I-95 exit in Jupiter, Florida.

Actually, it's so common, I rarely give it much thought. I saw it pretty often growing up in Miami in the 80's.

I always thought, even as a little kid, that it was a prank pulled on another kid. Beat up the nerd, steal his/her shoes, and throw them onto a telephone line.

How often do you see one shoe lying in the road (around here, it's usually a flip-flop). Why are those there? I walk around neighborhoods a lot, and when I'm driving I enjoy looking for shoes in the road. I don't think I've ever found a matched pair. I always see just one. Also, I usually find them in the middle of intersections. I've thought about doing a study and writing down what shoes I find in the road, and where, and make a chart. Maybe there's some kind of trend. The only explanation I can think of would be people throwing the shoes out of car windows, especially if it's two kids fighting in the back seat (it's very easy to grab someone's flip-flop and fling it.)

I also find hats, and gloves and socks along the road and at intersections. Only it's never a pair. It's always *one* glove, or *one* sock. Hmm...maybe socks that go missing in the dryer enter a portal, and they are teleported to various roads and intersections? If that's true, would there be a pattern of some sort?

(Note to self: you have had way too much caffiene tonight!)

I have seen a pair of flip-flops hanging from a phone line...they were tied together with string. [lol]

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ASL
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Well, anectdocetal or not:

At VMI, when a pair of shoes become unservicable (the heel falls off, there is a gash in the leather that even several layers of shoe polish wont cover up, or they just plain look old and mangled) we chuck them out the window and into the trees along the back-side of barracks. Sure, we could toss them down the garbage chute, but then that wouldnt be nearly as much fun.

Actually, one day one of my roomates got bored and started tossing coathangers out the window to try and hook them onto the tree branches. Fucking dumbass... An officer was watching below and he put everyone in the room at the time on guard over easter break, even if we had no part in it.

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Jason Threadslayer
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quote:
Originally posted by Cervus:
How often do you see one shoe lying in the road (around here, it's usually a flip-flop). Why are those there?

Imagine someone riding in the passenger seat with her (nearly always a her, in my experience) foot sticking out of the window...

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LittleDuck
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quote:
Originally posted by Darqstar:
I grew up in the 60's and 70's, middle class neighborhood in Massachusetts and we used to throw our shoes over the wires, or at least try. We'd do it at the end of the school year, when our mothers would take us out to buy new sneakers. It was symbolic. Getting rid of the old sneakers for new ones.

I've lived in a middle class neightborhood in MA my whole life and there were always shoes on the lines on some streets (at least when I was younger-I don't pay much attention now). That was the same explaination we always heard too-it was an end of the year thing. My folks would never let us do it though.


LittleDuck

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The Spider in the Ointment
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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
You see them everywhere. But what does it mean, all of those pairs of sneakers hanging by their laces over phone, cable, and power lines?

http://www.klas-tv.com/Global/story.asp?S=1482560&nav=168XIXDy

Basically they're meant as death traps for shoe fetishists and other assorted nutters, pest control makes a lot of money putting them up...
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Doc V
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When I was stationed at Camp LeJeune NC a Marine Corps base. You could often see boots hung on the wires around base. Usually near the barracks, I was told that it was a tradition to throw your boots over the wire when you finished your enlistment. I always assumed it was sort of like saying I wont need these any more! Im over the wire! Boots are a strong symbolism of military life, and after all the miles I put on my boots on forced marches (I went through many a pair) I can understand why someone would want to display them publicly as a sign of their accomplishment. Some times Marines would paint them bright colors to draw attention to them. [Smile]
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DarkDan
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Something weird in New Jersey is the Route 23 pole art. Pretty interesting.

Dark"someone has too much time on their hands"Dan

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abby 68
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quote:



I always thought, even as a little kid, that it was a prank pulled on another kid. Beat up the nerd, steal his/her shoes, and throw them onto a telephone line.

That's what it was, when I was a teen growing up in Toronto, if a kid wondered into our area,(the wrong area to be, it was a semi gang thing) we'd steal his, boots(doc martens were very popular then it was the 80s) or shoes, jacket, money ect. & send him on his way. Usally the boots or shoes would get tossed over a telephone wire, as long as they weren't new.
We were such "cruel" little s***s. [fish]

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spankymead
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im sure its not the case for all of them, but its also a sign that someone is runing drugs out of the house that they are in front of.
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the Virgin Marrya
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I know i've mentioned before about the underwear on wires thing we have going on here...and now there's the world-famous-in-new-zealand tie fence (yes, it's really as sad as it sounds!)

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TheBobo
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quote:
Originally posted by spankymead:
im sure its not the case for all of them, but its also a sign that someone is runing drugs out of the house that they are in front of.

My father, who is an ex-cop, said basicly the same thing. If you see shoes hanging off a utility wire it means the residence is a drug house. I always thought that sounded too much like an Urban Legend and meant to bring it here some time ago.
If this is true why would anybody in their right mind advertise their illicit business in such a manner? Would't every cop know that if he sees shoes danging on a wire that this a drug house?

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WonkoTheSane
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It's silly. Drug dealers do not stay in business by being stupid. In the age on email, cell phones, and pagers, why would they need to advertise, especially in such a manner as this? It's like the other story here about fireworks advertising that a drug house is open. This UL is made up and spread by those who have no idea how these illicit businesses actually work.

Wonko

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Pixxxie
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I've always wondered about that, too. Plus, on my route to work, there's a motorbike (Not a motorcycle, but one of those other types of bikes/scooters; I don't know what they're called.) hanging on a low wire.

Edited to add: The motorbike has been there for about five months now.

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