Monday, November 15, 2010

Shoe Dispersion Rates

It is not much of a mystery how a single shoe might come to be discarded along the pavement of any street or highway. The genuine mystery for me is the number of shoes, boots, high heels, athletic and baby shoes I have noticed over the years.

Maybe the work boots and heavy shoes fall off tool boxes or running boards when they are left by absent minded working men, perhaps after a few too many cold beers? Baby shoes might be thrown out by the babies themselves, or their bored siblings, or maybe they blow off the dash and out the window when Dad gets the family Ford up to speed.

The biggest mystery is how someone can lose a single, size 13 Air Jordan along the Interstate. While I have sometimes witnessed bare feet hanging out a passenger window, I have not seen nearly as many bare feet as I have seen single lost athletic shoes. Does an angry girlfriend throw out half of his footgear? Is the first guy to pass out on a road trip penalized by losing one of his shoes?

I have seen high heels the least often, but they too fall on the pavement, to lay abandoned and forlorn. There is always a fleeting fear that a woman was being transported against her will, but most likely a high heel is lost for the same reason all the other shoes are lost from vehicles.

I also wonder why humans lose shoes out of their cars more than any other item. It seems a shirt or a hat would be the most likely to blow out of a window. I have seen far more shoes along the road than hats. When you think of the number of American feet and multiply that by the five or six pairs of shoes a person has at any stage of life, that makes a huge number of shoes traveling with us in our vehicles at any given time. While we might travel with one hat, we always travel with two shoes. But, a pair of shoes is far more necessary than a hat. It does not add up.

It is a true mystery.

There is probably a scientific explanation for this, maybe a dispersion theory that addresses the rate of lost shoes. When the number of shoes reaches a given density in a population, the rate of shoe dispersion across miles of highways is equal to the sum of disposable income divided by the rate of alcohol consumption, where X is the national rate of carelessness.

This does not begin to address the urban numbers of athletic shoes seen hanging from wires.

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Cyberkit provides this link to a wonderful web site dedicated to lost soles: here

4 comments:

cyberkit said...

What, more math?
For your consideration:

http://www.lostsolesofhighway.com/search/label/Lost%20Sole%20Fan%20Submissions

Jackie said...

OH MY GOSH - an entire website dedicated to lost shoes!! lol I am not the only person who has wondered about this!! I will add the web site as a link in my post.

cyberkit said...

Your post got me curious about shoes hanging on wires, so I did a search and found the web site for lost soles.

Jackie said...

Have you seen those expensive athletic shoes, the shoestrings tied together, hanging on electric wires in every city you travel to?! Don't know what that is all about. The Lost Sole site is great. I really laughed when I saw the photo of the "epitome of lost soles" which was a lost sole, and that's all, along the road. I just love this internet thingie!