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Help me understand: Why do folks throw sneakers over the powerline?

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LynneSin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:14 PM
Original message
Help me understand: Why do folks throw sneakers over the powerline?
I see this all the time in my area. I saw it Central Bucks county in a upscale neighborhood I lived nearby, I've seen it in Philly and I even see it done in my apartment complex here in Wilmington DE.

Why do people toss a pair of sneakers (with the laces tied together) over a powerline.

I don't understand - help me understand
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
1. Urban legend was that it marked gang territory...
...but I don't know what it really means. :shrug:
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justinpower Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:17 PM
Original message
When I lived in New Mexico
I was told that meant a heroin dealer lived there, but I dont know if thats true.
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stinkeefresh Donating Member (563 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #1
25. that's an urban legend?
in the eighties, when the Converse Weapon came out, it was the beginning of the rise of the basketball sneaker as the most important article of clothing. Then came the first Air Jordans... seriously, there was nothing more urban hip than the "high top". I thought sneakers became, briefly, a very important signafier of gang association.

I thought the use of these sneakers on the wires was gang territory marking. I wish I could remember my sources and how credible they were, but it was so long ago.
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proud patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:16 PM
Response to Original message
2. There's some hanging less than a mile from my house
LOL..... Is it something Bullies do ?

or

Is it a way to dispose of old shoes ?

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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:17 PM
Response to Original message
3. Two things
either there's a drug dealer nearby, or some bully's stolen a kid's shoes - again.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #3
13. there are a pair in my alley
and you can shonuf buy some weed right there. but remember that anecdotal evidence is an oxymoron.
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ScreamingMeemie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:17 PM
Response to Original message
4. I've only seen it once and I thought it was just someone being
a creep...like the flagpole stuff. :hi:
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:17 PM
Original message
!!! There too? (nt)
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jimbo fett Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:17 PM
Response to Original message
5. And why do you see a shoe (just 1) lying on the interstate fequently?
Or pants?

Who is shucking off clothes at 65mph?
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ScreamingMeemie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. Cue creepy music.
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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #5
27. Yes, I've always wondered about the one shoe thing.
The only explanation I can come up with is that someone had their foot sticking out the window and the shoe fell off.
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zanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #5
34. 7blades--let's not stop until we get the answer to this question!
I've been wondering about that for years. People leave all kinds of stuff in the gutters around my neighborhood; trash, towels, shirts, even underwear (that I can understand). But WHY LEAVE ONE SHOE BEHIND? There's never a matching shoe. How do they get home? Do they leave one shoe on? Do they carry one shoe home? What gives? Anybody out there with the answer to this age-old question, please have a heart and respond.
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Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #5
41. One time I tossed a pair of old boxers out my window
I was wearing them at the time during a rather long car trip and they started to get real uncomfortable. So I reached down and I ripped them right off without taking off my pants and tossed them out the window, because it seemed like the only thing to do at the time.
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shanti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. tacky tacky
*shaking my head*
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Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #42
47. it seemed like the best thing to do at the time
I was driving through NJ so I didn't feel bad about the littering like I usually would.
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #5
51. Underwear
is even creepier.

However, some have interesting stains.
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felonious thunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
6. They use the rubber on them
By throwing them over the powerline, the rubber on the sneakers grounds the powerlines, keeps them from being shocked when they later grab the lines with their hands and go across town via hanging from the powerlines.
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jimbo fett Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. You're making that up, aren't you. Who's "they" anyway?
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felonious thunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. "They" are the creatures that galavant about town via powerlines
after they have stolen the sneakers from your garage, and thrown them over the powerlines.
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LynneSin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #11
33. I can assure you this was NOT a Perry County thang....
then again, I don't think there were any gangs in our county except maybe white racist neo-nazi huffer gangs.

:eyes:
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Shananigans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #7
32. It's Oscar...
and his buddies. They used to do that all the time. I can't tell you how many times we got complaints from people about it...sorry.
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smiley_glad_hands Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:20 PM
Response to Original message
8. Mostly because they can.
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MissMillie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #8
22. That would have been my answer
coupled with "because they have nothing better to do".
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Lisa0825 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
10. I have heard it means someone died there (probably anurban legend)
The more likely reason is what my ex-bf in Mexico said... he said that it was a childhood prank in his town.... when kids would take off their shoes to play, someone would steal them, tie them together, and toss them up there. Or sometimes, they would just hold a kid down to steal the shoes and do that.
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arcane1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:24 PM
Response to Original message
12. they were ALL OVER Bon Air in VA...
and I know that's not because drug dealers lived there :)

thought it was a local phenomenon of bored semi-rural pre-teens, even more s now that I see them all over the 'burbs in northern CA, too

my guess is it's the "thing to do" when you are 13
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NightTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
14. Probably just a dick thing

Testosterone poisoning can manifest itself in many odd ways.
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Hawkeye-X Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
15. Yeah I was just looking at one downtown Denver
Edited on Fri Jan-23-04 02:27 PM by HawkeyeX
dangling in a busy intersection on the power lines..

Yeah, and there's weed dealers all over the place in that area.

Hawkeye-X
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AlienGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
16. What else are ya gonna do with old sneakers?
My ex-hubby and his friends claim to have started this trend in Racine, Wisconsin. They threw their old sneakers from inside a convertible, just because they were bored and it was something to do with old shoes. :shrug:

Tucker
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jimbo fett Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. This has gone on for decades. My dad said they did it in the 50s.
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Bunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #18
29. Yeah, it's very old.
Goes back at least to the 50's, and I remember hearing somewhere that it was a Philadelphia thing, and that there was no real good reason for it initially. In other words, they threw their old tennies over the power line simply because it was there, or something like that.
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grytpype Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
17. It's some ghetto thing.
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Screaming Lord Byron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:29 PM
Response to Original message
19. They mark hidden portals to Yog-Sotthoth.
Dear Cthulu, let me be eaten first.
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meegbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:29 PM
Response to Original message
20. From the Straight Dope
No real answer, but a list of reasons, some posted here.


http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a5_274.html
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Lostmessage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:29 PM
Response to Original message
21. A runner just got laid
At least that was what it meant back in the 80's.
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2Sailsgirls Donating Member (70 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #21
48. shoes and sex
That soudn like what they do on my campus. When yu have a "memorable first" on campus (according to the tour guides) you threow your shoes into this tree. But we also don't have any power lines
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Ruby Romaine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
23. saw this in NYC- the Bronx, Brooklyn -early 60's, late 50's
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DuctapeFatwa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
24. Because boots are heavier and fall off
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Snow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #24
43. Boots you put upside-down on top of fence posts....
drive around rural Nebraska or Wyoming; you'll see them all over the place. Now, what does that mean?
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
26. I always understood that it meant someone got their ass kicked
but I don't know
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alwynsw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
28. There's a shoe tree in Troy, IN 100's of pairs of shoes
It seems that everyone in Troy throws their old shoes into the branches.
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #28
38. two shoe trees-photo
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alwynsw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #38
50. Only an old guy like me would stoop to that visual pun
at least you used the good cedar trees.
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kskiska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
30. Why does it have to be sneakers?
How about a nice pair of shiny red high-heeled ankle-strapped pumps?
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FlaGranny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. Cause they don't have
shoestrings to tie them together. ;-)
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YellowRubberDuckie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
35. Lynn, do you have a gang problem in Wilmington DE?
I mean, every time I hear Wilmington DE, I think of this upper middle class community where the kids ride their bikes up and down the street, and there are people sitting out on big cushy porches with fans whirling over head, and some grandparents yelling no, and stop that, Billy. Quit doing that to your sister. Something very much like the Gaslight Edition from Now and Then.
Duckie
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LeftPeopleFinishFirst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. Me too
Never thought of Wilmington as the gang sort of place. Eh.
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LynneSin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #37
44. I mean, we're not talking LA/NYC type gangs
But I'm sure we have our gathering of mischievous pranksters

:shrug:
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YellowRubberDuckie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #44
49. There's a BIG difference between mischievous pranksters and gangs.
Mischievous pranksters are like Zack from Saved by the Bell. Gang bangers carry guns and sell drugs and have hoes and stuff.
Duckie
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LeftPeopleFinishFirst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 04:20 PM
Response to Original message
36. Who brings a naked Barbie on a ski lift?
Yes, while skiing about 5 years ago I happened upon a naked Barbie accompanying me on the way up to the top of the mountain. Quite interesting. Later, I saw the Barbie again on my way up- except this time she was stuck in a tree.
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Corgigal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
39. My 22 year old daughter told me
that it's the first time a man had sex. It's proof of a man in the area. To me, its proof they don't buy their own sneakers.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 04:46 PM
Response to Original message
40. I bet it's the modern version of the favorite macho stunt
at my junior high school in the 1960s: throwing pencils into the acoustical tile that covered the high ceilings of the choir and band rooms.
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LastKnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #40
45. we still do this kinda thing today...
you just have to throw harder to get it into the sheetrock...

-LK
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geniph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 06:27 PM
Response to Original message
46. They're no longer perfectly pristine white
so they're undesirable.

<grasping at straws> I have no idea. Why do I keep seeing torn men's underwear in the middle of the road?

As to the gang thing, I dunno about that...I see it in very sedate neighborhoods, too. May have started that way, but there's a lot of little wannabes in some pretty quiet neighborhoods, then. I'll ask my cop friends.
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latebloomer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 09:32 PM
Response to Original message
52. I thought it was a Hoboken thang
I remember it from living in Hoboken, NJ in the '80s.
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