I was walking past the church on Metal Street when I came across the amusing yet seemingly pointless phenomena that is some shoes on a wire.

shoes

When I was younger I used to live near a telephone wire that was a hotspot for shoe throwers, every time a pair was taken down another was waiting to take its place. On one occasion an anarchic individual, disillusioned with throwing shoes onto telephone lines, decided to branch out into throwing the old style sink plugs on a chain instead (one of the sad consequences of the modernisation of plugholes mean this particular past time is soon to die out).

Shoe throwing however is alive and well and if urban legends are to be believed can mean anything from marking gang territory, a loss of virginity or an attempt to increase the visibility of telephone wires for low flying air craft!

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Shoes on a wire - by Dave Gorman

I was surprised as to how much discussion there is about this topic online – its scope is truly international. In the UK, comedian Dave Gorman (who kindly let me use the above photo) talks about his own bizarre experience here and Australian journalist Jock Cheetham has even made a short documentary about  shoes thrown on to telephone wires down under:

In America the idea has been taken a step further with shoe trees:

shoetree

The Shoe Tree in Morley Field, San Diego - Jon Sullivan

Boot tossing is apparently a national sport in New Zeland and Eastern Europe (according to Wikipedia that is) and in the Arab world, hitting someone with a shoe is regarded as a serious insult and means I can end this post with this humorous incident (can you guess what it is yet?):

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