Tag Archives: car

Some Thoughts About Road Clutter

shoe on roadway

I was driving home from Costco the other day when I saw it: a lone shoe in the middle of the road. I have often seen peculiar items on the side of the road, or in the median. Over the years, I’ve glimpsed, among other oddities, a solitary sock, a beachball, a wig, a telescope, a chair, a stove, half of a baby doll, a pair of pants, a sofa, and, so help me God, a prosthetic leg. I’ve kept records.

But on this occasion, perhaps due to the extended time I spent waiting at a red light, I began to ponder more deeply — how exactly does one lose just one shoe…in the middle of a road? As my brain attempted to make sense of it, I contemplated the myriad possibilites.
Did the passenger decide to hang her legs out the window and simply lose the shoe by accident? Should I be looking for an accompanying sock? Did the owner of the shoe notice that the shoe had, in fact, departed the vehicle? When she got to her ultimate destination…were shoes required, and was the one remaining shoe enough to satisfy the dress code, or was she, and her solitary naked foot, expelled from polite society? Did the driver himself discard the shoe in a misguided attempt to become more aerodynamic? These questions demanded to be answered.

missing shoe

I cannot recall, with any real precision, a situation in my lifetime in which I simply lost a shoe, a sofa, half a baby doll, or a stove in my travels. Not even in my wildest college days — I’m pretty sure I would have noticed.

Hmm.  It would appear, then, that I may be more conservative in my escapades than I had initially anticipated, and certainly more so than others my age.  What other conclusion can be drawn from this experience but that, clearly, I am not living life to the fullest. Other people are having more fun in their lives…so much fun that a car simply cannot contain it.  No doubt this explains the sudden surge in popularity of the larger SUVs.

As I write this piece, I am deciding which items to pack into my Jetta for my next foray onto the open highway. I’m nearly at quota for half baby dolls and prosthetic legs… but I think I can squeeze a few more shoes into the oven in the back seat.  I’ll be sure and send a postcard when I get where I’m going — unless sharp writing instruments aren’t allowed, which is entirely possible.
broken doll