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  #1  
Old 23 April 2007, 12:08 PM
Jay Tea Jay Tea is offline
 
 
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Ponder Shoes hanging from power lines

Most of us are probably aware of the myriad explanations awarded to those mystery pairs of shoes we see hanging from cables from time to time, snopes has words on the subject here.

It seems the Daily Mail spotted some hanging from cables in North London and have instantly surmised that this is the work of drug dealers 'marking their territory'.

So, are we looking at a genuine territorial marker here? perhaps undertaken from UK drug dealers who may have heard this legend defining their habits and living up to expectations, or is it just another pair of shoes tossed up on a jape and gleefully misinterpreted by a UK media source famous for it's gleeful misinterpretations?

I might be able to test this theory when I get home tonight. Mrs Jenkins at number 45 has a pair hanging from the wires outside her house - i'll ask if she has any good crack on her - if she answers 'yes' we'll know the Mail are onto something



Drug dealers or just random shoe buffoonery?
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  #2  
Old 23 April 2007, 12:16 PM
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I wonder what they'd make of the shoe trees in Heaton park.
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  #3  
Old 23 April 2007, 12:19 PM
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D'oh! I found a good reference to an early form of the shoes-on-wires thing the other day, from ages ago - I think it might even have been in Tristram Shandy (18th century - the wires wouldn't have been telegraph wires but I can't remember what). But now I've forgotten where it was...
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  #4  
Old 23 April 2007, 12:28 PM
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What about stuff thrown over lamp posts, as captured here by Half Man half Biscuit?

This Leaden Pall

Bad photo, but it features a bicycle tire encircling the foot of a lamp post - always makes me smile because I like to imagine it took some kid hours to do. But imagine his triumph!
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  #5  
Old 23 April 2007, 01:32 PM
Doug4.7
 
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Dog

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Tea View Post
It seems the Daily Mail spotted some hanging from cables in North London and have instantly surmised that this is the work of drug dealers 'marking their territory'.
Why can't they do it the old fashioned way?

By urinating on the light pole....
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  #6  
Old 23 April 2007, 02:00 PM
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Wag the Dog (film) springs to mind. "Good old Shoe ...."
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  #7  
Old 23 April 2007, 02:06 PM
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Tarquin Farquart Tarquin Farquart is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug4.7 View Post
Why can't they do it the old fashioned way?

By urinating on the light pole....
You just can't get the drug dealers that you used to these days.
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  #8  
Old 23 April 2007, 02:32 PM
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Don Enrico Don Enrico is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llewtrah View Post
Wag the Dog (film) springs to mind. "Good old Shoe ...."
I wanted to say that!

Don "We guaaaard the Canadian border..." Enrico
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  #9  
Old 23 April 2007, 04:32 PM
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IME, the presence of shoes on the telephone lines is a signal that there are bullies in the neighborhood, not drug dealers.
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  #10  
Old 25 April 2007, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
At any given time in my hometown, there's usually at least three pair of sneakers thrown over power lines. I have been told that this is a way for gangs to mark their territory, although, as far as I know, my hometown does not have gangs (but lots o' drugs, hence our nickname, "Meth Valley" - I think the drug dealer thing would be a more believable possibility in this case).
It's my understand that if there is a drug trade in a given area, the gangs will come. But I'm not convinced that shoes over the power lines refer to drug dealers or gangs.
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  #11  
Old 25 April 2007, 04:30 PM
Doug4.7
 
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Shifty Eyes

So if these shoes are markers for gangs, how can one tell which gang has which shoe? Do they mark them, "Property of the Lords of Death" in little letters or something? If so, do gang members have really good eyesight to be able to read the shoe from the ground?
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  #12  
Old 25 April 2007, 08:43 PM
Hyper Squirrel Hyper Squirrel is offline
 
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According to my dad in Astoria in the seventies he and his friends would toss their old sneakers on the power lines because it was more fun to do that than just throw them away
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  #13  
Old 26 April 2007, 05:49 AM
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There's currently an advert running on TV (for salad cream possibly) using the song "Ladybug's Picnic" where the last image is of a pair of trainers slung over a branch or wire. Since the ad features lots of kids having fun, I can imagine kids tossing trainers over low wires or branches.

Tossing them over higher wires/branches suggests some sort of "how high can you throw them - betcha I can throw them right over that wire!" contest among teens and early twenties (the age at which I'd have done stuff like that ).


Note: I pay very little attention to ads hence I can't recall the product or what the shoes are slung over; I, only remember it because of irritating American terms in ads on British TV (they are ladybirds over here and jump rope is called skipping). The image only registered because of this thread.
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  #14  
Old 26 April 2007, 07:00 AM
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Tarquin Farquart Tarquin Farquart is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llewtrah View Post
There's currently an advert running on TV (for salad cream possibly) using the song "Ladybug's Picnic" where the last image is of a pair of trainers slung over a branch or wire. Since the ad features lots of kids having fun, I can imagine kids tossing trainers over low wires or branches.

Tossing them over higher wires/branches suggests some sort of "how high can you throw them - betcha I can throw them right over that wire!" contest among teens and early twenties (the age at which I'd have done stuff like that ).


Note: I pay very little attention to ads hence I can't recall the product or what the shoes are slung over; I, only remember it because of irritating American terms in ads on British TV (they are ladybirds over here and jump rope is called skipping). The image only registered because of this thread.
I don't think it'll be for salad cream, as far as I know we're the only country with that pecuilar condiment!
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  #15  
Old 26 April 2007, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarquin Farquart View Post
I don't think it'll be for salad cream, as far as I know we're the only country with that pecuilar condiment!
Unless a British company just happened to choose a USAnian song for the advert! Maybe they were advertising small children running around at hight speed. Or even trainers. It looked like some picnic-themed stuff to me though.

I once got asked to participate in a survey on how successful TV advertising was. The survey confirmed that I mentally tune out adverts. Apparently I won't be asked to be a guineapig on new advertising campaigns by the company commissioning the survey" (I also showed my age by answering one question "Kentucky Fried Chicken" rather than "KFC" :o )
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  #16  
Old 11 May 2007, 12:57 PM
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I don't think it's a food advert- it's something to do with lots of people being together, rather than the picnic. Do you know, every time I watch that advert I wonder what it's about, and I never quite catch it.
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  #17  
Old 26 May 2007, 02:49 AM
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http://starbulletin.com/2007/05/24/news/kokualine.html

Quote:
The practice of tossing shoes over power lines has a name in some quarters -- "shoefiti" (a play on graffiti).

According to an urban legends Web site -- snopes.com -- shoes hanging from power lines all across the United State are supposed to signify the presence of street gangs. But there really is no one explanation, with theories ranging from gangs marking their territory, to crack dealers advertising their presence, to graduating seniors leaving their mark, to kids just doing it for fun.
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  #18  
Old 28 May 2007, 07:29 PM
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Icon05 'Shoefiti' phenomenon has no clear answer

Shoes hanging from utility lines are an international phenomenon, and the possible causes are the subject of seemingly endless speculation.

http://www.dailyprogress.com/servlet...=1173351375400
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  #19  
Old 28 May 2007, 08:37 PM
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I know that while I was in the Army (88-91), it was common for people shipping out (especially heading home) to do this with a set of old boots.
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  #20  
Old 29 May 2007, 05:21 AM
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There are ten pairs of shoes hanging from the same line crossing the road near the local high school. This was done withing the past school year, although I can't say if they were done at the same time or not. There are other places around town with one or two pair.
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