Twitter was abuzz today with this unusual story, and I first caught wind of it from @LenKendall and @attitudegrrrl. Thousands of shoes of all kinds appeared out of nowhere on the southbound lanes of Palmetto Expressway, disrupting traffic for hours. No witnesses have come forward, and it remains a mystery how the shoes got on the busy highway at 7:42 a.m. Seriously, no one saw this?! I guarantee if I had been in the area, I would have seen it from a mile away. Poor shoes!
Some say it could have just been a truck whose doors swung open, releasing its huge shipment on the concrete. Others think it was a prank similar to one pulled by thieves who returned a statue stolen from the West Palm Beach home of Bernard Madoff. Others still believe it to be a protest against President Bush, a reference to his recent shoe-dodging experience in Iraq.
But there is an upside to this story of shoe abuse: several nonprofits are benefiting from this shoe-a-lanche (as my friend @attitudegrrrl called it). Many were invited to pick up as many shoes as they could carry from the stack that the Florida Highway Patrol was keeping in northern Miami-Dade. Unclaimed shoes will go to Soles4Souls, a shoe-giving charitable organization with projects around the world.
This mess of shoes caused long traffic delays and a two-hour clean-up Friday morning. Law enforcement officials said whoever dumped the shoes will be charged for the clean up, and it won’t be cheap.