Sometimes, I wonder if there are some unusual uses for sneakers. A few shoe-related searches turned up the following gems:
York City jails, the Department
of Correction forbids prisoners to wear Nike Air or similar sneakers. Why? Enterprising prisoners have hollowed
out the sole and used the Air chamber for the storage of
contraband, including razor blades and significant
quantities of drugs. Incoming prisoners wearing
forbidden sneakers have their sneakers taken away during their incarceration. They get the
sneakers back after serving their time in the slammer. (During their time in jail, the
city issues them inexpensive slip-on canvas sneakers.) Ironically, prisoners can keep
wearing their old Converse "Weapon" sneakers as
they can't be used as a weapons cache. The Department of Correction includes, as part of
their prison history exhibit, a pair of altered sneakers.
In some Texas cities,
old Converse "Chuck Taylor" All Star sneakers are thrown over
utility lines to indicate the presence of drug dealers
in the area.
When I first heard of "Sheep Keds," I wondered what the sheep were wearing. However, "Sheep Keds" are a sheep parasite, as described by the Alberta, Canada Department of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Development:
"Sheep Keds (Melophagus Ovinus) are wingless blood-sucking flies that spend their entire lives on sheep. Although Keds can survive for two to eight days off their host, transmission from sheep to sheep normally occurs by direct contact among crowded animals.
Female Keds give birth to larvae which they glue to the wool of sheep. The attached larva immediately forms a pupa, and continues its development for another three to five weeks. When it emerges from the pupa it will be an adult. Keds live in the wool for four to five months, and are most numerous during the autumn and winter months.
Large numbers of feeding Keds irritate the sheep, and may
produce anemia in heavily infested animals. The irritation to the skin causes the sheep to
rub and scratch itself, which damages the wool. Lambs and poorly fed animals are most
liable to suffer from Keds."
This was recommended by an user posting anonymously on a certain "alt" newsgroup: "Has anyone ever tried using a Teva sandal as a spanking paddle? I tried it last night. They are more stingy that ANY paddle I have EVER tried, wood, leather or anything. You've got to get the really flexible ones. I couldn't believe how effective they were...."
On further research, it turns out that this practice is a traditional British technique for dealing with naughty children,
frequently known as "slippering." It is
even mentioned in the classic "Moby Dick."
I'll be keeping my eyes open for more unusual uses for sneakers!
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Last Updated: 18 April 2012 11:32
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