Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Three local teencats were arrested in the wee hours of the morning after they were seen throwing shoes into a tree in a Lynnwood neighborhood. Vinnie "Two Tails" Antonelli, Raindrop, and Max, all Meadowdale High School Juniors, are in the custody of their parents tonight pending charges for littering on city and private property.
What does it mean, a pair of shoes on power lines? Is it a warning, a sign of impending doom, or the sign of a crack house nearby? According to internet research, sneakers thrown onto power lines seemed to imply that someone local had passed away, graduated high school, or that one had somehow symbolically moved on to a different chapter in their lives, metaphorically not needing their shoes any longer. But what was once the stuff of urban legends and tall tales on Wikipedia.com is now a real form of inspired and original teencat pop art.
Vinnie "Two Tails" Antonelli was in juvenile hall for six hours this morning with his friends Raindrop and Max
The shoe throwers had become hunted targets in recent weeks when shoes tied together, but mismatched, were reportedly found hung on power lines. All pairs were found hanging within one specific cluster of streets at 67th avenue and 181st street.
As the snow fell, the shoes grew heavier, eventually causing a power outage.
"It was during the big snow." Lynnwood Policeman Hale Leighton said to the Gazette, "We all thought it was the sledders, the kids, having a joke on us. One pair is a joke, 5 pairs is a little pre-planned." During the course of three nights, a total of 5 pairs of mismatched sneakers ranging from Converse All-Stars to Vans were found hanging from power lines.
"One line had two pairs, the others all had one each." said Jed, a 16-year-old, neutered, male who lives in the neighborhood. "Those darned kids, the snow got 'em all riled up. They wasted their parents' good money throwing those nice pairs of shoes too." Jed said that he never heard a peep overnight, but gradually the shoes accumulated as did the snow.
"Those darned kids..." said Jed
Finally, after a week of more snow and sleet, the shoes grew heavy from the weight and one power line did fall, causing a short power outage in the neighborhood. "I missed my programs, and Tom Cruise was on Oprah. I complained...someone called the city people and they took the shoes down." Jed said.
The city took into consideration that teencats were probably the instigators and took the shoes and kindly piled them on the side of the road so they could have them back before their parents' noticed, or so that someone might see them lying there and donate them to charity.
Despite the fact that they were mismatched in color, they matched in style, brand and size. "It was a kinda pretty arrangement..." said city worker Hairball "...it really hit me, actually. One pair was a set of size 7 Converse All-Stars, one was pink and the other orange, another set of Converse were size 7, one navy blue and the other yellow. Yet another set was suede Vans, size 7 also, one black, one red. Somehow it made sense to me."
The teencats were caught just two days after the power outage when Jed, the diligent neighbor ever on the watch, caught the teencats throwing the pairs of shoes this time into a neighbor's tree instead of the power lines. Vinnie "Two Tails" Antonelli said "I can understand not wanting them on the power lines, but we are artists here...we have created our very own 'shoe tree.'"
A photo of some of the shoes in the neighborhood tree
Much to the annoyance of one neighbor of the "shoe-tree" homeowner (who refused to be interviewed for or comment to the Gazette) the shoes remain, having now grown in number to a wonderous rainbow of 9 perfectly mismatched pairs in all. There are now two pairs of Crocs and two pairs of Asics Gels, all mismatched, along with the original 5 mismatched pairs.
The crocs look especially nice in contrast to the branches of the tree
"It is art." said Heathcliff, a domestic long haired-tabby mix who owns the home where the "shoe-tree" stands. "Pure and simple, it is art in a new and rare abstract expressionist form. People can't help but stare when they walk by or drive by. I admire it and will not be pressing charges against the cats. I am truly inspired by their creative impulse."
Heathcliff calls it "...art."
We at the Kitty City Gazette are hoping that printing this story does not start a rash of shoe-tree incidents in any neighborhoods. But if it does, please send photos.
Copyright Sharyn Thoma-Guay
Posted by The Kitty City Gazette at 5:29 PM