Author – shoeless guy
The following story is a true account of how I realized my fondness to losing shoes.
After my experience it got me searching the Web and discovering this site about a year ago. I enjoy reading the stories posted and hope my contributions have been enjoyed by others. Although so far my stories have been fiction and wished It had actually happened to me, the following story is true and why I use ‘Shoeless Guy’ as my name.
A few years ago I worked as a Sales Rep in the north of England. With a company car I did a lot of driving and often seen abandoned shoes on the roadside but never really thought anymore about it. I always stop to eat lunch in lay-bys, my favourite being on a not too busy road with great views across the Pennines. A few miles before the lay-by I spotted a training shoe on the roadside and it looked fairly new. It got me thinking who lost their shoe? Why was it there? What happened to the other shoe? Would anyone retrieve it? All questions that would never be answered. Would anyone stop and pick up the shoe?, probably not unless it was the owner. Then I thought would anyone stop and pick up a pair of shoes? Again probably not, too hazardous to stop on a main road. I continued thinking about it as I finished eating lunch. What if a pair of shoes where left in a lay-by, anyone could stop and pick them up. I stared down at my shoes in the footwell, would anyone take them if I drove off leaving them behind? I was getting incredibly excited with just the thought of leaving them, never mind losing them. Being a sales rep I wore a suit and smart shoes, I took off my shoes and looked at them, they weren’t new but I looked after them and they where as good as new, size 10, plain black laced leather shoes. Would anyone want to take them? I placed them on the passenger seat and pondered.
The excitement of throwing my shoes out the passenger window and driving off shoeless in my suit was overwhelming. So I did, I looked in my rear view mirror and could see them laying on the tarmac, my right shoe laid on it’s side. My heart was pounding, I decided to drive to a roundabout about three miles ahead and turn around and go back and retrieve them. Just the thought of someone taking them got me more excited. As I approached the roundabout I could see a car had bumped another causing a queue. What if I had bumped into another car and had to get out…. in my socks! The reality of what I had done was kicking in. I navigated the roundabout and headed back. My heart still pounding, excited and cold flushes of fear at the same time I slowed as the lay-by approached on the opposite side of the road. A car was parked, a police car! I drove past, but relieved that my shoes where still there, I decided to do a U turn at a junction a mile up the road, hoping the police car would be gone on my return. It wasn’t, so I drove past my shoes again, the police car pulled out behind me. What if I have a brake light out and get pulled over by the police, they’ll see me shoeless, is it legal to drive in socks? All sorts of paranoid thoughts running wild in my head, heart pounding in my chest. He followed me to the roundabout, the two bumped cars gone, I drove straight on at the roundabout, it might look unusual doing a U turn with the police behind. He turned right but it took me another mile to U turn and head back. My shoes where still in the now empty lay-by, I passed and U turned where I’d done earlier and headed back to the lay by. A car ahead slowed me down, I indicated to pull into the lay-by, so did the car in front. He stopped ahead of where my shoes lay. I pretended to use my phone waiting for him to move off all the time staring at my shoes, I really needed to get them as I should of been with my next customer now. I didn’t have the courage to get out and retrieve them in my socks so I waited. Then he got out of his car and put some rubbish in the waste bin, he spotted my shoes, picked them up and went to put them in the bin. My heart pounded again, excited he’d picked them up, but happy he was going to bin my shoes allowing me to retrieve them. He stared at them then looked at his own shoes, he looked over to me, then carried them to his car, got in and drove off. The excitement of a stranger carrying away my shoes as I sat in my socks was incredible but as he drove off panic set in. I drove behind him, excited and nervous at the same time thinking how did I end up following my own shoes. I knew some traffic lights where ahead and I’d built up the courage to ask for my shoes back if the lights where on red. As we approached the lights, they went to red, ‘thank god’ I thought, but he jumped them and I lost him… and my shoes.
I was extremely late getting to my next call, a small retailer in a rural village. Nowhere to buy shoes, I pulled over and phoned him explaining I was late and could we discuss any issues and order stock on the phone. He wanted me there as I’d promised to remove old stock. Panic set in, I couldn’t visit a customer in my socks but I really had no choice. I entered his shop, trying to act normal in my dark grey suit and black socks. His two teenage sons where there. My face went red as they looked straight at my shoeless feet. “You lose something” said the shopkeeper as his sons laughed. “I stepped in some cow muck having a pee” I explained telling them they didn’t smell too good and be unhygienic walking in a shop wearing them. He offered to loan me a pair of his sons shoes, but my size 10 feet quickly dismissed that idea. Having finished at his store I headed to my next job, fortunately in a larger town that had a supermarket that sold shoes. My heart again pounding as I entered in my socked feet, feeling rather relieved when I reached the shoe aisle. I found a pair of loafers that fitted. Rather than walk in my socks to the checkouts I pulled the price tag off the shoes and wore them. After queueing at the till, I gave the checkout operator the tag and explained I was wearing the shoes.
“I’ll need to see the shoes” she said.
“Why?” I asked. She explained that anyone could switch labels and I could be wearing expensive trainers. I took the shoes off as the queue watched, to make matters worse she called for an assistant from clothing to come over and do a price check on my shoes. The clothes department was at the back of the store so had to wait for him to arrive then walked off again with the shoes. All the time the impatient queue staring at me in my suit and socks. Eventually he returned, I paid and put the shoes on and left.
If only I had got out of my car at the lay-by and picked up my shoes, nobody except the car driver would of seen my socked feet and then he would of forgotton me later.
I did the rest of my calls and got home late, my girlfriend wasn’t amused when she spotted a cheap pair of loafers on the bedroom floor rather than my quality leather shoes.
Although the afternoon was embarrassing I never forgot how excited I’d become leaving my shoes on the roadside, the thrill of being shoeless and embarrassed at the same time, watching someone take my shoes as I sat helpless in my socks was exhilarating.
Evertime I visited my village customer his sons always shouted ‘The Shoeless Guy’s here’