Too Many Rotten Old Shoes?
MARAQUA - When fishing, your pet will often catch an old left sandal or right
shoe. This may go on for days or weeks at a time. Your pet is not the only one
catching these sandals or shoes. There is either one very fortunate person losing
their footwear or millions of unlucky people losing shoes every day.
There is approximately 120 million registered Neopets owners and 175 million
Neopets. There are an estimated 70 million active owners (a lot of people have
left to go questing for the legendary grail or some woman pilot) with at least
one Neopet. Most people probably have only one pet they go fishing with. If
even just half of these people's pets fish every day, and half of those pets
caught shoes, then there's possibly seventeen and a half million shoes and sandals
in the underwater cavern being reeled in a day.
Where do these shoes come from? They may be rotten to where they're kind of
smooshy, but they're not of a gelatin substance - these shoes certainly don't
come from the fabled Jelly World. Rumors have it there is another world outside
of Neopets where owners come from that has a population of about six and a half
billion people. If such a world is real, do the sandals come from there? Do
people there even wear protection for their feet?
Is it possible we are only looking at the same several million right sandals
or left shoes, or are we looking at a much higher number? The cavern has been
accessible for fishing use for nearly a year as of this article's writing. If
we took 365 days and multiplied it by 17.5 million, then that would mean about
6.4 billion shoes or sandals are in the Neopets world currently. Such a high
amount of useless footgear seems impossible! If there really were that many,
some of the examples of the locations of excess footwear would include:
* The Rainbow Pool would be filled with multi-colored shoes.
* The Wheel of Monotony would include a trip to the volcano filled with shoes.
* Shoes would dangle by their shoelaces from tree branches in the Haunted Woods.
* The stairway leading to the kingdom of Altador would be made entirely of
* Petpetpets? Forget that, sandalsandalsandals!
* Roo Island would be forced to closed down after being flooded by a raging
storm of sandals.
However, we do not see this many shoes or sandals laying about. Where are they
at, exactly? The most logical thing people do with these sandals or shoes is
to donate them to the Money Tree or discard them. Entrepreneurs sell the found
junk for a neopoint or two in their shops. Very few people actually save the
shoes. Some collect them for the packrat avatar; others collect the shoes for
the sake of being able to say they own a thousand left sandals but don't have
a single right one to match any of them. What happens after the shoes are donated
or discarded or sold? Who takes them from the tree or garbage dump? Who buys
them from shops?
There are so many questions, but there are very few answers. There is reason
to believe there is an entire underground organization or mystical village of
retired shoemakers dedicated to recycling the same several million shoes to
bring great angst and mystery into our lives or really polluted waters.
The lake is its quietest in the latest hours of the night. A large fishing
boat creeps into the cavern and lurks in the dark, unnoticed by anyone. A number
of pets lean over the deck and begin dumping the shoes they found throughout
the day back into the fishing lake. When the job is done, they leave just as
quietly as they came. People and their pets wake up in the morning and go fishing,
only to be irritated by finding yet another old rotten left shoe. They donate
their finds to the Money Tree. The members of this organization or village grab
the shoes from the tree and repeat the vicious cycle.
If such a theory is true, how many pets are involved? How long has this been
going on? Are they trying to tell us a message, or is this just for their own
amusement? There is far too many holes in this idea to provide solid evidence
of this being true.
Another belief is that Dr. Sloth is busy at work with his factories, and that
these sandals are the waste of his evil devices. He pours the waste directly
into the underwater fishing cavern, thinking no one will ever notice.
Careful search of the lake reveals no pipe or pump along the walls, but our
scuba gear is not advanced enough yet to check the bottom of the lake, and the
Peophins are too scared to look for us.
Environmentalists have proposed a hypothesis that the litter in the water is
not litter at all. The shoes and sandals could possibly be food for the Titanic
Giant Squid. With so many pets fishing these shoes out, the squids' supply of
food is running low, thus the scarcity of Titanic Giant Squids. The squids are
too busy searching the deepest parts of the lake for food, which explains why
only the expert fishermen are able to catch the large sea creatures. Not much
research has gone into this, mainly because the environmentalists are much too
busy figuring out good fishing laws to protect the even rarer creatures of the
How much of a problem are all these sandals and shoes in the lake? For the
time being, it would appear to not be a very great problem, but one must consider
the future and determine the origins all of the footgear. If there's a truly
large number of shoes and sandals out there, something must be done to reduce
it before the Soup Kitchen Faerie starts serving soup full of soles and spaghetti
with shoelaces. Perhaps a great world exists out there, and those people inhabiting
the world are in dire need of shoes - even if the shoes kind of smell. Maybe
there's a cursed city full of Acaras who keep losing their shoes and are wandering
around in just dirty socks.
The possibilities are endless, but we can eliminate the impossible with careful
deduction. To paraphrase a great literary character, once you have eliminated
the impossible, then whatever is left must be the absolute truth - no matter