The Humorless Twit Kills Several Birds with One (Thousand or more) Shoe(s) | March 2009


It’s inescapable. Pick up a newspaper or magazine, or turn to any channel on your TV or any station on your radio, and you’ll hear the bad news about our economy. Heck, some people have gone well past the “r” word (recession) and the “d” word (depression) into “GD” territory (no, we’re not talking about THAT “GD,” we’re talking “Great Depression”).

Things are bad but they’re not “GD” bad, folks (at least not now…).

But The Twit has a great solution, or at least a way to save a few bucks, for those of us who live in Miami.

There are few places in the world like Miami, in so many ways.

I mean, where else in the world can you find auto parts, clothing, appliances, furniture, even vehicles, all free for the taking, just by driving around town?

Why, it’s the perfect situation for the cash-strapped Miamian who needs, say, a new bed or some underwear!

Take shoes, for example. Earlier this year, some unknown individual (or group) dumped a ton of shoes onto the eternally busy Palmetto Expressway. This was the perfect opportunity for a barefoot person to find a new pair (or new pairs, even) of shoes at no cost!

Need some new tires for the car? No problem! Drive around (or have a friend drive you if your tires are that bad) and keep your eyes open. Sooner or later you’ll run into (and hopefully, not literally!) a whole tire or tires abandoned by someone on the road.

In fact, while we were halfway through writing this column, we had to run an errand at a local shopping center. While parking our car, we found a tire in the shopping center parking lot (see photo). The tire was mounted on a rim and it was fully inflated. The only thing wrong with it was the tread was a little worn… but the tire looked good enough to squeeze a few more miles out of. Too bad it wouldn’t fit our car.

Photo of an actual tire in somewhat okay shape, found in a shopping center parking lot in Miami.

Photo of an actual tire in somewhat okay shape, found in a shopping center parking lot in Miami.

What if you’re looking for new appliances instead of car parts? Go no further than I-95 or the Palmetto Expressway, where you’ll likely find a washing machine, a refrigerator or a dishwasher—in one of the traffic lanes.

While you’re on the highway, if you need a new mattress, look for that too. You’ll be sure to see all the major brands are well represented on the roads of Miami. Of course, there’s that little issue of having to stop on the roadway to pick up your prize. But hey, this is Miami—a little thing like “minimum speed of 40 miles per hour” and “no stopping allowed” on the expressway never stopped (pun fully intended!) anyone from stopping on the highway here!

And what good is a new mattress without any sheets? True story: our wife was driving home from work one day on the Turnpike/Don Shula Expressway. She was behind a garbage truck whose load was loosely covered by a sheet. The sheet came off and, fortunately, flew towards the side of the highway. The garbage truck driver was oblivious to the whole situation. We asked Mrs. Twit why she didn’t stop and pick up the sheet, and she reminded us it did come from a garbage truck, after all. To which we replied, “Excellent point, Mrs. Twit.”

Picking up free stuff from the highways isn’t just good for your pocketbook. It helps make our area more beautiful. And our streets safer for driving. You pick up a dryer or refrigerator from the roadway and nobody can hit it, for example.

Even if you don’t need it yourself, maybe a friend or neighbor can use that tire or two-by-four you find on I-95 or the Dolphin Expressway. So the next time you’re driving around Miami, keep your eyes open. It’s a rough economy so you might as well pick up some free stuff when you get the chance.