Mysterious Americana Catalog: ‘Shoelace Ramps’

M-A-C (9): ‘Shoelace Ramps’

Category: doohickey

Collection Date: (REDACTED), 1966

Collection Location: (REDACTED), South Carolina

Collection Report: Stumbled upon by one of the founding members of the Catalog in the year of its first issue, this MAC had several instances over several years, all of which occurred in the area surrounding a mountainous trail with no signposts.

Walking through these areas with shoes or boots that were lacking laces provoked a response from the anomalous plants, a type of Allium locally called ‘ramps’ or ‘wild onion’. The long underground stalks and bulbs moved like snakes or worms, quickly wriggling their way out of the ground, filling the holes meant for laces, and tying themselves into a sturdy knot.

The mountain also had a local description: ‘the peak that provides’. This name has fallen out of favor since development of the area, including the bulldozing of the trail where the ramps grew. Several were preserved as specimens, both in and out of footwear configuration.

It was also recorded that triggering them, but denying them the ability to tie their knot by placing an object in the way or removing the footwear, would cause them to spasm and release a foul odor somewhere between unwashed feet and weeping red onion.

Current Collector: Hen House Sorority, senior rank

Notes from Collector: “These were before our time, so now they’re all dried out and they just stink up the place. They were the founding feature of our secret exhibit, but personally I think they’re a hoax. Why? They’re not weird enough. Everything else we’ve seen is so much flashier. None of us are wives, but that doesn’t stop us from recognizing an old wives’ tale.”

Current Status: inactive (dried)

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