the other shoe..

Fri May 7 03:55:57 UTC 1999

I have found the following while surfing the Web:

 (1) Drop the other shoe!

This expression, meaning 'end of suspense,' has been around for many
decades. There are
various stories to account for its origin, but our own favoite comes
from Kiyoaki Murata,
managing editor of the Tokyo Times. "I was traveling in Germany and at
a hotel my
interpreter friend read me a joke out of a German magazine. It went
like this: A traveler
came to an inn late at night and asked for a room. There was only one
available and he
was told to be very careful because the guest in the next room was a
timid fellow and a
very light sleeper, disturbed by the slightest noise. So the new guest
made every effort to
be silent as he got ready for bed, but because he was so nervous he
dropped one shoe,
making a crashing sound in the silence of the night. Sure enough, it
awakened the man
next door and the new guest could hear him toss and turn. So he managed
to get the other
shoe off in silence and got into bed. Toward dawn he heard his neighbor
still tossing about
and finally, just about daybreak, he heard a pounding on the wall and a
shout: 'When are
you going to drop the other shoe?'  [found through Altavista]

(2) 73. Summary Record of the Fifth Meeting of the Executive Committee
of the National
Security Council [in regard to the Cuban missile crisis]

Washington, October 25, 1962, 5 p.m.

/3/See Document 59.

Mr. Bundy said the East German ship was not covered by U Thant's

General Taylor and Director McCone asked Mr. McNamara [5 lines of
source text not

The President said the only argument against stopping the ship is U
Thant's request for no incidents
for the time being. He said that we would have to drop the other shoe

Secretary McNamara repeated his earlier statement with respect to the
difficulty of stopping a
passenger ship. He preferred to stop the Graznyy tomorrow if Khrushchev
did not accept U Thant's
proposed mediation effort.  [found
through Altavista]

The war that almost was
Uri Avnery
translated from Ma'ariv 06/Jul/98

Like the person waiting for the upstairs neighbor to drop the other
everyone is waiting for "The Explosion." It was supposed to happen last

Every person in the Palestinian territories believes nowadays that
will move without "The Explosion." Israeli experts share this belief.
are waiting for the bloodshed, like a farmer anticipating the autumn
The subject is discussed openly. No one knows when, how or where it will
come. Nobody knows what will be the precise final straw which will break
the camel's back. But everyone is certain that it will come -- in the
next minute, in a month, at most in a year, with the declaration of the
Palestinian State.    [found through

A search of was no more revealing except that some of the
search engines which that site searches had more hits than I have time
at the moment to investigate.

David K. Barnhart
Barnhart at

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