You know the feeling when you’re listening to Lana del Ray, totally vibing, and then you get an alert that someone’s lost their Crocs? Total fucking buzzkill.

OK, so I don’t really listen to Lana and this is not my phone, but still, it was shared with me and I am shook. I do own Crocs. I do occasionally leave them on my porch, because why not?

Apparently why not is because someone or something will take them.

We have so many questions about this.

Why is there a Ring Neighborhood Alert for missing Crocs?

If you are not familiar with Ring, like everything invented since 1997, it is both amazing and terrifying. A Ring doorbell is perfect for knowing when DoorDash is dropping off your food so you can hide from the delivery person until they drive away, thus avoiding dreadful small talk. On the flip side, Ring used to give police access to your cameras without your consent. Still today, Ring is always pushing you to share your camera with neighbors to keep the neighborhood safe. What could go wrong?

I have to wonder if Ring was founded by a bunch of private equity bros who made a killing after selling NextDoor and then asked themselves, “what can we create that’s even worse for society?”

Regardless, it seems someone felt compelled to let their neighbors know that their Crocs were missing. All I can think is these must be some really nice Crocs.

Holy shit these are really nice Crocs. Did you know they come in paisley?

I’ll be honest, when someone texted me the screenshot above, I responded with an “lol.” The kind of lol that means “I’m not actually laughing out loud, I’m just acknowledging your text because I care about you but I need to focus on work.” I barely read the Ring alert.

But out of the corner of my eye I saw “Carolina Blue.”

And then I saw “Paisley.”

And then I became really upset that these shoes were missing, and became totally invested. I knew what I had to do: alert the TBB gang and fire up the Mystery Machine.

What do we know about how the shoes went missing?

One of our sleuths rightly deduced that if you will post a Ring alert about missing Crocs, you are 100 percent active on NextDoor. Voila:

There’s so much to unpack here.

First, I appreciate the addendum. This is someone who has been around the NextDoor block and is letting jerkfaces know upfront that they are not playing games. This is about their shoes, not whatever loneliness or day drinking compels people to be jerkfaces online.

Second, I am often chided for using passive voice when I write. I rarely notice when I or others use it. That said, I am in awe of saying my Crocs “have become missing.” It adds an enormous layer of intrigue to the case. Who made them become missing, and how? We don’t know from the wording if the shoes were stolen, temporarily borrowed, or perhaps vaporized in the recent extreme heat.

Third, I like that this person recognizes that their shoes are “gross” and doesn’t hesitate to tell that to the entire town. Perhaps this is a strategic move to raise awareness – we are all now well aware of their plight and will be on the lookout for their shoes. But perhaps not, because who is going to touch those things if they do come across them? At best, if I spot them, I’ll post a Ring Neighborhood Alert and drop a pin.

Fourth, why does the owner of the Crocs think their Ring cam will pick up humans but not animals? Have animals in their neighborhood also become missing?

Who wears Crocs?

Despite the fashion forwardness of the Blog Blog, one of us asked what sort of local businesses would allow their staff to wear crocs.

The answer is: the really important ones. Hospitals and restaurants. Basically, if you stand a lot and are occasionally spattered with blood, you know and love Crocs. Gross.

Are these real Crocs?

Another TBBer asked if the Crocs in the photo are even real, because “they don’t have holes.” Putting aside that it really shouldn’t matter if the missing shoes are real or fake Crocs – it’s a disturbing case regardless – these are real Crocs. There are so many types of Crocs – 235 styles just for women.

There are Crocs sandals and clogs and slippers, some with holes, some without. Some are fuzzy, some are plastic. Some are made to honor Busch Beer.

After I get my Carolina blue paisley Crocs, next on my list are these sleek puppies, which look like a Tesla Cybertruck for your feet.

Is this an inside job?

After we spent 7 minutes discussing what may have happened to the missing Crocs, and 2.5 hours shopping for new Crocs for ourselves, someone raised a shocking but important question: who takes and keeps a photo of their Crocs? And presumably one taken on the very porch from which they became disappeared?

It is…odd. And raising even more questions.

Are the shoes actually missing? Can someone drive by and confirm that they aren’t actually sitting right there on the porch? There’s no shame if so – we’ve all “lost” car keys in our hand or glasses perched on our head.

Or are we being set up for a GoFundMe? Those frat boys got $400k+ for “protecting” a flag. If people are that dumb, I bet a “I lost my paisley Crocs” campaign could get at least $20k. That kind of money could buy a pair of Crocs for every resident of Carrboro.

Stephen Whitlow lives in Chapel Hill. Trained as an urban planner at DCRP, he works for a research, evaluation, and technical assistance firm and focuses on the areas of housing affordability, fair housing,...