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Land of Black Gold: McPhee knows the Thom(p)son are Police?

#1 · Posted: 17 Jun 2007 06:24
Moderator Note: Combines two thread

Hey y'all,
Scene: Jock McPhee enters Thompson and Thomson's cabin; he sees Thom(p)son's shoes and somehow figures out that he is Police.

Can anyone explain this?
Tintin Quiz
#2 · Posted: 17 Jun 2007 16:10 · Edited by: Tintin Quiz
Hobnail boots, worn by military and police. See this Wikipedia entry.
Golf Tango Fox
#3 · Posted: 12 Mar 2008 00:27
Can anyone tell me how Jock McPhee (or whatever his real name was) knew that the Thompsons were police, by the soles of their shoes.
I'm guessing it's something to do with the conspicuous nails.
#4 · Posted: 12 Mar 2008 20:00
It has been suggested to me that the shoes are meant to be "hob-nailed boots".

Policemen traditionally wore them because they were long-lasting, what with all the walking they have to do.

Of course, any decent undercover detective would have replaced them with standard shoes.
#5 · Posted: 17 Mar 2012 04:31
That's really interesting, thanks for posting! I read the article linked by Tintin Quiz and it said that those shoes tended to slide on smooth, hard surfaces. Perhaps this contributed to some of the Thom(p)son's spectacular falls :)
#6 · Posted: 19 Mar 2012 10:01
I never thought about it, but yeah, shoes with hob-nails would be ideal for walking on ice, but not for walking on many other surfaces. So yes, wearing them all the time would make the Thompsons more likely to fall.
#7 · Posted: 26 Mar 2012 05:24 · Edited by: Blistring_Barnacles
I bet it especially works on those shiny hospital floors, like in Calculus Affair. :)

Of course, any decent undercover detective would have replaced them with standard shoes.

But then, the Thom(p)sons are hardly decent undercover detectives. :)
#8 · Posted: 21 Apr 2017 11:25
like in Calculus Affair. :)

In Calculus Affair when they were in disguise, their shoes didn't have nails all over the bottom, so I wonder how they slipped.
#9 · Posted: 21 Apr 2017 17:11
In the scene in the book when they fall over you can see hobnails on the outer rim of the soles of their shoes. They do not cover the whole soles, maybe some design of the time.

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