Bridge Buffoonery

I get it. It’s hot out. And thanks to climate change, each summer is going to be worse than the last. But that’s no reason to check your brain at the door.

Check out this video of a kid doing a backflip off one of the drawbridges here in Seattle, Washington. Well executed. And I bet it felt great.

But this is how to give a bridgetender a heart attack.

  • He could have fallen backward off the railing and been badly hurt, or worse yet, fallen on to one of the millions of bicyclists or joggers that go past, their heads in clouds, and then both would have been hurt.

  • He could have hit his head on the railing while doing the back flip and broken his neck.

  • He could have landed on some unseen debris in the water and been impaled.

  • He could have taken his plunge just as one of the motor boats came speeding through the channel, which happens, oh, about every minute or so. (A diver in Jacksonville, Florida had his face ripped off by a motor boat that didn’t see his dive flag. Now add the person falling from the sky into the mix, no flag in sight, and you get the idea.)

And thank God I wasn’t working on that drawbridge at the time. Here’s the thought process:

  • “Oh sh**, that kid’s going to get himself killed!”

  • “I’m going to be blamed and lose my job.”

  • “Paperwork…”

  • “Now I get to hold up the stereotype of the bridge troll by running those kids off the bridge.”

  • “Never a cop when you need one.”

  • “What if I need to open the bridge and this fool is too busy playing around to move?”

It amazes me that any of us survive to adulthood. Stay safe, everyone.

Ah, the joys of summer.

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8 thoughts on “Bridge Buffoonery

  1. Angiportus Librarysaver

    Ah yes, I get twitchy whenever I am about to walk under a bridge, or emerge therefrom. After that Montlake incident in ’78…Sure glad I got all the stupid out of my system before then.

  2. Angiportus Librarysaver

    Oh, I think I mentioned it once before…You recall how the walkway passes right below it, and one summer evening I came down the steps to find that the handrail of said walkway was bent downward, and the next section of it ripped free, by some unimaginable impact. Not knowing much about physics then, I could only wonder what in the world could deal such a force, and seeing a red splotch on the pavement didn’t help. My nose told me it was what I thought it was. Then I found myself visually tracing a near-vertical parabola to this spot from the bridge deck high above, and I began to guess… When I found a newspaper next day, I was right–someone had jumped. And you can be sure I never stood in that spot again.
    The tubing of the rail had walls abt 1/4″ thick, and it had broken free just like that. And the bent part, the impact site, had the silver paint knocked off it as if sanded.
    As you can imagine, that person did not survive. I support the right of an individual to end their life if that life really has become insupportable, but I wish they’d leave “my” bridges out of it, and me as well.

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