Every time I think I’ve seen it all as a bridgetender, something new and surprising happens. The other day, a boat passed under my bridge, and on the bow there was a woman in a hot pink, shiny catsuit, wearing a powder blue motorcycle helmet, complete with visor. I wish I had had time to whip out my camera, but I was too busy standing there, slack-jawed.
I’ve also seen my fair share of nudity and inappropriate acts, and believe me, most of them I wish I could wash out of my brain with bleach. It seems as though the level of one’s exhibitionism is directly proportionate to one’s lack of classic beauty. I would really rather not see your thick carpet of back hair, ma’am, thankyouverymuch.
And then there are the strange things that have floated by my tower: Houses. Lengths of bridge. Airplanes. Submarine periscopes. UFOs (unidentified floating objects). I once opened for a yacht being used by Sir Paul McCartney when he did the halftime show at the super bowl in Jacksonville, Florida. (I didn’t catch a glimpse of him, though.)
Pedestrians can be quite entertaining, too. They often like to sing. And while they tackle it with enthusiasm, as a general rule they shouldn’t try out for American Idol.
Or they dance. We get a lot of dancers. One guy walked down the sidewalk dribbling an imaginary basketball. Another preached a full sermon to the geese on the canal.
People have gotten into fist fights while crossing my bridge. I’ve seen more than one marriage proposal. A sad number walk across, shouting and gesticulating when no one else is there.
I’ve also seen eagles and falcons and ospreys and alligators and nutria and harbor seals and dolphins, to name but a few of the fascinating creatures who share the planet with us. I’ve also seen more lightning strikes and rainbows and sunrises and sunsets than I can count.
I’ve seen enough bizarre traffic accidents to make me wonder if anyone puts any thought into vehicular safety anymore. I’ve also heard every obscenity known to man, and have had a wide variety of objects thrown at me. I’ve also had government snipers on my bridge when presidential nominees were making speeches nearby.
I really do have the most interesting job in the world. I’d like to say I’ve seen it all, but somehow I suspect that I haven’t. So watch this space!
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