So, the other day, some idiot left a rental bike on the movable part of one of our drawbridges here in Seattle. It’s not the first time someone has gotten that bright idea, and it probably won’t be the last. But this one was destructive and expensive. I’m glad I wasn’t on duty.
Unfortunately, the bike was parked in such a way that the bridgetender couldn’t see it prior to opening the bridge for a boat. The movement caused the bike to be caught in the span, and when the operator attempted to close the bridge, he couldn’t. He had to raise the bridge up a bit, and with the help of a pedestrian, he was then able to pull the bike out.
But then when he tried to close the bridge again, the bridge wasn’t in the mood to cooperate. Mechanics had to be called. The bridge couldn’t be opened for traffic or for vessels for 1 hour and 45 minutes.
The things pranksters don’t ever seem to take into account are consequences.
If that bike had fallen during the opening, it could have severely hurt, or possibly even killed, a pedestrian.
If it had fallen into the canal, it could have struck someone in a vessel crossing under the bridge.
The bike was ruined, and those things aren’t cheap.
The bridge was damaged, causing the taxpayers of Seattle a great deal of expense.
Traffic was backed up for miles. People may have lost jobs because they arrived late to work. Sick people might not have gotten to the doctor. Kids may have missed school, thus increasing the potential that they, too, will be stupid enough to pull a trick like this someday.
Idling cars caused pollution.
Road rage spiked.
Commercial vessels were not able to transit the canal, and were therefore unable to deliver their payloads on schedule, which caused independent truckers at the docks to lose time and money.
I hope you got a good laugh, genius. Oh, and by the way, if you were the last person to rent that bike before dumping it on the drawbridge (which is highly likely, since the back wheel won’t roll without credit card authorization), I hope they’re tracking you down via your card even as we speak. If so, the joke is going to be on you.