Announcements on the ferry, and hills that grew while I was away


This weekend is the annual Chilly Hilly bike ride, an early wake-up call to bicyclists in the Seattle area to get their act together and hit the road.

Last year, I joined my 2999 closest friends up and down the hills of Bainbridge Island. Unfortunately, the hills had grown taller in the two years since my last ride.

There was an announcement on the ferry. It went something like this: "Your attention please. There is a bicycle on the car deck that has fallen over onto its side. Repeat: A bicycle has fallen onto its side."

It took a few seconds for the joke to sink in with all the people on the ferry, but after a short while, the passenger deck was chuckling.

Comments (8)
  1. JimBob says:

    I’m used to not understanding the programming articles here, but apparently I’m such a dim bulb I don’t understand the humor either. Why is this worthy of a chuckle?

    [A bicycle falling onto its side is a totally insignificant event (indeed most of them start the ferry ride on their side already). It’s like saying, “Your attention please: There is car on deck B with a map that has not been folded up properly.” It’s funny because the initial wording of the announcement suggests that something dire has happened, but when you get to the end, you realize it’s something insignificant. -Raymond]
  2. Evan says:

    I would say I have at least 50/50 shot of somewhat understanding the programming articles (caring is a different matter; I don’t do Windows programming right now), but I also didn’t get it until Raymond was kind enough to explain.

    Maybe I’m too used to having a kickstand, and thinking of it as vital equipment or something like that. ;-)

  3. Nathan_works says:

    Maybe the bike hit someone’s car, and scratched some paint.

  4. John says:

    It is a lot funnier if you put yourself in the perspective of the guy looking over the deck, some standing up but probably most casually strewn about lying whichever way; and then making the announcement.  It helps if you like your humor so dry it crumbles to dust in your fingers.  It also helps if you think having to explain such a joke is even funnier.

  5. RyanC says:

    I must admit, after visualizing an entire parking deck cluttered with bicycles, the majority of them laying on their sides… it is worthy of a chuckle :D

    [Here’s a picture of the carnage. -Raymond]
  6. TylerK says:

    How was the ride? My wife and I had planned to go this year but they were calling for pretty bad weather and we were not relishing the thought of those hills in the rain. :) Turned out to be a simply fantastic day! At least we got a 7 mile run in… but we’re still regretting not attending.

    [It was a fine ride, thanks for asking. I assess each Chilly Hilly as a win/lose/draw. My goal was to fight Chilly Hilly to a draw, but I beat it this year. (I measure success by how well I fare on the last few hills.) My record is now 2 wins, 1 loss. -Raymond]
  7. Anon says:

    Wow. I never realised programmers were so humourless :/

  8. Chris Walker says:

    I enjoy commuting on this ferry daily.  Most of the announcements are either safety related or asking people to turn off their car alarms in their sensitive cars.  They are mostly humorless and functional.

    We do get the occasional announcements of about Orca whales, boomer submarines on their way into Bremerton, lunar eclipses, or funerals as people’s ashes are sent on their way.  It’s all pretty relaxed.

    A few years back, I finally got my wife to ride on my motorcycle that I commute on, so we went to the grocery store in downtown Bainbridge Island.  I parked my bike with the kick stand (side stand) and went inside.  A few minutes later there was an announcement for the owner of the motorcycle to please return to it.  It turns out we had a “little” earthquake and the bike fell over onto a leased BMW.  As it turns out, there was no harm done, but my wife took this as a omen and hasn’t ridden on it since.

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