Sightings from the Top:

The Tape Measure

by Terrie Todd


One afternoon as I crossed over the Tupper Street Bridge, I saw a pretty nice measuring tape lying on one of the fence posts. You know the kind, where the metal strip comes out the bottom and you pull it as far you need and then when you let go it coils itself up inside the casing. If you’re not careful, it’ll whap you across the face on the way or cut your finger on its sharp edges. I have no idea how the tape measure got there, but I have my theory. Weeble Kneeble, the wanna-be world-famous dare devil, decided he wanted to be the first to jump the Tupper Street Bridge with his motorcycle. But not just from the ground, no sir. That wouldn’t be challenging enough for Weeble. He would be riding his bike along a moving train fitted with a ramp, leap over the bridge, and land on the same moving train on the other side, on a landing ramp built at the carefully calculated correct distance behind the takeoff ramp. Weeble couldn’t wait to wow the world with his fearless feat and become filthy rich. The first step was measuring the exact height of the bridge. Weeble instructed his sidekick, Wally, to hold the measuring tape at the top of the bridge. However, simply asking Wally to feed the tape down to him while he waited below was child’s play for the courageous Weeble.

With both hands, he grabbed the measuring tape and jumped off the bridge, hollering for Wally to “hang on tight.” Which Wally did. Weeble, however, hadn’t factored in that the tape wasn’t quite long enough to reach the ground.

But it did place Weeble at exactly the correct height to provide the train conductor with a close-up of his pearly whites as he grimaced through the windshield of an oncoming train. Weeble ended up somewhere in Toronto. The measuring tape whapped its way back into Wally’s hand. Wally laid it on a fence post at the top of the bridge, carried on down to Saskatchewan Avenue, and applied for work at Dairy Queen. Just a theory, mind you. But I’d be looking out for swinging dare devils if I were you.


One Response

  1. Karen Gross

    Have you ever read the Dr. Seuss book “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.”? I think perhaps you were the inspiration for this book. You see more than the average walker.


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