When The Dutch Do Silly Walks
Silly walking is the perfect antidote to the pressures of modern life. For that reason, the Dutch have decided to install a 'silly walks' crossing. To take the pressure down.
According to the Mayor of Spijkenisse near Rotterdam, Wim van de vee Getdeer, people are looking for ways to lighten their day-to-day lives. And, as he is a passionate Monty Python’s Flying Circus tragic (a whacky British comedy from the 1970’s), he woke one morning and knew straight away that Spijkenisse needed a silly walks crossing.
As farfetched as it seems, the silly walks crossing is proving to be a hit. Both for bemused locals who can often be seen repeatedly crossing the high street doing silly walks with a Dutch twist. As well as excited tourists who have been flocking to Spijkenisse, just to do the silly walk on a certified silly walks crossing.
Local retailers are thrilled, with sales over the past six months trebling. All thanks to the increased foot traffic.
A sprinkling of tourists even dress like the Monty Python star John Cleese, in his role as the British Minister for Silly Walks. Donning black suits, bowler hats, briefcases, and umbrellas they can be seen at all hours crossing the road dozens of times. Characteristically, they step out with a leg raised at least to waist height and proceed with various missteps and odd moves, on keeping with the silly walk tradition.
As a result of all this silliness, the town has become a tourist attraction.
While locals are taking it all in their stride, there are long term concerns about travel hold ups, due to the sheer volume and slowness of many silly walkers, crossing the main road.
And, ironically, Cleese’s parody of bureaucratic nonsense could result in a new bylaw being passed to allow traffic to reverse back to the previous intersection. But only in the event of high volumes of silly walkers crossing (designated as 25 or more per minute).
Nonetheless, Town Alderman, Tjeerd Poepjes, is adamant that the rules are the rules. So everyone must still stop as usual and not try to do something silly, like racing through.
To that effect, new signs will be fitted in coming weeks depicting a silhouette of a silly walking person to warn through traffic to watch out for foolish pedestrians.
But to date it’s all good. With increased trade, and the influx of tourists, the power of the silly walk has been a boon for the folk of Spijkenisse.
Thanks to a bit of light-hearted foolishness, the town is on a roll. Residents are excited about the prospects, as even more crossings could be opened up for silly walks. Which, for the small Dutch town of Spijkenisse and its visionary Mayor, could be the start of something ridiculously big.