I was rowing a cruise around Newport Island, one which had been booked by the lady on board.
The whole thing was set up as a surprise for the gentleman.As we turned a corner in the canal and approached the 38th Street bridge, two guys ran out onto bridge and began to unfurl a white bed sheet while a young woman captured video with her phone from the shore.
The two young men draped the sheet over the side of the bridge,
and there, in sloppy black spray paint, were the words:
"Will you marry me?"
Then the guys holding the sheet started yelling at the guy in my gondola:
"ASK HER! ASK HER!"
Thoughts raced through my head:
- I didn't see THIS on my paperwork.
- She booked this cruise - is she trying to force a proposal out of the guy?- How did they know we would be there?
- where's my camera?
At this point the ferro at the tip of my bow was slipping under the bridge.
Next thing I know, the gentleman in my gondola starts to wind up for what looks like an actual proposal.
I'm really confused now. And so is SHE.
She starts asking him the same questions that are buzzing around in my head:
- "Are you serious?"
- "Do you know these people?"
- "How did you know that you would even be here tonight?"
And what she isn't saying, but by the look on her face I know she is thinking is "we aren't really at that point yet in this relationship".
I looked up at one of the guys with the bed sheet and said
"do you know this guy?" and he nodded his head
and then continued yelling "ASK HER! ASK HER!"
Just as the couple was about to go under the bridge, the guy in the boat revealed that he was joking and that he really didn't know the two guys on the bridge.
Honestly, she looked a little bit relieved, and as we emerged from the bridge on the other side she shouted up to them
"you've got the wrong boat!"
We had two other cruises out at the time, so I sent out a text to the guys who were rowing them. It turned out that the same thing had happened to Konnor's gondola and his couple was already married!
At that point I figured it was meant for someone on a boat from another company.
Later I got a text from Konnor saying:
I went and talked to the guys with the sign and they said it was a joke.
I told them that the gondoliers thought it was funny but our guests were very upset about it and they said they would stop.
It's the kind of thing that you shake your head about at first, and then you get to thinking of ways that it could have gone terribly wrong.
Imagine if I had a guy on my boat who had spent weeks planning and preparing for the most perfectly romantic proposal, setting up everything in advance, and two jackasses hanging off a bridge with a bed sheet screw it all up by either tipping her off or ruining the mood.
If this had happened in the month of April, I'd be forever referring to the guys on the bridge as a pair of "April Fools", but instead we'll just call them the "March "Jackasses".