A woman (she will later drive the truck) and a man (he will later drive the boat) are having a drink in the pub one evening.
– I think there’s a gap in the market for a ferry service between Texel and Vlieland, says one. There’s any number of cyclists who’d love to make use of such an island-hopping option.
– Oh yes you’re right, says the other. We could run it between the harbour of De Cocksdorp, the main port at the north end of the island of Texel, and the harbour of Oost Vleland, the only town on the island of Vlieland, where all the people live.
– Well that’s an option, of course; but actually I have a better idea. Why don’t we, instead, run our ferry between the open beach, a couple of km outside De Cocksdorp, and the other end of Vlieland – you know, at the far end of the deserted 9-kilometre stretch of sand known as the Sahara of the north, which our Dutch army uses for its exercises? After all, all we’d need is a boat,
a rickety planked structure on Texel,
a rickety planked structure on Vlieland,
and an enormous sand truck from an early Star Wars film.
– Oh, I see where you’re coming from. And you know what we could do, we could get people to position their bikes in a tight loop around our boat’s gunwhales to enable us to fill it absolutely as full as possible.
Then, when we get to Vlieland, we could get all the passengers to weave their way past the bikes down to the stern, so as to make it feasible for us to ram our raised bow firmly up onto the beach…
– Yes, yes, and then when we’re beached, we’ll ask if there are any strong guys (sterke jongens) among the passengers, to help us get the gang plank across to the rickety planked structure – because you know, we won’t be able to do it on our own.
– Yes, and after that, we’ll get the passengers on the boat to cram themselves onto the right hand side. We’ll get the passengers on the enormous sand truck from an early Star Wars film to file down the rickety planked structure, down the gang plank and onto the left hand side of the boat, where they too will cram themselves. Then, we’ll get the passengers on the boat to push their loaded bicycles up the gang plank, along the rickety planked structure and onto the enormous sand truck from an early Star Wars film.
– We’ll interleave the bicycles in a herringbone pattern and they will exactly fill the back of the truck. As for the passengers, they will sit around the sides and we will tell them to be careful of their knees against the bicycles as we bump across the sand.
And off we’ll go.
– Exactly! But one more thing. It seems to me essential that the tread of the enormous tyres of the enormous sand truck from an early Star Wars film should be composed of letters that spell out a poem.
As we drive across the sand, we will leave our poem spelt out across it.
– Sounds like a plan.
(Of course, this is fiction. If you can think of a better explanation for this wonderful thing – or even if you know the truth – please let me know.)