There’s been a lot of talk about “love locks” this week. You know the ones — those symbols of undying affection, commitment and preventing thieves from getting into your storage shed and stealing all your wicked power tools. Apparently it’s a popular thing in cuddly Europe for sweethearts to attach a lock to a scenic bridge and throw away the key. It’s also way more romantic than keeping the key, cherishing the key, inevitably taking the key for granted, going for long periods of time without ever inserting the key into the lock, and then buying a whole new set of keys, usually for a bachelor apartment or new sports car.
And because the Vancouver Park Board needs to fill the empty feeling in its bureaucratic heart once the thrill is gone from installing an untendered zipline over Queen Elizabeth Park that no one asked for, it has decided to consult the public this summer on possible locations for star-crossed lovers lacking imagination and originality to “lock it up,” so to speak.
Needless to say, we’re not fans of love locks. Sure they’re charming in Paris or Amsterdam, but why does Vancouver need to emulate every other city it looks up to. Heck, people are still trying to brand Hastings-Sunrise as “East Village.”
Here are five equally symbolic alternatives Vancouver should adopt instead of “love locks.”
1. Love Socks
Not only do they rhyme with love locks, they’re cheaper, more environmentally friendly and lighter, which has been a problem for bridges in Paris where railings collapsed under the weight of too many locks last year. Then again, those Parisian bridges don’t bathe for weeks and carry around baguettes and wear wussy berets.
2. Love Gaunch
First of all, great name for a band. It’s all yours, indie rockers. Similar to love socks, love gaunch takes a relatively inexpensive and possibly soiled undergarment and turns it into a public expression of intimacy. Just imagine the stories you can tell your kids. “Son, you see those two shredded, sun-bleached, leopard-print g-strings flapping in the breeze? When I was dating your mother, I ripped my panther-pants, as I liked to call them, clean off my gourd and tied them to Granville Bridge after one too many Jagerbombs at Republic. Turns out your ma was wearing the same kind and decided to mingle her undies with mine that night. That’s when I knew we’d be together forever.”
3. Like Spike
Instead of carving your initials with a Swiss Army knife, do something far more penetrating and damaging by hammering a “like spike” into the base of an unassuming tree. Our suggestion: Stanley Park’s heavily medicated and shell of its formal self, the Hollow Tree. It won’t feel a thing, honest.
4. Lust Yarn
Not to steal any thunder from the yarn-bombing community, but yarn-bombing could use a sexy makeover and lust yarn is the ticket. It’s just like yarn bombing (knitting around a tree, a bike rack, a statue of Wes Anderson), except more impulsive, poorly thought out and with the possibility of awkward consequences the morning after.
5. Tourniquet of Mutual Respect But I’m Not Ready to Be Tied Down Right Now Because I Owe It to Myself to Partake in a Sexual Walkabout for the Next Few Months or Years
Attach it to a bridge, the velvet rope leading to the VIP section at the Roxy or the doorknob of your apartment to let your roommate know you’re having a “meaningful moment” — it doesn’t matter. Just a long has you make the gesture and let your feelings be known... at least symbolically.