An impressive display of love, if not punctuation

The sign at the entrance to the Lyttelton Road Tunnel.  It was written along the edge of the roof at the sight of the thousands of vehicles plunging into the mouth of the tunnel every hour.

Provided

The sign at the entrance to the Lyttelton Road Tunnel. It was written along the edge of the roof at the sight of the thousands of vehicles plunging into the mouth of the tunnel every hour.

OPINION: It is a romantic time of year. As proof, I give you the entrance to the Lyttelton Road Tunnel.

It’s an awesome thing. The tunnel can swallow a few logging trucks at a time, and above it rises a concrete facade like a giant radiator grill. The roof that crowns the whole must be at least ten meters from the ground.

There is no access to this roof from the road and if you try to climb it from the back or the sides you will find that your progress is thwarted by overhanging rows of razor wire. The authorities don’t want you up there.

But love, it seems, has found a way. Because along the edge of the roof at the sight of thousands of vehicles plunging into the mouth of the tunnel every hour, a message has been painted. “I love you,” he said in coarse black caps, “will you marry me,” followed by four dots and a heart symbol.

The sign was written just below the roof line, which should be 12 meters above the ground.  (File photo)

JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON / Tips

The sign was written just below the roof line, which should be 12 meters above the ground. (File photo)

I have no idea who’s in charge, but it must be a young man, right? The waterfall sings about male bravado, the oldest romantic love story, a young man seeking the hand of his beloved while achieving a feat of daring.

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Who is this beloved, however, he does not say. Does it even exist? Is it possible that the perpetrator is so gorged on testosterone that he appeals to any eligible woman who would be willing to join him in the tunnel of love? Overall, I think not. I suspect he kept his love anonymous so as not to give any clues to the authorities. The authorities don’t like to be laughed at.

“There is no access to this roof from the road and if you try to climb it from the back or the sides you will find that your progress is hampered by overhanging rows of razor wires.  The authorities don't want you up there, ”writes Joe Bennett.  (File photo)

Joseph Johnson / Stuff

“There is no access to this roof from the road and if you try to climb it from the back or the sides you will find that your progress is hampered by overhanging rows of razor wires. The authorities don’t want you up there, ”writes Joe Bennett. (File photo)

So if it is the work of a young, single man who hopes to persuade his girlfriend to become his wife, there is only one question left: should she accept? Is Mr. Graffito right?

We know a lot about him. On the one hand, he’s in good shape. No lardyguts could reach this roof. He is not a coward either. He does not have vertigo, nor even the authorities who would be happy to seize him and punish him. His bravery may border on temerity, but everything is put at the service of old-fashioned romanticism. Marriage is not the first thought of most young men today. Nor is the art of courting yet.

Handwriting is a window to the soul, and hers is nothing beautiful. At the same time, it must be recognized that he was working 12 meters above the ground with a brush from a position both above and behind the surface on which he was writing. And he also did it, in all probability, at night.

Joe Bennett: “On the one hand we have a young man who is athletic, courageous, romantic, literate and immune to vertigo.  On the other hand, he's a vandal with bad punctuation.

Things

Joe Bennett: “On the one hand we have a young man who is athletic, courageous, romantic, literate and immune to vertigo. On the other hand, he’s a vandal with bad punctuation.

That he didn’t write any of the R’s backwards and that he managed to keep the letters more or less uniform says a lot about his dedication. And the spelling – taking into account the simulated phonetic version of the pronoun in the second person – is flawless, although it is true that the degree of difficulty was not high.

The punctuation is less impressive. He managed to separate the two grammatically complete sentences with a period, which is encouraging, but he omitted the question mark. And the ellipsis attempt is a sorry thing, being both a point too much and anyway wrong.

To sum up, on one side we have a young man who is athletic, courageous, romantic, respectable literate and immune to vertigo. On the other hand, he’s a vandal with bad punctuation.

So should she marry him? Yes, I think so too. And I wish them and you a Happy New Year.

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