According to my friend Bean, Ride the Ducks of Seattle was one of the few, if not the only tour of its kind in operation last Thursday. Similar tours around the nation were suspended that day due to a tragic accident in Philadelphia.
Our captain used the name, “Helen Wheels,” which is also sometimes used by radio traffic reporters and roller derby skaters. Her enthusiasm and even her looks reminded me of two female improvisers I know. Most of the other captains finish their tour with “YMCA.” Helen uses the more contemporary “I Gotta Feeling.” Many of the songs were appropriate for whatever we were seeing. She played “Brick House” when we rode through the area rebuilt after the infamous 1889 fire.
My wife and I were seated in the back row. In her safety instructions, Helen pointed out that there were fire extinguishers at the front and the back of the vehicle. She told us that those of us in the back would have to use the extinguisher in case of emergency. To lighten the mood, Helen asked “What’s the one good thing about a fire, ladies?” The other passengers remained quiet. I didn’t want to leave her hanging, so I shouted out, “Firemen!” Helen retorted, “You have a deep voice ma’am.”