The local bridge authority will offer a single-day discount of about one-third off the typical toll rate this Black Friday, says the troll who collects the travel tax.
“Normally, we charge an arm and a leg to cross,” explained Rapacious Rolph, who has held the position as toll extractor for time out of memory. “As a thank-you to our frequent patrons and the local community, we are offering a one-time discount for travellers who use the bridge on Friday.”
For those who cannot do math (which is pretty much everyone in the nearby village), the new rate will be the forearm, taken just below the elbow, plus the lower leg, removed about an inch above the ankle.
The discount will be applied to anyone travelling to the village throughout the day. (As always, trips away from the village are free.) However, pilgrims should be aware that the discount ends promptly at midnight.
“I wish I could offer this discount every day,” Rolph said. “However, just like many of the people in the village, I have a growing family to feed. The missus is carrying our fourth, and the little ones ain’t so little anymore.”
Nonetheless, Rolph says his family appreciates the work and wants to show the community that he knows it can be hard living under an overly oppressive tax regime. “Just remember that your toll helps to keep the bridge in good repair, and it discourages most ne’er-do-wells from getting to the village.”
Those who want to avoid the bridge toll altogether still have the option of detouring five miles out of the way to Frantic Ford. Anyone who attempts that route, however, should be aware of the water nymph recently spotted in the area, who may playfully drown your entire company out of capricious entertainment. Nymphs are a common nuisance this time of year when the autumn rainfall causes the riverbed to rise.
Another option is the South Town Ferry, located to the south of town. However, those returning from a shopping trip to the City would do well to remember the rickety, old ferry-raft’s weight limit when planning their excursion.
Image: Andreas Wilhelm