Posted by: kurtdman24 | July 1, 2012

Watch The Tram Car Please

Wildwood Tram Car

“Wa-wa-watch the-watch the tram car please.”

“Watch The Tram Car Please” was going to be the title of this blog before I discovered that the domain name was already taken. For anyone who’s been to the Wildwoods, the reason is obvious.

The most prominent feature that separates Wildwood’s boardwalk from others along the Jersey Shore is the female voice repeatedly warning from the bright yellow Sightseer shuttles—“Watch the tram car please”. When the boardwalk is crowded, people frequently need to be warned to get out of the way of the tram car, so the favorite phrase of Wildwood visitors gets repeated often in hip-hop style—“Wa-Wa-Wa-Watch the tram car please”.

The tram car transports visitors as far as they would like to travel for $2.50 a ride as of this writing. Discounted tickets are available if you buy in bulk or in advance. The tram car rides along sidewalk type tracks along either side of the boardwalk, on the left side for some reason, as if the lanes were drawn up by Brits. It’s a nice thing to get you off of your boardwalk-weary feet if need be, although it’s no smooth ride by any means—at times you feel like you’re about to go airborne in the hooked-together carts on the jagged sidewalks. It’s also covered, so there’s some protection from the elements.

Wildwood Tram Car Toy

Get your talking toy tram car and bring Wildwood back home with you!

The yellow shuttles are such an ingrained institution of the Wildwoods that you can buy T-shirts or little tram car models (which of course also shout “watch the tram car please”), or name a Wildwood-themed blog after the phrase, as someone beat me to doing.

You can flag down the tram car anywhere, and it’s far more entertaining than a cab ride. Occasionally you see neophyte Wildwood tourists diving out of the way at the last second as they finally understand what that voice has been trying to tell them. It’s also fun to watch the fare collector run along and hop on and off of the vehicle. And last but not least, it’s a less tiring way to traverse the length of the boardwalk and enjoy the visual and aural spectacular that is Wildwood at night.

The recorded voice warning pedestrians, by the way, is the voice of Floss Stingel, who, according to Wikipedia, recorded herself saying the famous warning back in the 1970s, which presumably means Stingel has said “Watch the tram car please” approximately 200 million times. (That is a completely unscientific WAG, but I expect the number is still astonishing.) As payment for her signature phrase, the Sightseer people give Stingel free rides on the tram anytime.

I never tire of it, even when Stingel’s voice is kindly admonishing me to get the h out of the way. The sound means I’m in the best beach town on earth, and that’s enough to put me into a good mood.


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