The most important aspect of any good headline is that it’s attention-grabbing. And as one Canadian woman found out when posting fliers for her stolen bike around her neighborhood, sometimes the most effective way to get people’s attention is by being profane.
“WANTED,” reads the first line of the fliers 21-year-old Winnipeg resident Sarah Arksey put up around her neighborhood Sunday. “My sh***y bike.”
According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Arksey was returning home from her job around 11 p.m. Saturday when she found that her bike was no longer chained to her fence where she left it.
The lock she had used to secure the bike was still intact, meaning whoever stole it may have had to take apart her bike to nab it.
Sarah wants her shitty bike back pic.twitter.com/YeFq8AVHWq
— Amazon Advert (@amazonadvert) July 27, 2016
“I freaked out for a bit because that’s my main mode of transportation in the summer,” Arksey told the CBC.
“I really don’t know why you’d want it,” Arksey, told CTV News Winnipeg. “It has quite a few broken parts.”
Despite the fact that the 15-year-old bike was in horrible condition, Arksey says it belonged to her grandmother and she still wants to get it back. She thought the best way to do that was to print out her off-color poster.
“I wanted to get people’s attention for sure,” Arksey told the CBC. “Unfortunately had [the posters] just [read] ‘missing bike’, it probably wouldn’t have gotten the attention that it did.”
So to spice it up, Arksey wrote the ad as if it were dictated from the mouth of a drunken sailor:
“Last seen: Chained to my f***ing fence. TO WHOEVER STOLE MY BIKE: The gear shift does not work. The kickstand does not work. The left brake is held on with duct tape. Why the f*** did you steal my bike?
I need this shitty f***ing bike to get to my f***ing job so that someday I may be able to buy a car.”
Arksey then posted her phone number and offered to buy whomever took her bike a beer before pleading “just give me my f***ing bike back.”
Her over-the-top method apparently struck a chord: Photos of Arksey’s poster have been shared thousands of times over the internet, and she even had a complete stranger give her a free bike.
“For that one person that took my bike, there's 45 who are offering me theirs,” Arksey told the Winnipeg Free Press. “It’s amazing.”
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