Love at first lock

Humor by Cassidy Dalva
Nov. 7, 2021, 8:00 p.m.

With Stanford’s flake culture, the college dating scene can seem intimidating and difficult to navigate. Continuously being ghosted until the night before CS psets are due, many students are struggling to land a relationship that lasts. However, a new YouTube channel created by Stanford students, called “Love at First Lock,” may provide hopeless romantics with the next best thing.

According to Ellen Smith, the sophomore behind the nascent channel, potential pairs are selected and facilitated by locking two unsuspecting students’ bikes together at nearby racks. “Our solution to flake culture is simple: force people to spend time together!” Smith explained.

According to Smith, the channel has already had at least one success story: freshmen David Brown and Lucy Chao. Although the pair had never met before, Smith’s crew was able to record their interactions with a camera perched on a branch several feet away from the Wilbur bike racks. 

Brown and Chao, who previously would have never taken the time to make small talk with a random student on campus, had immediate chemistry. They suddenly found themselves navigating topics of conversation such as: “how was lunch?,” “the weather’s nice, isn’t it?” and “why on Earth would someone lock two random students’ bikes together — also, do you feel like we’re being watched?” Eventually, they drafted a plan to contact the Campus Bike Shop and get the U-lock removed. By the time someone from the shop arrived to remove the lock, Brown and Chao were already planning their first date, a romantic trip to the Department of Public Safety to file a complaint. A week later, the video racked up thousands of views on YouTube.

According to Brown and Chao, sparks flew — and not just when the electric saw was cutting through the bike lock. “This experience really brought us together, physically and metaphorically,” Chao explained. “I didn’t want to get too attached, but we’re basically chained at the hip!”

Despite some of the successful outcomes, Smith and her team lament the occasional criticism that they receive. “People have said that what we’re doing here is a ‘serious infringement on privacy and personal property’ and ‘borderline harassment,’” Smith said. “Obviously those people don’t believe in love at first sight.”

Editor’s Note: This article is purely satirical and fictitious. All attributions in this article are not genuine, and this story should be read in the context of pure entertainment only.

Cassidy Dalva '25 is a News Managing Editor at The Stanford Daily. A prospective economics major from Los Angeles, California, Cassidy enjoys baking, playing pickleball, and spending time outdoors in her free time. Contact her at [email protected].

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