“Look, Ma, No Hands!”

We’ve all been there: Face down on asphalt after deluding ourselves into believing we had the physical aptitude to ride a bike without touching the handlebars. One way of boasting of this imminent disaster is to shout, “Look, Ma, no hands!” just before eating pavement. So, where did this classic line come from? In the Fritzi Ritz comic strip of 1937, cartoonist Ernie Bushmiller drew Nancy, a child seen riding a bike without touching the handlebars while exclaiming, “Yippee! Look, Aunt Fritzi, no hands!” While meant to be humorous, it was also a cautionary tale meant to teach children not to pull the dangerous stunt.