2001-12-20 / Arts & Entertainment

C’est La Vie by Don Flood

C’est La Vie by Don Flood

© 2001 King Features Synd., Inc,

Going The Way Of

The Horse And Buggy

It’s official. "It" — THE BIG IT — is a motor scooter.

Codenamed "Ginger" — after a character from "Gilligan’s Island" maybe? — the Segway scooter has been launched with about as much fanfare as ... well, as much fanfare as you can manage for a scooter.

Inventor Dean Kamen said the Segway "will do to the car what the car did to the horse and buggy."

At first, you might be tempted to scoff.

But, before you do, you have to consider: This man is a genius.

You also have to consider that this man has succeeded before with his fabulous inventions.

But most of all you have to consider: (BEGIN ITAL)This man is a lunatic!(END ITAL)

This scooter is about as likely to replace the car as Michael Jackson is to become the King of Pop.

Let’s start with a few basic problems.

Where do you put the golf clubs?

Where do you put the Baby on Board signs?

Where do you put bumper stickers?

And what about drive-ins? Where do you hang the speaker?

How do you sneak extra people in without a trunk?

Where do you hide the beer?

(BEGIN ITAL)Excuse me, sir, but drive-ins are virtually non-existent. Not only are you showing your age, you’re admitting to potentially illegal indiscretions, and you’re raving.(END ITAL)

And speaking of drive-ins, do these scooters have a backseat? Where are the kids going to go to get away from the old folks?

(BEGIN ITAL)Such as yourself, sir?(END ITAL)

Listen smart guy, Americans love driving around singing along to the radio. It’s their own private karaoke.

(BEGIN ITAL)Is that all, sir?(END ITAL)

No, there’s something called rain. Does this scooter keep you dry too?

(BEGIN ITAL)Probably not, but ...(END ITAL)

That’s what I figured. So future generations will be deprived of the fun and adventure of taking a car through the car wash? Is that why we stood up to the British at the Battle of Gettysburg? I think not!

And most of all, think about this: What guy is going to brag about buying a scooter?

GUY 1: Hey, come and check out my new SUV! It’s got three bedrooms, a hot tub and a planetarium!

GUY 2: I’ve got a better idea. Come over here and check out my scooter!

GUY 1: Whoa! That’s a beauty! What’s it got in it?

GUY 2: The sweetest little electric motor you ever saw.

GUY 1: How fast does she go?

GUY 2: Well, I haven’t let her all the way out yet, but she’ll do 17 mph — easy! More going downhill.

GUY 1: Wow!

GUY 2: Not that you always need that power, but it’s nice to know it’s there — especially if you’re stuck behind some old lady in a wheelchair.

GUY 1: Can I take her out?

GUY 2: Sorry, man, I don’t think you’re ready for this.

But I admit, some people are excited. Steven Jobs of Apple computers said entire cities will be built around this scooter.

What city? Nowheresville, USA?

And, most important, will this city have a drive-in?

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