Friday, March 31, 2017

The Future of Scootering

My cardiologist smiled and shook my hand as I sidled up to the counter at McDonald's yesterday seeing as how I was ensuring that he'd be able to put in that pool before summer's end.  Okay, that's not true at all, but I thought it was a funny start.  

I had a gawdawful craving for a Big Mac that started sometime yesterday morning and wouldn't quit even after I tried to assuage it by going through the leftovers in the fridge in hopes of finding something that would let me stay in the scuzzy clothes I slept in and not have to get dressed and go out.  It was raining, as it is today, that non-stop kind of yucky rain that makes one want to hibernate until it's over, so the call of the Mac battled with my laziness until it won out and I found myself hobbling to the car burning with shame over losing a war with a potential burger.  One of the things I'd done between waking up and sinking my teeth into that hunk of greasy beef and extruding special sauce out the sides of the bun and into my mustache was to have read an article that suggested that kids get a high from playing on their electronic devices that's similar in its effect on the brain as using cocaine.

Life's simple pleasures are, indeed, the best, and the joyful distinction of having been customer #286 buoyed my spirit as I munched happily on my wonderful selection hardly even bothered by dining alone which I always think screams, "Friendless Loser!" when I'm not the one by himself in a fast food booth.  I looked around at nothing in particular, having deliberately chosen to sit in an area as far away as possible from a bunch of elementary school kids who were apparently on a field trip of some kind and who carrying on to beat the band.  I was reminded through my own grin as I filled my drink cup of a friend of a friend, a Harvard educated Ph.D. in Education who always greets a host or hostess at a restaurant with a plea to be seated as far away as he can be from any children.  Where I was chomping away I couldn't even hear the little buzzards at all which added to the sense of nearly complete fulfillment that the food itself was providing.  

At some point I glanced outdoors and actually noticed that what had once been one of those ubiquitous McPlaygrounds had been converted into what resembled an outdoor picnic table area at a state penitentiary.  Before I figured out that it was probably having gotten into legal troubles over injuries sustained in them by lawsuit hungry ne'er-do-wells, my brain went right back to the article I'd read earlier about kids pretty much making electronic devices extensions of their own palms.  What a shame, I thought, that kids don't really use playgrounds as they once did because all they want to do is play video games, use shapchat, etc.  And then it occurred to me that I don't see many kids riding bikes anymore either.  Typically the only persons I see on bicycles these days are rail thin jackasses with no shirts whose pants are halfway down their thighs sporting sissy kinds of facial hair and with their baseball caps on backwards.

It was then that I gulped on a bite of the ol' Big Mac and wondered what that might suggest for the future of scooter riding, and hence scooter manufacturing.  If kids aren't learning to ride regular old bicycles because they're at best playing video games in which they're riding virtual bikes, what are the chances that they're going to grow up to be manly or womanly scooter riders?  How sad it will be if the art of scootering dies out because of those little couch potatoes not even bothering to venture outdoors, never mind riding bikes!  It makes me wonder about, when I'm in my 80s and maybe looking to upgrade to a Silver Wing or a Burgman, whether or not they'll even be available!  But then again, if those Big Mac cravings keep calling to me like electronic devices do to the kids, I'm thinking I might not have to worry about that at all.


kz1000st said...

Every sport and activity is suffering from the scourge of electronic isolation. Kids today are experincing the world on a screen instead of out in the sun. It's a terrible commentary on society.

Steve Williams said...

I suppose we're not alone wondering about the future of motorcycles and scooters. It certainly appears to be an old man's game from where I sit. Even in a college town the number of young riders is slim. When you look at the growth potential of riders it seems to be with women. Whoever it is, they need to have cash.

I used to think kids don't ride because they're attached to video games and such but around here I see a lot of young kids and young adults engaged in bicycles, skateboards, skiing, snowboarding, running, and a wide range of non-screen activity. Just not scooters or motorcycles.

Maybe it's an acquired taste. Like bridge. Or croquet. Or perhaps the image of motorcyclists and scooterists is just so unappealing that it's dismissed.

As far as losing the battle with the burger -- I feel your struggle. Since my heart attack in May of 2015 I've not ventured into a fast food joint other than Subway for a turkey sub with no cheese -- the healthiest fast food I can find. But I can still taste a Big Mac. Or a Chik-Fil-A sandwich. Arby's roast beef. The combination of salt and grease, it's hard to even write about.

My cardiologist gave me a formula for survival. Not going to McDonalds was part of it. Doesn't make them any less tasty. At the end of the day -- those places are like crack houses...