Throwback Thursday – Seg-weighs

The term “throwback” always has confused me a little. Many years ago, Pepsi had their “throwback” that came with the tagline, “For a limited time you can get real cane sugar instead of the chemicals we typically manipulate into tasting like sugar!” I don’t know if it’s still around or not. But when I stopped drinking throwback Pepsi and did a “throwback” to the chemical crap, I just thought about “throw up.”

I see people on Facebook posting old photos of themselves labeling it “Throwback Thursday.” I saw one a couple of weeks ago of a younger version of my aging uncle. When I thought of all the time that had past since his high school years, it was more like “Throw(my)back(out) Thursday.”

But, instead of berating popular culture, I’m going to feed into the hype and add my own Throwback Thursdays to this blog. I mentioned in an earlier post that many of my stories are posted on my old blog. I don’t want those stories to be lost on my new readers, so Thursdays are  going to feature those stories. Below is the first of these. I hope you enjoy.


Segways. I’ve noted in the past how much enjoyment I get from making fun of them.

I have considered that I should probably take a Segway tour before I pick on them, but then I thought about my dignity and decided I’ll just make fun of them. Most things deserve a benefit of the doubt. Not all.

The first thing I think of when I see a Segway is GOB from Arrested Developement who is rarely off of his Segway. He conducts himself in such a shameful manner which gives the impression that Segway drivers are conceited, arrogant (redundency empowers the insult) jerks who only come down from their high horse (or wheels) for a free chocolate covered treat from the banana stand – in which there is always money.

I also cannot help but think of the owner of the Segway company who died in a freak accident on one of his own machines. These “scooters” are not here to help the world get from one place to another. They are here to take over the world one multi-millionaire at a time.

“Help the world get from one place to another”? That’s an interesting statement. These wheelie-pods are 6 inches and a heart attack away from walking. Here’s a novel idea: bikes. Sometimes you can rest while still moving forward, yet still get some of that much recommended physical activity.

Dana and I were at a park on Sunday watching not one, but two Segway tours go by us. Both groups had nearly 30 tourists brimming with pride and glee as they sped through the park in a single file line. I shouldn’t have stared, but they were just as much a spectacle to ogle at as the Mississippi, Stone Arch Bridge or downtown skyline.

The faces were rather fun to interpret, too. There was an older woman who looked like she was having the time of her life. Her discontented husband looked like he’d rather have stayed downtown to find another corn dog to smother in ketchup. They must have had come to a compromise. He must have told her that he would be willing to go on one of those stupid tours she had been talking about for months before the trip to Minneapolis as long as he didn’t have to walk. He would be willing to take a bus, train, horse and buggy – anything but walking. But he woke up that morning to his beaming bride holding a brochure and two tickets to a Segway tour.

“That’s not what I meant!”

“Doesn’t matter! You said anything but walking. We’re not walking, dear, so get your shoes on. It’s starts in an hour!”

Now that I think about it, her smile may have had a touch of smugness in it.

There was a small family, too. Two parents, two little girls and an early-high-school-aged boy. A high school boy on a Segway tour with his parents and little sisters. Imagine his face. Moving on.

The tour guides had smiles plastered on their faces like a row of flight attendants thanking their passengers for flying Segway Air. I could see a hint of stress behind their eyes, though. They knew that the highly-read man wearing an archaeologist’s hat over his helmet was going to continue his barrage of questions until the last of the procession had parked his or her shiny Segway and the tour security had ushered the questioner off the premises.

“This is what I have to look forward to until the end of the summer. God help us.”

If cleanliness is next to godliness, Segway-ness is next to laziness. It’s probably the only time that standing will require a helmet. At least I hope it is.

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