Pillbox

Neuter the scooter!

From selfie sticks to silver foxes, the differences between Zoomers and Boomers seem to grow by the dozen each day. But one thing seems to bind all ages together (and no, it’s not saying “You too” when a waiter says “Enjoy your meal”). No, it’s a shared hatred of scooters that has Grandma Isadora and Cousin Kayleigh shaking their fists at the dining room table.

A few months ago, Spin, a company seemingly inspired by washing machines and Fox News, made its debut on the streets of Pittsburgh. Finally, the young and young at heart could zip around the Steely City with the press of a button. The average CMU Joe could compete with the dozens of Boosted Board Bros that run stop signs and run off with our girlfriends. The future was now, and it went 15 mph.

Of course, public opinion was far from unanimous. Did a few brave souls jump at the opportunity to go “vroom?” Absolutely, and we recognize those who decided to have fun with their limited time on Earth. Take School of Design student Harriet J., who said that as soon as she saw a Spin scooter, she “raced down Mount Washington and just, like, forgot about dying!” Affordable transportation and mortality transcendence? Sign us up! Or Neal R., a math major who, on his first ride, rode so long he contracted “motorcycle wrist” and was immediately inducted into biker gang Sons of Anarchy. Sure, he hasn’t been heard from since and might be a neo-Nazi now, but we applaud his dedication to joy and youthfulness.

But there are those who refuse to see life as an opportunity to smile, eat chocolate, and kiss babies. There are those who wag their fists at laughter, spit at glee, and take a dump on the proverbial parades of others. “They’re too fast, they should really lower the speed on those things!” said vocal performance major and complete buzzkill Yusuf B. “Get ‘em off the sidewalk!” screamed first-year and future assistant principal Lisa K. “Spin? More like SIN! God hates scoots!” decried CS student and card-carrying Sigma Male Trevor O. I staggered away from each of these statements with only one thought: were these really the thoughts of healthy young adults? The ripe oranges of society, ready to be plucked and juiced? I needed to hear the grey side of things. I needed to talk to old people.

“You look just like my old paperboy! Do you have the ‘Gazette’ by any chance?” greeted me as I entered Life’s Twilight Senior Living. Despite COVID-19 protocol, upon entering the home I was met with cheek pinches and offerings of hard candy. My face hurt, and while I do like Werther’s Originals, I needed the Greatest Generation’s thoughts on Spin. “Like the dishwasher?” former fighter pilot Johnny S. asked. “No sir, the new scooters you can rent,” I clarified. “Rent like a skin flick at the nickelodeon?” former circuit justice Don R. queried. “Yes, something like that. They’re electric scooters-” “I’m afraid of electricity!” former heart surgeon and Civil Rights activist Theodora E. injected. It was painstaking, but eventually, I was able to wrangle their thoughts out of their skulls. And they were as follows: scooters too fast, scooters too scary, we hate fun. Precisely the thoughts of my more youthful classmates!

I can only speculate why two very different groups of people have the exact same thoughts about an objectively rad and cool idea such as rentable scooters. Perhaps there’s a generational predisposition to vertigo. Maybe old-heads and youngsters alike fear hip breakage. Maybe there’s something in the water that makes people hate fun. Either way, the effect is clear. When you complain about scooters, you sound old as hell. So either step out of the way or try taking one for a Spin.