This is why we can’t have nice things: E-scooters, and the beginning of the end of civilization as we know it.

You can park them anywhere!

E-scooters are finally here! It’s about time.

To be exact, E-scooters are twenty-five years overdue. When I was a kid, the world promised me electric scooters would be ubiquitous by the early nineties. I was also promised hover-boards no later than October 21, 2015.

Life, it would seem, is full of bitter disappointments. So, if we can’t have hover-boards, I guess I’ll settle for scooters. Better late than never.

My review of the Electric Scooter

I love E-scooters! They’re ridiculously fun and the vehicle of choice for heavy drinkers.

If I had one complaint, it’s that you have to operate the accelerator with one hand and the brake with the other, which leaves no hands available to operate a phone, let alone a camera. How the hell am I supposed to ‘Gram my scoot?! Come on!

Do E-scooter’s make us lazy?

Yes. But it’s a drop in the bucket. Life remains very very hard.

While life is still crushingly difficult and exhausting, I am pleased to report, that E-scooters take actually zero effort to operate. Any amount of walking I might have accomplished before E-scooters is now a hassle of the past. I’m still waiting though, for the app where I can summon someone to come and pick me up, from my office chair, and carry me to the nearest scooter.

Until then, I guess I’ll just have to walk.

How Lazy?

It wasn’t until my second ride on a scooter I discovered just how lazy I could get.

The scooter I’d chosen had a full battery, but there was something wrong with the accelerator. You could feel the drive catch and the scooter pull forward just before slipping and slowing down again. The scooter never got over one or two mph.

I did stop, to look for another scooter I could swap for my broken one, but there was nothing close by. So, like this, I rode a half mile, sputter-stop-starting to my destination, rather than just getting off to walk, which would have gotten me there much faster.

My review of people.

E-scooters are a big change for a city. If it’s one thing people cannot abide, it’s change. As such, our reaction to the dawn of E-scooters has been less than savory.

There’s been a rash of complaints about the scooters being parked in the middle of everything — in the middle of sidewalks, in the middle of the street, in the middle of bike lanes or in the middle of the Willamette River — I don’t know what all the complaining is about. Why is it such a hassle to just walk, or pilot your wheelchair, around a scooter in the middle of the sidewalk?

As for everybody complaining about how e-scooters are causing pandemonium on the streets — I swear to God, if I have to listen to one more person complain about how they nearly killed some guy who was trying to enjoy his first scoot… They say “nearly killed” like that’s a bad thing. Seriously, there are so many people in the world. Thanks to E-scooters, we might finally be able to cull the herd and the only way people know how to respond to this godsend is with a litany of complaints?!

Scootchie Gang: this is why we can’t have anything nice.

E-scooters are a miracle. The best thing since penicillin. The sooner we can get over ourselves and accept that we might never have to walk anywhere ever again, the better. But just like Anti-Vaxxers and Penicillin, all of the people are welcoming this miracle device the only way we know how to welcome any other miracle, with brutality, death and destruction.

If E-scooters have revealed one thing about ourselves, it’s that people are assholes — soup to nuts. You give us one nice thing and we devise endlessly creative and elaborate ways to destroy or villainize it.

Scooter destruction gifs via @pdxscootermess
Author’s note: this story was transcribed using a dictation app. I’ve become exceedingly lazy lately and I’m officially over the whole typing thing. Since I’ve stopped typing with my sandwiches, typos and grammatical snafus are peanut for the course. You should fly it for themselves! Never in the years of scallop has aluminum been more affordable, I think to eat a Diet Coke&

Originally published at www.nathanielbarber.com on September 29, 2018.