Some people are decent human beings with values that comport with generally accepted notions of agreed-upon morality. Some others are Cowboys fans. But the darkest and most deranged among us — those most irretrievably disturbed in society’s eyes — vandalize scooters.
As some of you know, my first scooter was a pink 50 cc Buddy. An adorable and innocent companion who brought me years of loyal friendship (before being summarily replaced by two larger, more powerful bikes). As some of you also know, I used to live in Old City, near 2nd and Chestnut. Out of charity or pity, the U.S. Postal Service generously designated the place where I lived as a “street.” In fairness to the USPS, I guess that “creepy, dingy, malodorous alleyway frequented by drunken dude-brahs” does not fit on standard #10 envelopes and could have complicated the timely delivery of mail. (If you’re wondering why I selected this venue as my residence, it involves a toxic cocktail of divorce and no-other-choice. But that’s a story for a different blog.)
Anywho, on weekends, nestled among the drunken, amorous couples who sought reasonably-priced romantic encounters in the shadowy vermin-infested real estate behind several restaurant dumpsters, you’d find my little scooter. A ray of pink sunshine amidst the detritus of wasted human lives. She never bothered a soul.
One Sunday morning, I went outside to discover that my scoot (creatively named “Pinkie”) had been vandalized. Her left side-view mirror was crushed and smashed to bits. I don’t recall my exact reaction, but it was something like this:
OK, I admit, I wasn’t holding a phone. And I might not be Liam Neeson. But the sentiment is there. Some people might think this is a bit of an overreaction to discovering that a $29.00 part had been damaged. Those people are obviously wrong. And at the wrong website. This is madthrottle, not emotionally-well-adjusted throttle. And seeing that someone molested your ride is a perfectly acceptable (and completely justified) reason to become unhinged.
Unfortunately, while I do have “a particular set of skills” and they “are skills that I have acquired over a very long career,” they mostly relate to motion practice. (Nothing that would really help track down and seek vengeance against a scooter vandal.)
I went through the five stages of grieving: Anger, Fantasizing About Revenge, Researching How To Implement Revenge, Evaluating Where I Would Fall Under Federal Sentencing Guidelines If I Pursued Revenge, and Drinking. I also evaluated whether there were additional precautions that I could take to protect my scooter (e.g., putting a cover on it, riding it up to my condo using the freight elevator, booby-trapping it with a spring-gun, or other explosives, anti-personnel landmines, etc.).
In the end, I did the next best thing: moved to a better neighborhood. But whenever I seen a drunken dude-brah (because who the hell else would vandalize a pink scooter? It’s like abusing a hamster), I wonder to myself, “Are you the one I need to kill?”