Thursday, July 03, 2008

ZIP-a dee... Dude! Aaaaaaghhhh!

I got myself a new toy-cum-transportation method (and apparent shortcut to suicide) last week, in the form of a ZIP scooter.

I had first seen one last summer, as I watched East2West owner Darren Gosselin gliding smoothly and effortlessly around Maple Ridge, looking cool as all get-out. I wanted to get out and look cool, too, so this spring I got talking to him about the benefits of the scooter.

It's good exercise for legs, belly, and back (especially lower back). Darren calls it a thighmaster on wheels. It also works your arms, fingers, and toes (!), but I don't think that's intentional; it's just a side benefit of having to cling to the running boards and handlebars with every cell of your body that's not otherwise occupied at the moment.

A three-wheeled vehicle is inherently much more stable than a two-wheeled vehicle. However, a three-swivel-wheel base requires that you familiarize yourself with a whole new set of rules for taking corners. It helps if you familiarize yourself with the concept of the jackknife effect, and how to avoid it. It also helps if you pay attention to the directions that read: Wear a helmet as well as elbow and knee pads.

Read that last part again: "...elbow and knee pads..."


I was wearing the helmet. It's the only part of me that didn't try to dig up the paved parking lot in which I was trying to tame the beastie.

I learned a few things, though, after the doctor finished putting bandages on my owies (nobody else home at the time, and my squeamish pussy of a neighbor gagged at the sight of all that blood, which actually looked like a lot more than it was...really). Like, I use my elbows for many more things than is readily apparent. And I had no idea that they stick out as far as they do. Or that they are used as proximity alarms for solid objects like walls, door jambs, chair arms, and other people.

Now, when it comes to getting blood out of a white cotton shirt, Mama was right -- rinse it immediately in cold water and pour enough liquid laundry detergent on the fresh blood to cover it, and then leave it alone until someone does the laundry. But it has to be cold water. The blood has to be fresh. And you have to start with a cotton shirt. I can't even tell which shirt I was wearing, now. And no, you can't tell by the worn patches on the elbows. There are no worn patches on the elbows of that shirt. It's 300-thread-count Indian cotton. You could do more damage to plate steel. The parking lot ignored the shirt and went straight for flesh.

All the kids in my building are gonna want one of these scooters, now. And, judging from the reaction of my "I-don't-do-blood" neighbor, I won't have to wait for the scooter to finish me off. The parents will do it first.

But I'll have the best-toned legs on the gibbet!