Monday, December 1, 2008

The Thing With No Name

when I was young, little kids had two things. They had popsicles and they had scooters. Scooters had one wheel forward and one back, a stick vertical with a handle. With one foot on, one foot off, they'd scoot along. You remember?

It Italy they put motors on them and called them monopattino elettrico. I was at art class with a group of Italians and asked why was it called “mono” when there are two wheels. The talkative group turned silent. No one had an answer. I asked again and finally one said, “Italian is a strange language.” The rest agreed and so do I.

On the way to that art class I saw a tourist on a new thing with two wheels with a place to stand between the wheels, and handle straight up to hang on to. Battery powered, they rent them now for tourist's amusement. I know near the Spanish Steps you can find them. An Italian friend was explaining to me how they work and said you think left and go that way. I asked him to repeat that and he did. Think, and make it so? I'm skeptical.

Well, none of the six or eight in our group of Italians could come up with a name for that thing. It’s a 21st Century toy, and that’s that.

Now this is the complete 21st Century event I saw. Well I saw that kid on one of those things with no name, and he cruised in front of a slow moving bus. It was a little 116, the electric bus. The kid rode in front of the bus and the driver of the bus was on a cell phone. The kid saw the bus and waved an apology, the bus driver took his hand off the wheel and waved ok. With his other hand he was clutching a cell phone to his ear. This could not have taken place just nine years ago in the 20th Century.

That's it. Gotta scoot.

2 comments:

Waiting for the Big Giant said...

just so you know, it's called a 'segway.' it's omnidirectional. that may be why your friend thought it was thought-directed...
which is really weird, if you ask me, which you're not, but if you did.

jack sender said...

But thanks, I appreciate your comment, and I like your head piece.

(I wonder if the Giorgini Twins can do that?)