Scooter in Moncton

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Four days after I bought it, the timing was right. The weather would cooperate with me, and the shift schedule offered a chance to have some fun with it. I was in that morning at 5:30am, along with 3 of my coworkers. Another two would follow in a different work group right next to mine at 5:45am, then a lot more would show up later on around 7:00 or so. I'm compulsively early, so I'm always the first one in. It would be dark. I would park it with the motorbikes and say nothing. I'd simply listen to people ask questions of each other: "Who rode that to work?" "Anyone know who owns that scooter?"

The last of the 5:45 guys arrived, surveyed the "crowd" and said to me, "Is that your scooter out there?" Crap. So much for anonymity. I answered "yes", and the fun began. There was almost a lack of jokes at the start, much as if everyone was too tired at that hour to really get going. As the day wore on, it didn't take long for the jokes to fly. And when one person took a shot at me, someone else would take a shot at him. For example, one of the guys rides a Triumph 750. While he was, in a manly way, joking about how silly this scooter looks, "because it's bright yellow and has the big bug-eye headlights", someone else pointed out to him that his own bike was bright yellow and had bug-eye headlights. This was one of the few times I ever saw this man shut down and at a loss for a comeback when someone shot at him.

'Round about halfway through the shift, a good friend came in and told me he had, "nothing to do with what may or may not have been done" to my scooter. It was a busy day between the workload and the humor surrounding the scooter, so I didn't see it until I left that afternoon. Eight and a half hours of laughter can really tire you out, but it wasn't over yet.

When I left the building, I passed through the doors alone. One of my early morning coworkers had left just before me, and was parked in her car in front it, obscuring my view of what they had done to it. She said she wanted to see my reaction to what they had done. When I passed around her car, I saw their handiwork. They had taken ordinary paper and rolled and slit it, then attached it to the handle bars to make streamers like a little girl would put on her trike. There were a few others hanging off it as well. One couldn't help but laugh. By the time I got there, I turned to see a dozen or so people coming out of the building to enjoy the moment.

As I removed the streamers, the one person I wasn't prepared to deal with pulled up on real bike. We talked about bikes a few times over the past months and was dead against scooters. When I mentioned it to him back then, he tried his best to disuede me gently, hiding his scorn for them, trying like a caring big brother to talk me out of a mistake. He looked at this machine, and actually asked some questions about it, as if he were interested, as he helped remove the streamers. Not the reaction I expected, but I'll take it.

Then the humorist with the Triumph came out. He asked if he could take it for a spin in the parking lot, so I said he could. He tooled around a little bit, then parked back in front of me and said, "There, do you see how fucking stupid it looks?" I replied simply with, "I got you to ride it." He told me a few weeks later that he had considered showing off a bit on it. It's possible, for example, to do a wheelie on it, even though it's low powered. He thought better of it, though. The last thing he wanted, after being such a manly man about motorbikes was to goof up and crash it. Afterall, not only would he have to pay to fix it, he'd embarass himself extremely if he showed people he couldn't ride a scooter. Then the jokes about "Dumb and Dumber" came out, and everybody had a good laugh.

One of the guys who was leaving at the same time asked to follow me, wanting to see this yellow rocket in action. He did for the first little stretch -- keeping his distance and running with his four-way flashers on.

So there it was. One of the other guys in there with a good wit about him said I was "untouchable" now. Having done this and survived the barrage of insults, what could they say now? My god it was a great day. I still smile when I think of the fun we had over this silly little scooter that day.


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