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Everybody Hates My Electric Scooter

Updated: Jan 18

When the human male is threatened, he has a choice: fight or flight. Or, a theoretical third option, which is flight TO fight, i.e., chase the object of your discomfort down the street screaming until it stops and you can fight it.

In this case, "it" was my electric scooter.

Now, I take some responsibility here - I had just bought it and was uncomfortable with one of the intersections on my way to work, so I had checked the extra-wide sidewalk for pedestrians, turned off cruise control, and ill-advisedly hopped on at the lowest possible speed, which propelled me slightly faster than my foot would have. I had given the ONE (1) pedestrian on the street an wide birth and rang my little handle bell so he knew I was coming. He then proceeded to chase me down and didn't allow me to speak while he lectured me. He was about twice my size, physically blocking me, and red in the face from shouting.

I ride exclusively on the roads now as a law-abiding scootster, where the car drivers also roll down their windows to yell at me, but at least there is a metal door between us. I have also been screamed at at from cars from just walking the scooter down the sidewalk, waiting at a red light, and not having my helmet on yet when I looked like I may have been about to start riding.

Am I partially to blame due to my first week of reckless zoomies, or the one time I forgot my helmet? Maybe. I also know that plenty of people ride regularly on sidewalks, one of whom almost ran over John Mulaney's beloved bulldog Petunia. I am not defending these riders. I love Petunia as much as you can love a dog you've never met (which is unendingly and entirely). But I am defending my right to get creative with my transportation. Many of us can't afford cars, and even if a car is an option, cannot afford to park anywhere near our jobs. The MTBA has been actively on fire four times in the past four months. Sometimes walking is an option, but I have yet to find a route that goes uphill both ways, so we will still be disappointing our fathers.

So what is there left to do? I've researched a few untested transportation methods to use around Boston if your usual commute is getting you down.

1. Swan Boat

Charming, serene, and only slightly threatening, the Public Garden swan boats are the prefect alternative to Mom's minivan. Pack your squad inside and range anywhere within the walk-able radius of your local pond, except slower and in the shadow of a oversized cygnet still recovering from ugly duckling syndrome.

2. Day Drunk Bruins Fans

Surrender to the crowd and let a pack of puck lovers carry you on their overly padded shoulders onward through the city. For extra protection, grab yourself a bear suit a la Midsommar and become the life of the party.

3. Giant Fenway Rats

Boston may not be a fire swamp, but look no further than the apartments surrounding the Fenway neighborhood for rodents of unusual size. These babies can be rabbit-sized and have just as much spring in their back legs when they leap out of garbage cans straight at your face. However, if you could catch one, some sort of snow-dog rig may do wonders for cutting down your commute.

4. College move-in bins

These crates have everything: 4/6 working rotating wheels, barely ripped waterproof canvas, a strap too small for all of your fingers, and an overly bubbly RA ready to balance out the load. Scour around any of Boston's 40 colleges and universities on September 1st to grab any of these traffic hazards lining the streets of Beantown. Massachusetts license fee of $275 + tax may apply.

5. Coattails of someone chasing after an electric scooter

At least we know they're fast when spurred on by righteous anger and the excitement of frightening small women in their twenties.

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