I know that for some people, these things are a necessity. So why is it that every time I see someone riding one of those scooters, I automatically think they are lazy and not handicapped?? I guess it doesn't help that just about every person I have seen on a scooter, or at least the ones I remember, seem to be mildly to grossly obese. Granted, when you get heavy, I imagine it's harder to be pedestrian. But why do I visibly roll my eyes and quietly groan every time I pass someone on a scooter?
The thing is, I can see my mother using one of those things. Correction - I can't actually see her using it. She has bad knees and it sometimes takes her a good 20 seconds to get out of a chair. Long walks with her have resulted in her knees swelling to 1/3 their size and her massaging them in pain. But my correction centers on the fact that she would rather die than be seen in one of those scooters. And I can't really blame her.
These scooters have gotten a bad rap because people have substituted them for actual walking. My Aussie friend Luke told me that when he went to Disneyland while visiting the US, he was amazed at the number of scooters in the park. He said it seemed like one scooter for every 5 people. He also said you would never see something like that over in OZ - that scooters there are the exception rather what seems to be the rule.
I guess it also doesn't help that there seems to be an air of entitlement amid those who are riding rather than walking. These aren't wheelchairs - which I have no problem making room for. I've actually been "beeped at" on the sidewalk to get out of the way so that a scooter can ride by me. And once, when I was visiting the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, I saw a woman park her scooter at the steps of Ben & Jerry's, climb the 10-12 steps, and get back on her scooter with her triple mint chocolate chip in her hand and ride off. And that just irked me.
Once again, America is putting her embarassments on display. Not only are we the fattest country on the planet, as well as the greediest, we are also the laziest - one being the direct result of another.
As if the world needs another reason to hate us.