Scooter Cuteness – Don’t Fight It
By David Harrington
Right off the bat, I’m NOT talking about how cute a scooter is – I’m referring to how cute a scooter makes you. Male, female, young, old, it doesn’t matter. Riding a scooter makes you cute. How cute? Let me relate a story about my friend “R”.
“R” is certainly not cute in the conventional sense. He’s 6’ 4”, weighs about 265 lbs (none of it fat), has a (nearly) permanent scowl, a mean glare and often wears intentionally offensive apparel. He’s the guy you want standing behind you to avoid that bar fight. He usually rides a KZ1000 rat bike with loud pipes and I’ve never seen anyone complain (to his face) about the excessive sound. Several years ago, “R” was visiting the Twin Cities and had some last-minute free time to hang out. At the time, I didn’t have a (running) motorcycle available, so I gave him a Genuine Buddy 150cc scooter to use. The scooter had a solo seat and loud (for a scooter) exhaust. “R” fit on it (just), and he didn’t complain too much. He was surprised with the responsiveness of the Buddy and I THINK I saw a slim smile once or twice as we rode some parkways. Oh, yes, I should mention that “R” was wearing a T-shirt that day that said “If you can read this, F*** O**”.
After a couple of hours of cruising, we started looking for a rest stop – it was time to hydrate and fuel up. We saw some open parking just off the River Road near Lake Street. As it happened, there were a few other powered two-wheeled conveyances (scooters and motorcycles) parked nearby and a fair number of people milling about. We climbed off our rides, peeled off the helmets and starting walking toward the aforementioned hydration stop. A couple of young bucks in branded motorcycle jackets looked our way, but a quick glare from “R” sent their eyes to the ground and they started uncomfortably shuffling their feet. I was about to make a see-scooters-aren’t-so-bad comment when a threesome of two young girls and a guy practically ran up to us and started peppering “R” with smiles and questions. Apparently, they had recently acquired 50cc scooters and were VERY curious about the 150cc Buddy with a rumbling exhaust. One of the young girls told “R” that she thought the Buddy was really cool and that he looked so cute riding it. I expected an explosion of expletives from my big, tough-guy friend. Imagine my surprise when his face broke out with a bright smile and he started chatting merrily away about how this was his first scooter ride and how much fun he was having.
We enjoyed a couple of iced coffees and were just about ready to head back to the scooters when one of the young fellas (slowly) walked over to the parking area. He looked at “R” and then at the Buddy. It seemed to me he was about to wet himself when “R” turned, smiled, and said “Great day for a ride, isn’t it.”
I chuckled a little to myself and looked over at “R”. Just before he pulled his helmet on, I said “Cute, huh.” He scowled at me and said, “Are you saying I’m NOT cute?” The big grin was back.
Twin Cities scooterist David Harrington operates JustGottaScoot.com