A Motor Scooter and a Broom


This is a true story. Welcome to my suburbia.

My neighbor’s twenty-something son lives in the garage. He owns a motorized scooter. Boy, does it leave an impression. A hybrid scooter and gas-powered rocket, it propels the guy at a clip faster than I can run (as I learned one morning), with a 3-horse motor that sounds like a go-cart on steroids. Its high-pitched scream can penetrate a two-mile swath of dense tree canopy while it transports this helmetless, wind-in-the-hair free spirit on his Saturday morning wake-up whiz to nowhere.

It woke me too early one summer holiday, and I followed  it around the neighborhood in my mind. With each silent curse, I imagined him in his basement lair minutes before, kick-starting his neurons with a few puffs of doob before he pulled on his WHATEVER shirt and cargo pants to do nothing. I actually did this to feel better.

On his fifth pass, I decided that he needed discouragement. As he BWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA’ed toward the end of his lap, I bolted out of bed, threw on some shorts and went to greet him as he passed. I paused at my pantry for a checkered flag but had to settle for a broom instead.

You’d think that poor fella had never seen a broom before, the way he leapt from his vehicle. Or perhaps he’d just received a similar greeting from someone who’d chosen the broom for a different purpose. In any event, it took me a few minutes of calm lecturing about common courtesy before the blood returned to his face, and he resolved to confine his joyriding to the middle of the day.

Confident that I had achieved my purpose without using the broom, I softened up and assured him I wasn’t a mean-spirited man, and by the way, although it was quite loud, it was still sort of a cool thing.

He offered to let me take it for a spin, but I am quite certain that all of my neighbors own brooms.


7 Responses to “A Motor Scooter and a Broom”

  1. Broom Broom!

    There are some local kids here who do that with a quad every now and then. I always get outside too late to actually stop them.

    I’d probably not settle for a broom though…

  2. You could always go for the slingshot and over-ripe cumquats.

  3. This is the beauty of suburbia. I live in in Brooklyn. That kind of thing over here is likely to get you seriously injured by the affronted party. I find it better to smile pleasantly and gesture with my cane, politely urging them to comply. If they choose not to, I can always hit them in the shins with it. lol. So far, I’ve never had that problem.

  4. Oh believe me, Olivia, I’d not venture into the streets of Brooklyn with a broom, unless it was to sweep my elderly neighbor’s steps for her — can you still do that sort of thing, or does that get you in trouble to? Or does the neighborhood matter. What’s Bed-Stuy look like these days?

  5. 5 Sian

    We have a TV programme over here in the UK; it’s called Grumpy Old Men…

    In the absence of smilies (shame) please accept this snigger.

  6. You do have to watch out for brooms. While the common weapon leaves few marks, the emotional scarring never fades.

  7. Jean, you sound like the voice of experience.

    Sian, are you suggesting I am a grumpy old man?

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