I actually just saw one for the first time the day of the blackout. There was this middle-aged man sitting on a bench in Central Park with a little grin on his face, and resting against him was this large, gray, two-wheeled machine that I have seen a picture of in the corner of Amazon.com for the past two years. The Segway, a “self-balancing” motorized scooter, was much bigger than I expected, and also more ridiculous-looking. The man was just sitting on the bench, cradling the Segway between his legs, and watching passersby with a look that dared them to crack a joke. I did, of course, but I don’t think he heard me.
Anyway, what I didn’t know about Segways is that their owners have formed a very tight-knit group, mostly on the Internet, and
defend the honor of their Segways with an almost religious fervor. Recently, a Segway owner carried on a private (and anonymous, what a good samaritan) investigation, along with the FBI, into a stolen Segway (not his own, but a member of the online Segway owners chat room or something) in New York. It was just recovered the other day after an online sting operation led the thief into a trap. Apparently, according to this article in the Register, all sorts of impromptu online celebrating has erupted in the wake of the victory. After all, it’s not just a victory for the stolen Segway’s rightful owner, but for all Segway owners everywhere. It’s a victory for the consumer, and for weird people that form communities based on the subtle feelings of regret that they all share because they spent $5,000 in what could be the dumbest way ever.