I drive my Vespa in Los Angeles traffic. I drive between cars. Sometimes Erika and I tote unwieldy objects such as our Christmas Tree or bags of Trader Joe's groceries. There's a chance for disaster. A mere fender-bender in your car, that you'd mention in passing over coffee, can be a life-altering injury for us. It takes nothing to create an upset on a scooter being driven at 45 MPH - being cutoff, a bump, a pothole, a flat tire, a moment of distraction… So you would think my scooter would get respect. But no.
I'm sitting on my Vespa waiting at a traffic light when a black SUV with tinted windows rolls to a stop next to me. The truck is vibrating to the stereo's base. Heck, I'm vibrating to the stereo's base. Boom boom boom…
The driver-side window on the SUV powers down.
A guy who looks like Michael Clarke Duncan from Mission Impossible leans out. He holds something in his hand.
"Hey man. What mileage you get with that?" he says.
"Uh… about seventy five." I say.
"Nice. I gotta get me one of those." He shows me the object in his hand which is his cell phone. "Mind if I take a memory?"
"Not at all."
I lean back, cock my head to the side and snarl my lips in my best imitation of James Dean.
He snaps the picture with his cell phone. "Thanks."
And then he says it. He uses the 'C' word. He says, "Cute."
And then he drives off.
That sort of thing happens all the time. I'm pretty sure it doesn't happen to people driving motorcycles.
Danger is not necessarily sexy. Perceived danger is sexy.
Advice based on this principle:
- Sexier than 'doing something dangerous to be seen as sexy' is doing something dangerous without the purpose of being seen as sexy. It's an intent sort of thing.
- Don't take yourself too seriously.
- Learn to laugh at the ludicrousness of human perception.
- Buy a Vespa or a motorcycle. People may or may not find you sexy but you'll have fun. :)