How lazy can America get?

Really, how lazy I ask. This is the country where people get in fights over a parking space 10 feet closer to the door. Where I see spry folks taking elevators to the second floor and we drive anywhere father than the mailbox (and I bet some of you have even done that!).

As a result, we have a national obesity epidemic; 65 percent of U.S. adults are either overweight or obese and heart disease and diabetes kill 30% of the population. And what great inventions have we developed in this climate of abject laziness?

May I present the apex of lazy – the Segway rickshaw!

Now even the tiring concept of standing, much less actually walking, is eliminated for greater access to our nation’s monuments by the sidewalk SUV.

Move aside careful pedestrian, run in the road healthy jogger, we are the Segway sidewalk SUV tourists, so lazy, so corpulent we cannot even lean forward to effect movement.

Next up, the Segway rickshaw with attached keg and Super Sized Happy meal deal express – ride the Mall then get a double bypass on the way home!

30 Comments so far

  1. LD (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 12:14 pm

    I think the Segway would be much better if it had a harness that held you up so that you don’t have to stand on your own. Because standing is so haaaaaard.
    And if you’re gonna pull something, I’d much prefer a couch on wheels. Those rickshaws don’t look too comfortable to me.

    I wonder if you can go through McDonald’s drive-thru with that thing…

  2. Don (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 12:30 pm

    I hate those goddamned things, rickshaw or no. Aside from being a badge proclaiming that you’ve got more money than sense, they have no business on a sidewalk and are a hazard to pedestrians. Whenever I see one I silently plot how I can clotheline the person off it…

  3. wayan (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 1:04 pm

    Silently? I openly mock and laugh at them while standing the curb cuts they use to invade the sidewalk. Once I even had the pleasure of debating with a moron who didn’t believe that Segways were motorized vehicles, like his leaning was enough to effect movement.

  4. DCeiver (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 1:13 pm

    While Segways are infinitely derideable, spare a thought for people who take the elevator only one floor. You forget that with all the overheated security concerns, many building managers have taken to locking floor access from the stairwell. Many people who want to save riders from having to make a one story stop get stuck in the stairwells and have to return to the ground floor in order to get out. Sucks, but it’s true all over the city.

  5. wayan (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 1:23 pm

    I refer not to those of us in hermetically sealed & locked-down content factories, I point my overtyped fingers at those lazy folks who take my apartment’s elevator up one flight to an apartment across the hall from the stairwell egress

  6. jen m. (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 1:35 pm

    while i can’t speak for the individuals in that particular photo, many segway users have mobility impairment and use the segway instead of a “rascal” type chair or just not being able to get around well. other than segway tours and police use of segways, this is the most common use for the machines.

    so you might want to think why someone is using it before mocking them as lazy.

  7. wayan (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 1:50 pm

    I have yet to see anyone using a Segway that wasn’t seemingly fully mobile, only lazy tourists on the Mall and wanna-be-cool jerks.

  8. Mik (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 2:19 pm

    “wanna-be-cool jerks.”

    So Wayan, would that be you then?

    You left that door wiiiiiiiide open mate.

  9. jen m. (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 2:22 pm

    how do you know that they are fully mobile if you only see them on the segway? that’s a really prejudicial thing to say. there’s no special way that mobility impaired people “look”.

    for instance, let’s say you see a 35 year old lawyer with multiple sclerosis who finds it difficult to walk more than several steps at time. she’s dressed in a business suit, holding a briefcase, standing on a segway, riding to the courthouse. how can you know by looking at her on the segway whether she whether she “needs” the segway or is “lazy”?

  10. Don (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 2:48 pm

    When you can produce any reputable statistics demonstrating that the physically disabled are responsible for even 1/10th of Segway sales we’ll be glad to take your claim seriously, Jen.

    Even then I’m personally not prepared to write them a blank check to be on the sidewalk with walkers. They’re capable of 12mph, a speed that’s close to the 15mph max speed the average 18 year old can achieve ( If you’ve ever had someone tear by you at close range going as fast as they can sprint you know how scary that can be. Add 95lb and wheels to that and it’s even worse.

    I see articles about disabled segway users agitated that they are being denied the right to use them in various locations (apparently ADA doesn’t apply because they are not recognized medical devices by the FDA) and while I have some sympathy I also have concerns for the rest of us. In particular I have a limited amount of sympathy for the claims that it should necessarily be allowed because of the user’s ‘feelings’ of increased independence and dislike of the stigma of a wheelchair. It’s a nice goal for everyone in the world to feel good about themselves but I’m unwilling to endanger the rest of us over nothing more than FDR-style vanity.

  11. wayan (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 2:52 pm

    Okay, I’ll give you that there could be people like that but just how many mobility impaired Segway driving lawyers are there? Dare I say one or two, three tops, in this whole city.

    The vast majority of Segway riders I come across are lazy tourists, easily identified by the tour logo on their Segway and therefore open game for ridicule at every opportunity.

  12. wayan (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 2:58 pm

    Don, don’t even get me started on Segway riders delusional belief that a Segway is not a motorized vehicle, but some small, unobtrusive, helpful device that should be allowed on sidewalks.

    Like other vehicles with motors, or even human powered bicycles, Segways belong in the street. They are too big, too heavy, and as our Dear Leader proved, prone to crash, sending several hundred pounds of rider + Segway careening at high speeds into an innocent bystander who then really will be mobility impaired.

  13. jen m. (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 4:46 pm

    even if you don’t like having mobility impaired people riding segways on the sidewalk, that’s a far cry from calling them “lazy.” there’s nothing wrong with an open debate on the use of segways on sidewalks, but what value is there in simply ranting that people are lazy?

    i’m not going to take the time to bother to look up the statistics on segway riders (i think i read it in a Post article if someone else wants to do it) because it’s irrelevant. it doesn’t matter how many mobility-impaired people ride segways. the point is that it’s not right to make blanket judgments (i.e. “lazy”) about people based on basically no information about them, and what’s more to defend these blanket judgments by spouting prejudicial bullshit like “he didn’t LOOK disabled!”

    i should have known better than to open my mouth. it’s not like this is the first time that this blog has valued petty complaining and mean-spirited intolerance over constructive debate and inclusiveness — and i’m sure it won’t be the last. and wayan may be worst offender (the “bum” fiasco springs immediately to mind), but he’s by no means the only one.

  14. wayan (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 4:56 pm

    At least I can get up the energy to use the “shift ” key and make caps.

  15. Mik (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 5:08 pm

    How about you two kiss and make up, and we all take Jen out to her about the r-rated vegas stories?

    Jen – any dress remixes lately?

  16. travis (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 5:12 pm

    plain and simple, wayan, this post is obnoxious and insensitive, as are your follow-up comments.

  17. jen m. (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 5:24 pm

    no remixes lately, but i’m up for drinks and dirty vegas stories anytime. with one caveat: NO MEAN PEOPLE ALLOWED. (yep, that shift key still works.)

  18. tom bridge (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 5:46 pm

    Take the chip off your shoulder, Jen.

  19. Stacey (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 5:54 pm

    And like most things that start out as “human rights” issues or debates, we all turn back to talking about ourselves most and thinking about ourselves most often. And THAT is the problem with the world (me included)…

  20. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 7:45 pm

    I still don’t get how this post on American Laziness as epitomized by a Segway Rickshaw is obnoxious, Travis. Segways can, yes, be used by folks with motive disabilities as a good way to get around town, absolutely. I don’t think Wayan has a problem with that usage, but rather, with the inability of perfectably able people to choose to walk when they instead want to segway down crowded sidewalks with all the politesse of a bike courier.

    Take deep breaths, people.

  21. wayan (unregistered) on July 14th, 2006 @ 10:04 am

    Plain and simple, Travis, you are coming to the defense of your girlfriend who somehow mistook my ridicule of lazy tourists as a personal attack on the handicapped.

    I stand by my ridicule of Segway tourists because I find them obnoxious and insensitive, especially when they ride on the sidewalk. While it may shock you, I find them even more obnoxious and insensitive than you find me.

    Segway tourists are an embarrassment to this country, a sad example of our incalculable laziness, and I will call them such unabated.

    Segways used by the hadicapped are a whole other topic.

  22. Don (unregistered) on July 14th, 2006 @ 10:17 am

    Every time Jen M shows up to chide us with claims of rudeness and snide behavior I have to go out and replace yet another overloaded irony meter…. it’s getting expensive.

  23. wayan (unregistered) on July 14th, 2006 @ 10:20 am

    Even Wonkette agress with me. To quote them:

    “Someone tell the tourists that a Segway rickshaw is not a chariot, even though it might resemble the motorized wheel chair their fat-asses will be confined to soon enough.”


  24. Tecki (unregistered) on July 14th, 2006 @ 10:42 am

    I used to hate segway drivers too. Their smug looks while they speed by us foot-walking types. The gee-wiz, I’m on some kinda Star-treky thing, look at me! attitude.

    But then, gas went up to $3 a gallon, and I started to realize: If these folks would rather take a little electric vehicle for short trips around town, instead of SUVs or even little cars, then, what the hell, let ’em.

    If they’re going to be lazy, then at least they’re being lazy without destroying the environment or increasing our demand on foreign oil. And segways take up less space than an Escalade.

  25. Doug (unregistered) on July 14th, 2006 @ 1:22 pm

    It’s always funny to hear people that love to drive their cars, vans, SUVs everywhere (essentially everyone posting to this site) who consider the dude riding the tiny electric vehicle as “lazy.”

    American replaced walking with driving SUVs.

    Ummm so you sit on your ass and drive your SUV with the A/C on, anywhere farther than a block away from your house but love calling the Segway dude standing on a surfboard “lazy.”


  26. JennX (unregistered) on July 14th, 2006 @ 2:02 pm

    I see those things all the time (work by the White House, live on Cap Hill) and have to add my two cents…

    Yes, they are probably somewhat “lazy” suburban dwellers who regularly drive the two blocks to the store when at home.

    At the same time, anyone who has every visited a touristy city like DC (or Paris, or Rome…) can attest to the fact sight-seeing is EXHAUSTING. I can’t remember when my back and knees have hurt more than looking around a museum for a couple hours, and I am a pretty fit city dweller who walks and takes Metro everywhere in addition to working out and playing soccer regularly. People who come to visit me return after a day at the Smithsonian museums looking like they are near collapse– especially in the summer! I can’t say I wouldn’t be tempted to give my tired legs a rest by zipping around some of the outdoor sights on a Segway for a half-day. Looks like a lot of fun, actually.

    Of course, they should be considerate of pedestrians, and they should have more endurance by not driving everywhere in whatever non-walking town they arrived from. That said, there are much better things to judge tourists on– like their appalling lack of style (are acid-wash jeans really still being worn in some places? yeesh!)

  27. Drew (unregistered) on July 22nd, 2006 @ 1:45 pm

    It is impressive that this machine, “revealed” over 5 years ago, is still stirring up so much debate. Where is the argument for tourists taking a tour on the Segway just for the sake of riding a Segway? The machines spark interest, what an awesome way to see DC AND get to ride a Segway.

    As for the rickshaw…

    There are rules to follow in this great place we call home, Washington, DC. You must be 16 to ride a Segway and therefore, as an option for parents with children who we know can make walking around DC all day more than a chore, this is a possible solution. There is a 100 pound weight limit in the rickshaw, not gonna work for your supposed obese lazy people…

    There is no denying the option of walking, if that is your solution for laziness. I would argue the majority of Segway owners simply use their machines as a means of commuting, saving gas, not struggling for parking, and doing a small part in keeping the world green. They are still active human beings who exercise, walk to the store, and all the other things that you deem as evidence of “non-lazy” people. There is a weight limit on Segways, so let’s not account America’s obseity problems with a machine built for clean transportation.

    It is a natural evolution in transportation. We went from being able to walking, to inventing the wheel and being able to roll, bikes came along to decrease the strain walking puts on the body, then we jumped straight from bikes to cars. Segways seem to be the inbetween.

    As for the smuggish looks you claim owners throw you way, think back to high school when you were picked on by bullies. Eventally you learned to ignore them, pretend not to see them even. Chalk it up to your comarades who claim to stand on the curb and mock riders, “laugh even” for making owners seem stand off-ish.

    Let’s blame the worlds problems on closed-minded, prejuding, oil-dependant people. Segways are fun, don’t fault a tourist for wanting to have some fun while taking in the sites DC has to offer.

  28. Tiggerpaws (unregistered) on July 22nd, 2006 @ 8:19 pm

    I wish people would shut up about my walking speed,
    I walk slow, if they don’t like it, they can either move aside and walk around me, or buy me a wheelchair.

  29. Melkor (unregistered) on July 25th, 2006 @ 3:11 pm

    Wayan, I ask you how lazy can an American get. So lazy that the number 5 item on their wish list is the iRobot Roomba 4100/4300 Intelligent Floorvac Robotic Vacuum (in red, by the way). Too lazy to vacuum? You are just another “wanna-be-cool jerk”.

  30. wayan (unregistered) on July 25th, 2006 @ 3:32 pm

    Thanks for the personal attack Melkor. Glad you could add to the debate this way.

    Might you know that I enjoy sweeping & mopping – its so.. physical! The Roomba wouldn’t work in my house anyway, too many exotic shag rugs from the housemate.

    I wanna Rooba to hack it with my Geek powers, not use it to vacuum. Maybe you’ve seen this:

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