We often think of the Pentagon as the biggest, baddest representation of the Department of Defense imaginable.
These are the guys who get stuff done using the latest in technology, military might, and defensive arsenal the likes of which the world has never seen. We call the Pentagon when there is no one left to call, essentially.
And, if we think about what could possibly be a threat to such an institution, we have the terrible events of September 11th to remind us that yes, at times, ever our bravest and most well prepared can be vulnerable.
Today, however, we get to have ourselves a bit of a giggle over what actually irks the DOD the most at their headquarters in Arlington County, Virginia: Scooters.
Last week, Pentagon police in one day found seven abandoned, stand-up style motorized scooters around its property. It’s the latest example of the vehicles showing up unwanted all over Washington, from office doorsteps to the Lincoln Memorial.
The perpetrators are not the Vespa-style scooters of “Roman Holiday” — those are welcome, and really, who doesn’t love those? And they’re not the indoor three-wheeled scooters used by Pentagon employees needing mobility assistance around the massive building. Rather, we are talking about the stand-up kind of scooters used mostly by children, like the wooden one stolen by Marty McFly in “Back to the Future” before he turned it into a cool skateboard — except these are built for grown-ups and motorized. Washington citizens nettled by the zippy sidewalk-and-street vehicles have dubbed their riders “scooter bros.”
Rental scooters are part of a new trend of “dockless” transportation, emulating the popular bicycle-sharing programs popping up in cities all over the world. You find a nearby scooter with its smartphone app, pay a fee, and take a ride. When you’re done, someone else can grab the scooter for another ride, or, eventually, the scooter company will pick it up for charging.
Dockless scooters have also gotten a plethora of negative feedback in California, where annoyed citizens have begun fighting back by making their retrieval terribly painful for operators.
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