So there we were, minding our own business last Friday night, savoring strawberry basil margaritas in an open air cafe, when what to our wondering eyes should appear but this snowy haired gent on a Segway.
Anyone would have thought we'd seen George Clooney. A flurry of excitement, and out came the cameras. We thought we'd missed our opportunity, but we must have been so loud that the gent heard us, and obligingly came back around.
Next thing we know, just like a modern-day Prince Charming with a horse, the gent offers Valerie a spin on the Segway. First thing he tells her is to keep her chin up, and her eyes straight ahead. This much she can do.
Having touched it, stood on it, and moved it forward and backward a bit, Valerie is ready to hand it back to the gent. She's thinking: What if I damage it? What if I can't control it and go into the street? What if I fall?
In fact, Valerie can't get Jimi Heselden out of her head. Heselden, you might remember, liked the Segway so much he bought the whole company. Sometime later, he accidentally rode his Segway off a cliff. If he can do that, Valerie thinks, so can I...
Mr. Heselden in better days.
Jean, on the other hand, (who spent more than six hours with Valerie in the emergency room when she broke her wrist riding no more than a standard motionless house chair), is not thinking of Mr. Heselden. She is thinking of our former president. "Dubya" took a spill on his Segway that made the news way back when.
Jean came running around the corner, ready to yell something encouraging like "And that's how Valerie broke her other wrist..." when the gentleman invited her to try it out.
To the obvious delight of onlookers and fellow diners, Jean takes off, up and down the block, turning and spinning, going forward and backward. Show off!
Needless to say, one cannot slouch on a Segway or it immediately tips over. What a great way to enforce good posture!
We could say that Jean took to the Segway like a duck to water. Or tweak that a little bit and say like geese took to Konrad Lorenz. (Remember his famous studies on imprinting?) Or was such immediate aptitude due to the influence the fabulous full moon above? (MUCH bigger than it appears in the photo, for some reason.)
The gent bestowed an A on Jean. In this age of grade inflation, he bestowed a B on Valerie. Valerie countered that hers was a C or D performance at best, and the gent allowed that that was closer to the truth.
And then, as quickly as he came, the gent hopped up on his Segway and rode off into the night!