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Oh, the humanity! He jacked an old man’s scooter!

for The Brooklyn Paper
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I’m hotter than zeppole frying in Crisco over this nincompoop who nabbed an electric scooter from a senior citizen on the 69th Street Pier on May 10.

And guess what? I know the perfect penalty for the guy who committed this heinous crime: death!

You know something? They had it right in the Old West, when they used to shoot horse thieves right off the saddle. We oughta reinstate this ingenious punishment — and apply it to scooter-nappin’ scumchops.

Now, I know what you’re saying: Carmine, we can’t cap people for stealing scooters. OK, I’m as reasonable as the next guy. So what about cutting off their legs? Or at least busting a kneecap?

You might not agree with me on this one, but I know who will: my thousands of devoted readers who depend on scooters to get around. Heck, the lot of them would put out the contracts on that good-for-nothin’ skell!

For those of you living under a rock for the last few weeks — or too busy reading about royal weddings, French fornicators, or Fred Wilpon — let me fill you in on this atrocious crime.

See, there was this 67-year-old guy minding his own business, scootin’ down to the old ferry dock off Shore Road in Bay Ridge. Now, all he wanted to do was stretch his legs for a few seconds and gaze out at the water (and for reasons I’ll never know, Staten Island). So he got off the wheels that got him there (it may have been a “Rascal” or some high-end model, I don’t know) and by the time he turned around again, the darned scooter had disappeared.

Look, you all know that I put more miles on my scooter than Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang (although my miles are on the rough streets and sidewalks of BensonWORST, and not in the comparatively smooth sailing of the sky), so you can understand that I understand the horror this poor fella felt when he realized his mobility was taken right out from under him.

I’m not going to lie to you: I’m an emotional guy — and I’m not afraid to show it. So when I read about this abominable crime in the pages of the venerable Brooklyn Graphic, I was like that guy who watched the Hindenburg explode over New Jersey.

“Oh! The humanity!” I screamed, as angry tears streamed down my face.

Look, you all know that I am totally dependent on my scooter to get around, and I’ll tell you this: I’m sure this isn’t the first time a scooter was stolen. I mean, these things are hotter than Brooklyn Decker, and the thefts should be showing up in the police blotter under “grand theft scooter.”

It reminds me of the last time my scooter toppled over on me: When the EMS showed up, I had to choose between going to the hospital or staying with my scooter, because it couldn’t fit in the ambulance. The choice was as plain as the nose on my face: I had to stay with my scooter, Tornado. (That’s right! I named my scooter after Zorro’s horse!)

And it’s not as if you don’t notice these electric scooters on the street, especially with the crisis at the gas pump. I’ll be the first to tell you that when I’m scooting around the neighborhood, I get looks of wonder, pity and — mostly — envy.

Whenever I stop to buy something at a butcher, baker, or fresh pasta maker, I inevitably get questioned (when I stop, of course, since people can’t keep up with me and Tornado):

Q: “How far can you go with the scooter?”

Screecher: “I can get from Bay Parkway and 86th Street to the Aquarium and back.”

Q: “How often do you charge the battery?”

Screecher: “Depending on how long I’m going to use it. If it’s just around the house or up and down to get the mail, once a week. If I’m going shopping, I charge it overnight.

Q: “How fast can you go?”

Screecher: “My scooter is quicker than you can walk, Buster, but one of those long-distance runner can easily overtake me, if he’s wearing those zany Air Jacksons, or whatever they’re called. But my wife beats me in the car — by just a few minutes — whenever we race home from Caesar’s Bay. That’s because I can scoot the wrong way down one-way streets, and I don’t have to stop for traffic lights. Hey, can you hand me those bananas? No, not those, the ones that are a little green. I like them to ripen on the counter.”

See, I’m giving you a taste of what it feels like to depend on a scooter because to me, my scooter gives me the mobility that my legs can’t. So you can imagine the horror felt by the victim who, in essence, had his legs cut off like the butt end of a loaf of bread.

Look, if you watch the boob tube when I do — you know, during the evening news and late at night when that guy with the funny chin is on — you see a lot commercials about mobility scooters and electric chairs, promising a new life for the elderly. And you know something? These scooters deliver on that promise.

But let me tell you something else — you better have two of these darn things, because once you buy one, you are totally dependent on it. And the minute your scooter is disabled, so are you!

When my scooter breaks down or I have to bring it in for an oil change and a 100,000-mile check-up, I’ve never gotten a loaner. You know why? Because there’s no such animal! And repairs usually take up to two weeks, if you’re lucky, dagnabbit! Last time my scooter broke, I had to go to some place called Manhattan to rent one for a couple of hundred dollars a week — and I had to pick it up and drop it off myself!

Look, you all know that my legs can’t support my weight and I can’t stand without pain. And I don’t know if the senior whose scooter was swiped is as dependent on his as I am on mine. But who would have thunk that some moron would steal a scooter?

We gotta catch this guy, and we gotta hang’em high!

Screech at you next week!

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Reader Feedback

Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Gerontocracy rears it's ugly head again. If I see this "thief" I'll be sure to thank him for taking back some of the social security taxed out of my paycheck that I will surely never see. I'm sure this other guy's Medi-welfare will get him a shiny new one.

Don't worry younger generation, college may cost 2,000% more than it did in 1960, but we're still going to take money out of your paycheck so that Oldie McEntitlement-Complex can get a free Hoveround in designer colors with matching drink holders.
May 29, 2011, 7:32 am

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