The Saga of 'Big Guy & Scoot
Residents since the 70s and Vespa owner since Lee and Larry first opened their shop on Rehoboth Avenue, we see change. Change for more than just scooter owners and riders.
Me: “Hay, Scoot, let's go to the beach,” comfortably talking to a black 150cc Vespa.
Scoot: "Good idea, Big Guy. Saddle up.” Me hearing a machine speak. Even though a middle size person, I sadly asked Scoot to call me Big Guy and it’s stuck. Now very weird, but Scoot won’t stop.
Arriving at the end of Hickman Street, where our first Rehoboth house stands and where we’ve always gone to the beach, there is no scooter parking, just a near empty bike rack. The Hickman bike rack is the place heretofore we’ve always parked. Pulling into a car spot and fumbling with the new and very necessary parking app, an obviously harried family in a minivan with New York tags curses loudly. It looks like a kid in the back is sobbing, “Mommy. Mommy, not fair, Mommy!” Snot is definitely flying.
Me: “No worries, Scoot, we’ll only be here a few hours. That family may find a place sooner than later,” watching them peel off in a cloud of brackish smoke.
Leaving the beach, to a still empty bike rack and sidewalk space, we head to town to refill our Fisher's popcorn bucket.
The Rehoboth Avenue scooter parking is chocked full. Fearing a ticket, we skip over our usual place on the walk near curbside and take a car spot. A family in a minivan, with Pennsylvania tags this time, begins pointing and screaming, making rude gestures in our direction. Kids in the back locked in blood combat, screams as they seek reason from an uncomprehending Mommy; Daddy repeatedly slapping himself in the face.
Scoot: “Dang, Big Guy, you’ve really pi...”
Me: “Don’t say it. It’s not my fault.”
Scoot: “Isn’t that what the kid cop said when your scofflaw buddy tore up his scooter parking ticket, throwing it on the ground and stomping, ‘Not my fault, just following city orders, sir.’ And, say, don’t those new police uniforms make the kids look like World War II storm troopers?”
Me: “Both things true. Still…the elected officials have heard the reaction to the new ordinance, so maybe change is coming.”
Scoot: “Didn’t our mayor-for-life guy say he’d fight changing the ordinance?”
Me: “I heard that. Not fair, though, to call our top elected official mayor-for-life; sounds like you’re making a comparison with Mahmoud Whatshisname from that scary country.”
Scoot: “Not my intention, besides that Mahmoud guy is out of office after eight years; our Rehoboth guy ain’t going nowhere.”
Me: (Giving Scoot a hard stare, which he caught in his headlight, ending the political talk.)
Later that afternoon, Big Guy and Scoot head for Obie’s on the Boardwalk, a place with scooter parking. The small scooter space is full, the scooters parked in the front blocked by those in back. Scofflaw buddy's scooter is there blocking the one in front. Buddy's scooter has no $40 parking sticker, and the tag is expired. Altercation ready to happen.
Scoot and Big Guy, well initiated, find a car spot. Pulling in, just nipping out a harried family. These folks have New Jersey tags on their minivan. They seem to be reaching for what looks alarmingly like fire arms. The big serious kind favored by special operations and housewives.
Scoot: “Quick! Push out of here and let’s get going!”
Me: “Just following city orders,” yelled over my shoulder. It’s our turn to squeal rubber. We head home, where, without the $40 scooter sticker, it’s illegal to park out front.