Segways, Rocket Boots, and Mortality

In all the excitement of the transfer announcement, I forgot I was going to mention something something Boy #3 (the eight-year-old) said Friday.

Dude who isn't me on a Segway

My family and I went to the St. Louis Auto Show last Friday which was fun. (I confess: I mainly went to see the Mach 5.)  One of the highlights (other than the Mach 5) was that they had an area where you could ride a Segway, something I have wanted to do for a while.  However, the limitations were that the driver had to be at least 12 years old and weigh at least 100 lbs.

Well, that meant that the only folks in our family who would be able to try it out were myself, my Beautiful Wife, and my oldest, twelve-year-old Boy #1 (who was, frankly, a bit nervous, but who did just great!).  Needless to say (then why am I saying it?), the other boys were quite disappointed, especially ten-year-old Boy #2 and eight-year-old Boy #3.  Six-year-old Boy #4 didn’t seem to mind so much, perhaps because he is used to being told he is too young or perhaps he found the things intimidating.  Regardless, they sat on the sidelines with Mom while Boy #1 and I tooled around for about five minutes, driving around the enclosed area like professional Segway racers.  It was a lot of fun, though I did get in trouble when I purposefully began going backwards.  (The nice lady in charge told me that the Segway company doesn’t like it when you do that — or perhaps she meant the Segway machine itself, I don’t know.)  Mom Smith dutifully captured it all in iPhone video glory.

Anyway, when our time was up, we traded places with Mom who got her own five minutes of Segway time in while I manned the iPhone to record it for posterity when Boy #3 decided he should share his utter disappointment with me.  I was not as sympathetic as I should have been, perhaps, which led to my well-deserved comeuppance.  Here is the conversation as best I can remember:

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Boy #3: Dad, it’s not fair.

Me: What’s not fair?

Boy #3: It’s not fair that you got to ride one and I didn’t.

Me: Well, it’s just that you’re too young right now.  Besides, one day you’ll be old enough and you can drive a Segway, too.  [Picture smirk on face, here.] Of course by then I’ll be older, too, so while you’ll be driving a Segway I will probably be testing out rocket boots.

Boy #3: That’s true.  [Picture smirk on face, here.] Then, when I’m old enough for rocket boots, you’ll be dead.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

I should note that his observation (about which he was very pleased) wasn’t communicated nearly as morbidly as it looks in print.

And of course, my mind began struggling to come up with a comeback — perhaps explaining that his argument suggests that I will be dying in the next eight-or-so years, which, though possible, is not an accurate actuarial expectation — but I thought better of it (since the possibilities were all as pathetic as that one) and quickly conceded defeat.  He had zinged me well.  He was, indeed, young, and — barring the return of Christ or the self-destruction of Western civilization — he very likely will see technologies that I will not.

Ah, mortality…  You trump card, you.

Hats off to you, Boy #3!  Remember me well, when you are flying around in your rocket boots and teleporting to and from work.  And I’ll be thinking of you when we’re at the Feast this year when we go to the Segway track in Branson and you’re still under 12.  🙂

8 thoughts on “Segways, Rocket Boots, and Mortality

  1. Probably just risk management to prohibit Segway’ing backwards.

    Full size Mach 5? Bet they didn’t let you drive that one.

    Did they have the Corvette Stingray Concept? The Houston autoshow didn’t have anything interesting. Though past shows had the Ford GT and Ferrari Enzo.

  2. Fred

    Yes! Don’t forget, all 3 of us made an agreement about Segway at this years Feast! I haven’t forgot. Ha ha ha 🙂

  3. 13brian

    Jealous, that you got to see the Mach 5. Was it as neat as expected?
    We got to ride Segway’s 2 years ago at Disney in FL. Quite a treat.

  4. Lyndell: No concept cars. (At least we didn’t see any.) Real bummer.

    Fred: I’m planning on it!

    13brian: It was pretty sweet. The attachable saw blades in front were pretty gimmicky, but the car itself was nice. Goes 180mph, apparently, though they didn’t let me drive it. (I would have traded in my chance to drive a Segway for that in a heartbeat.) Down to the hubcaps, it looked like the real thing!

  5. mamaterri

    Reminds me of a conversation I had with one of my sons when he was about eight years old in which he stated, “By the time I go to college, Dad will be dead.”

    He was serious.

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