Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Segue to a Segway

I haven't watched "Lost" yet so the post will have to come tomorrow. Also I haven't watched "Glee" yet, but I'm so excited it's back I might just pee my pants. Also I haven't finished uploading my Florida pictures. I'm pretty useless all around. And I smell like urine.

But I have to tell you what we did on Sunday. We took a tour of Cleveland. On Segways. For real. Steph got sent an email advertising a discount for a company that does tours of the city but instead of a walking tour or a driving tour, it was a Segway tour. I have always wanted to ride a Segway because seriously how hilarious are those things. So Diane and I decided to go with her. Also Diane bought Drew a ticket without really telling him what we were doing. Marriage is awesome.

We got there, and our tour guide Karl was waiting outside for us. Well I should say, we pulled in to the parking lot and stopped because we didn't know where to go. Then as if he knew, Karl called us to see if we knew where we were going. When we told him we were just sitting in the driveway, he came outside and waved at us. I was immediately smitten.

Karl is a 75 year old retiree who used to be in the Air Force. He is, in a word, awesome. As soon as we got there we told him we were really excited to ride Segways, and he told us the story of why he decided to buy his first Segway. He was watching "Frasier" and Niles was riding one around and doing figure 8s. And Karl was freaking out because it was so cool. God I love Karl. More on him later.

Anyway, we took turns learning how to ride before our tour started. We made Steph go first, and he picked out the Segway that was set at the shortest height. I made a Steph is short joke. It was well received by Diane and Drew. It was not well received by Steph. Hey at least I didn't call you a leprechaun, Steph!

I can't explain how hard I was laughing watching Steph ride a Segway. I don't know why. Maybe it was because she was going so slow. Maybe it was because of the helmet. Or maybe it was because of the SEQUIN SHIRT AND SHORT SKIRT SHE WAS WEARING. What else would you wear to ride a Segway at noon on a Sunday? Leggings, a skirt and a sequin top, right? She said she wanted to look nice for her first Segway tour. I…I don't even know what to add to that.

It was my turn to learn the Segway next. I put on my helmet, suppressed some highly inappropriate jokes about people who have to wear helmets and put one foot on the Segway. Immediately it started flashing red and making lots of beeping and stuttering noises. I was like, "Oh my God, Karl, I broke your Segway." Then I was like, "Why doesn't this Segway call me fat more." Luckily I didn't actually break the Segway cuz seriously I don't think I could've taken that ego hit. I got back on and Karl held on to it while I got my balance. Then like a dad who's teaching his kid how to walk, he went a few feet in front of me, held out his arms and said, "Come to Karl." It. Was. Amazing.

I got the hang of it pretty quick, and if you haven't ridden one before, I'll just tell you: they are awesome. After 1 minute on it, I wanted to buy one. I would totally ride it around my neighborhood to get the mail and then fall off of it when I saw a car 2 miles in the distance.

Once we all learned how to go forward, backward, turn and stop, we had to go outside to learn the next lesson: going downhill. Everyone did great. And by everyone I mean everyone except me. Karl made me do it twice-everyone else only had to do it once. It was a hill approximately 4 feet long. The first time I went down it so fast and out of control, I literally almost killed Karl. What if I killed someone with a Segway? I almost died-for real-by getting hit by a pack of bicycles once. I feel like the Segway death might be even more embarrassing. After I tried going downhill again-much better-the second time, he told me he was proud of me. My heart swelled.

We then began our tour of the city at 5mph. For the first 15 minutes, I just kept saying, "Are we really doing this right now? Is this really happening?" Karl told us he loves the Segway because he gets a lot of looks from the ladies. Well, we definitely got a lot of looks. They were not so much of envy as much as confusion and/or mocking. One lady who was my mom's age said, "That looks like fun!" She is obviously a professional mom-trying to make us feel cool when we are clearly not cool.

"That looks like fun!" - Professional Mom pretending to be my mom

At one point we saw 2 guys jogging. I yelled out, "That looks a lot harder than this!" They laughed and waved (i.e., politely put up with me.) Then Diane and Steph told me to stop yelling out to strangers.

I have been on many tours of Cleveland in my lifetime. Not to mention the fact that I have lived here for 33 years and worked downtown for 11. So I didn't know how much I would really get out of the tour itself. Well, it was fantastic. Mostly because Karl is fantastic. I honestly can't say enough good things about him. He is so interesting and intelligent and friendly and abso-freaking-lutely hilarious. He knows so many things. Not just about Cleveland. About everything. Fifteen minutes into the tour, we were all totally in love with Karl. Clevelanders, if you can, go on this tour. It's so fun!

My favorite part is when we would have to cross the street, and Karl would tell us to line up in single file then he would go first and hold a hand up to any cars coming our way. He stopped traffic for us.

I am happy to say, there are no injuries to report from this excursion. I know-I'm as surprised as you. I did almost run into a garbage can. And Steph. But luckily no harm was done.

When it was over, we didn't want it to be over. We wanted to take Karl with us. But that would be selfish. Also I'm pretty sure he has a life outside of us. The question is: how can we become a part of that life? I think Steph might already be working on this. And no-I am not kidding.

So what'd you guys do this weekend? Walk places on foot? Lame.


Nessa, Nanook and Pooka said...

I would move to Cleveland just to join your posse. I mean that sincerely.

Dammit. Your friends are cooler than my friends. (I love you, my friends, but you gotta admit, none of you has taken me on a Segway tour yet...)

Johnny Virgil said...

I can't believe there was no segway racing.

Coolerboy said...

Where's my secondhand Lost fix? I'm still waiting on your response to last weeks' Lost!

My wife is from Cleveland Heights and I tried to sell her on the Cleveland Segway tour on our next visit to town, but she's not excited about it yet.

Love the blog! Keep it up!

Fizzgig said... didnt watch lost? i think you should have your fan card pulled! gonna pee my pants when i see this tour next time im up there!!!!!

third, id totally wear what steph wore. obviously!

Coolerboy said...

of course I watch Lost! But reading this blog is like watching it all over again with funny commentary. Kind of like that old show, Mystery Science Theater 2000.

Anonymous said...

yeah i took a walking tour with karl a few years ago. we took 20 8th graders with us as a field trip. let me tell you this guy was a faster fitter walker than half those kids 1/6th of his age.
plus he is smart as all get out, sharp as a tack, and full of great info. he made me love cleveland. what a kick ass dude.