Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Segway Into Irony

I believe many of you are aware of the two-wheeled stand-up scooter trend that has swept the nation, making way for Segway tours of every major city, Scooter races, and a litany of regular Joes wanting to look 'hip', 'green', and draw attention to themselves. I personally feel that one looks ridiculous riding on a Segway, and I really don't understand the difference between riding a Segway and simply walking (especially since walking would a far 'greener' option). However, that's for another day, another time.

Though it hit international news, many people have not heard about the most ironic thing to hit the newswire in a very long time: the owner of Segway recently died on one.


Okay, don't get me wrong. The last thing I'm trying to do is poke fun at someone's death; however, this story really lends itself to some analyzation. His name was Jimi Heselden and he was a 62 year old millionaire (the article made sure to point out his recent charitable contributions, as well as the fact that he was rated 395th on the Sunday Times Rich List).

(I hope that when I die in a tragic accident the most important information that the paper wants to make sure everyone knows about me is NOT the fact that I had a lot of money).

He bought the Segway company less than a year ago; he was apparently off-roading in a new "rugged, country version" of the Segway, when he rode off a cliff into a river and died.

I want to start with this, how great was the demand for a "rugged, country version" of the Segway? It just seems like the last thing one would use in outdoorsy situations. Not once on any of my perpetually unsuccessful camping trips have I said, you know what would make this easier?? A segway. I'm hard-pressed to understand the reasoning behind such a product.

Though I always say, there must be a demand for it to be in development, right?

Secondly, why would this seemingly intelligent man (it takes a certain amount of smarts to be able to take yourself from a dirt-poor working class guy to a multi-millionaire) be riding so close to a cliff on such a machine? Was he attempting to cheat death on a Segway? Was he not paying attention? An even more intriguing concept would be- what if he were pushed?? Though the police ruled his death an accident, part of me was thirsty for the intrigue of a scandal. Maybe a spurned lover or ungrateful daughter- or even the butler (gasp!)took him on a little outdoor excursion with intent for revenge...

(These are the types of thoughts that keep me awake at night).

While it's terrible this man died, I commend him for going out not only with a bang, but an ironic one at that.