I am back, not so jetlagged in this direction, of course, and ready to resume my blogging. As usual, the world has gotten along just about as well or badly during my absence. But before I resume my commentary on the passing scene, I had planned to tell you all about an exciting and innovative new thing in Paris, yet one more evidence that Paris is better run than our American cities. Except that it turns out this new thing is all over the United States, even here in the benighted Southland, and I am simply the last person on the face of the earth to hear about it.
I refer to electric scooters, run by LIME and BIRD and maybe some other companies. They are lying or standing all over Paris on the streets, and with an app on your phone, you activate one, ride away, and drop it anywhere you wish, paying by the minute. Every night, enterprising young men and women fan out across the city, locate the scooters using a geolocation signal sent out by the scooter, and pick them up to be recharged. The scooter hunters are paid by the scooter, and apparently sometimes turf wars break out over who got to an abandoned scooter first.
LIME scooters came to Paris last June, just after Susie and I left, and are now ubiquitous. All manner of folks ride by: young people, mature folks dressed in the height of fashion, sometimes even couples on one scooter, though that looks a trifle dangerous. So to the rent-and-drop-off electric cars and velib bicycles, add electric scooters as one more blow for eco-friendly transportation in the inner city.
I myself would not dream of trying one. At eighty-five, I am delighted simply to be upright on two feet. But there is something inexpressibly dashing about seeing people scoot by on their LIMEs or Birds.
Well, so much for my news. I imagine all of you are fully aware of the electric scooter fad, and some of you perhaps have ridden them, even picked up some quick cash by free-lancing their retrieval at night.
Now, if someone could just tell me who R. Kelly is.