Call that a scooter? This is a scooter…

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Hire e-scooters… riders (not these people) are getting into trouble with the cops.

There are scooters and there are scooters, but to IAN MEIKLE there is only one sort. It’s another “Seven Days”. 

I HAVE a duck-egg blue Vespa. I call it Francesca (the Vespa). Apparently, owners often give their motor scooters names.

Fran and me.

I have a friend who called her late Vespa Daffodil. If you’re wondering, it was yellow. 

Francesca and I have been together for nearly two decades, longer than some marriages. Despite my guiltily kicking the tyres of a younger model at Motorini last week, I am devoted to my scooter. 

As I grow older, at the simple admission of scooter ownership some people think it’s one of those electric ones with the orange flag. Disability scooters are a wonderful help to so many people, but did they have to call them “scooters”?

Then F and I were startled when the ACT’s top traffic cop Marcus Boorman stepped into the media spotlight this past week to call out “scooter” riders calling them “idiots”. Now hang on a minute, fella… 

But it wasn’t the motor sort (of course not), it was the “idiot” riders of this current outbreak of blue and orange hire e-scooters touting themselves around the lake, on random street corners and even roundabouts.

“Just this morning… I was advised by a gentleman that said he was struck by someone on a footpath when he left a restaurant,” says Marcus Plod. 

“If anyone thinks they can get on these things and undertake risky behaviour and be an idiot, there will be consequences and there’s a number of fines that we will give out.” Watch for speed vans down on the cycle paths. 

WHICH segues nicely to the oddest story of the week, when a passing car took a night potshot at a white speed-detection van parked on the Canberra Avenue median strip.

Now, who amongst us hasn’t been tempted to throw an insult at them, but fire a gun? Police say a bullet struck the sign on top of the van and A/Insp Adam Liversidge made the point that speed vans always have operators inside.

“No one should be put at risk doing their job from reckless behaviour like this,” he said.

“All speed vans have high-quality CCTV around their vehicles, which police are reviewing as part of their investigations.

CCTV shows a silver station wagon driving past at the time of the incident.

I KNOW I shouldn’t feel this way, but I was deflated at the news of an active case of COVID-19 in the ACT, the first in a stellar run of 102 virus-free days. 

Health chief Kerryn Coleman revealed a diplomat in his 70s, a returned overseas traveller, tested positive at day 10 of his quarantine period. 

“The circumstances of this new case demonstrate that our quarantine system here in the ACT is working well to protect the Canberra community from COVID-19,” Dr Coleman assured us.

“However, it is another timely reminder that COVID-19 still poses a risk to the ACT and the situation can change quickly.”

I SEEM to be developing an obsession about those bloody corflute things that littered our highways and byways on the run up to the ACT election. There seemed to be thousands of them, but not as many as perhaps there might have been.

City Services rangers took more than 2100 corflutes into custody during the campaign saying they were in breach of the Public Unleased Land Act 2013 code of practice, ie hammered into the wrong spots. 

As the corflute-free Greens warned, this type of signage can’t be recycled in yellow-lid bins. According to ACT NoWaste’s Anthony Haraldson, two free corflute drop‑off points are in operation at the Mitchell and Mugga Lane resource management centres where the deflated egos of campaign losers can be sensitively despatched into history. 

“Care will need to be taken to remove contamination such as paper, glue, wood, metal and plastic fixings from the corflute signs to enable them to be recycled,” Mr Haraldson warns.

AND speaking of recycling, ANU academic with a sense of humour Clive Williams shared half a page of the things that made him grumpy in last week’s “CityNews”, bemoaning that the Mugga Lane “tip” is now described as a “resource management centre”.

On “public hypocrisy”, he courageously described the common public-speaker preamble: “I’d like to begin by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet today…” as “meaningless humbug given the way we’ve treated the land and the Aboriginal people from whom we took it”.

He followed up with an email to me quoting Desmond Tutu: “When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said: ‘Let us pray’. We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.” 

FINALLY, from the Department of Useless Research comes this week’s analysis of the most used sensual bedroom word in popular music. 

Unsurprisingly, the word is “love”, but “bedroom” is the least mentioned, probably because it doesn’t rhyme with anything much (She started to bloom in my bedroom?).

Anyway, the UK authors of this time waster reckon Beyoncé is the most bedroom-obsessed artist with 123 mentions of bedroom talk in her top 10 songs; comprising 95 mentions of love, 12 mentions of kiss, 10 mentions of fck, three mentions of bed, and one mention of dck, p*ssy, and sex. 

Ian Meikle is the “CityNews” editor and can be heard on the “CityNews Sunday Roast” opn 2CC, 9am-noon.


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Ian Meikle
Ian Meikle is the owner and editor of "CityNews".

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