A couple of times this semester, I have heard people commenting on that kid with the scooter. I’m sure you’ve all seen him. Sometimes he rides with his girlfriend, sometimes alone, but he’s always stoked about it. I mean, how can you not be ecstatic while riding a scooter on Commonwealth Avenue? Anyway, I happen to know this scooter rider, and soon, so will you.
His name is Ben Salus and he’s a sophomore in the College of Fine Arts studying theater. He’s from Abington, Pa., but he told me to, “just say right outside of Philly.” I’ve known Ben for about three years, but I’ve never questioned him on the scooter thing. The first question was easy. “Why do you ride a scooter?”
“Second semester, I had to get from the College of Fine Arts to the College of Arts and Sciences in 10 minutes every Monday night. I think it was mid-February. I called my dad and said, ‘Hey dad, can I get a scooter?’ and he said, ‘WHAT?’ and then I got one.”
But when we met, he was carrying roller blades. This is the scooter kid! He’s not being true to his label! I asked him why the switch in transportation. “I think the weight requirement is that of a 15 year-old boy, and I just turned 20,” he said. Well, I think that the weight requirement is for a scrawny 15 year-old, and Ben is certainly neither of those things.
I don’t really understand why he needs a scooter in the first place. I’m sure lots of people make it from West to CAS without resorting to children’s toys. But hey, we have to revert to childhood while we still can. I have acquired three stuffed animals since I’ve been here … but who’s counting?
Riding a scooter also looks super fun. Ben says that he’s “ridden a scooter in anger” before, which is such a funny phrase I can’t even picture what that would look like. Maybe something like the Hulk on a Razor scooter huffing and whispering profanities, but I think that even the Hulk could only stay mad on a scooter for about 30 seconds. “It’s hard to corrupt the innocence that is a scooter,” Ben said. “I can try to look as tough as possible, but in reality, I’m riding a Razor scooter.” And who wouldn’t be happy about that?
Scooter riding is also a great stress reliever, although Ben said the roller blades are definitely a better workout. That pushing and kicking looks almost therapeutic, like kicking all of your problems into the ground and then gliding away from them on your little metal chariot. I could get behind that.
The Razor scooter is the great equalizer. Everyone looks silly riding them, and everyone has a great time. The number of scooter riders on Comm. Ave. is constantly increasing. Ben told me that this was off the record, but to be fair he said that after he said, “I guess I’m a trendsetter.” He’s so modest. Next time you see him, say hello! I’m sure he’d love it.
Check back next week when I talk to another one of BU’s familiar faces. Who knows, maybe you’ll be next!
Jemma Douglas is a sophomore in the College of Communication studying Journalism. She can be reached at email@example.com.