RICHARD ORD: Forget e-scooters, the noisy e-pogostick is the future

After a trip into the city spent largely scanning the horizon for e-scooter riders, I wondered: How long will it be before the Government introduces e-pogosticks?

Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 12:00 am
E-pogosticks or e-unicycles could provide some 'smashing' entertainment for pedestrians.
E-pogosticks or e-unicycles could provide some 'smashing' entertainment for pedestrians.

There’s no doubt that e-scooters are a fun and fast way to get around … but only for those riding them.

For everyone else they are another potential hazard on the highways and byways.

Which is why I reckon they should go the whole hog and bring in e-pogosticks or maybe even e-unicycles … at least it would give those who slum it getting from A to B using only their legs (luddites!) something fun to watch.

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Of course, I accept my Victor Meldrew protestestations are more a sign of my advancing years and mistrust of new things than any real fear for my life.

Anything that has to be plugged in or operated via a mobile phone app gives me the jitters.

New fangled technology (and a few old fangled technologies) seem to be introduced into society more because it can be done than because it needs to be done.

While Google pumps billions into developing self-driving cars which could reduce or even eliminate road traffic accidents, we go and flood our cities with silent electric scooters to ‘save’ people from walking!

At least with e-pogosticks you would hear the users coming.

And the reason you would hear them coming is because in my alternative reality, the e-pogosticks would be fitted with an amplification device that would emit a loud “Boing” with every bounce.

I can see you nodding your head in agreement. Ah, but you haven’t thought it through.

Before long, the birds that frequent the city’s trees would start imitating the sound of our boinging e-pogosticks like they do with car alarms.

The resultant cacophony of “boings” from land and air would, instead of alerting pedestrians to potential problems, have them diving for cover.

That boing needs to be replaced by something more natural, which is why every e-scooter, I think, should emit an animal noise. Not only would it alert pedestrians to the approaching e-scooter (a cry of a curlew, perhaps, or the majestic roar of the lion), but also provide a relaxing back-to-nature soundtrack to life in the city.

It’s a jungle out there anyway, might as well sound like one.