Stuff White People Like #126 Vespa Scooters
I may not drive a Prius (though I would if Toyota needed me to test drive one for a year or so!) and my car does not run on recycled vegetable oil, but I can say that I have been the proud owner of a motor scooter.
As the astute observers at SWPL have noted, I am a stereotypical white person so it should come as no surprise that I have dreamed of owning a vespa at numerous points throughout my adult life. A vespa for me is kinda like a Ford F350 truck, it would be cool but it’s not going to happen. But something else happened and its name was Honda. It’s colour was blue, it was mostly made of plastic, it was born in 1984 and cost $2.49 to fill up – there was nothing not to love. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Bush and I drove cross country from Jacksonville, FL to ‘California’. I say it like that because we had no idea where we were going, we were just ‘moving to California’. We arrived in Encinitas eventually found a place and got jobs etc. I had no license as I forgot to renew my visa about 5.5 years before, so getting a vehicle was going to be tricky. Luckily my friend Pat worked at the car lot I walked or cycled past every day on the way to and from the garden centre where I worked. My new Mexican work mates assured me it was no big deal to get a car (or other vehicle) without a licence and they were right! Pat hooked me up and I was soon the proud owner of a 1984 Honda Elite. It was a little out of my price range, but Pat and his manager were able to finance me for the whopping price of $300. I didn’t think life could get any better. Dave didn’t have a car either at this point, so the scooter gave us so much freedom, but not from each other, we still did everything together. Grocery shopping was fun, a little uncomfortable by the time we got home as I had to carry all of the groceries in a backpack, skateboarding was more fun, the scooter had a little luggage rack at the back so we were able to strap the skateboards on, but surfing before work was the most fun of all. Bush would drive to the beach with our boards in her truck and I would cruise down in my wettie on the scoot-scoot. Encinitas didn’t know what had hit it.
I continued to ride the scooter well into my pregnancy with Ethan, until the bumps at the bottom of Moonlight Hill got WAY to much for a chick in her third trimester.
Everyone was down with the scooter, people were stoked when I would let them borrow it. I mean, who was I to hold back if they were picking up more classy vodka such as Popov or Wolfschmidt for Bush and I?
Even Dave’s friends who would visit from out of town loved the scooter, check out pro-skater Kyle getting amongst the scoot with Dave Jack, he won $10,000 the day before in a skate contest but all he wanted to do was ride the scooter of style.
I had only one treacherous moment when driving the scooter. We had cleaned out a shed at work and I found an awesome Jerry Garcia painting done in oils that we HAD to have for apartment in Tortilla Flats. I was quite sure that if I rested one corner of the painting on the foot peg and tied the back end up with some garden string I could get Jerry home in one piece. I was wrong – Moonlight Hill struck again and Jerry fell off and it was all quite traumatic but I eventually made my way back to the spanish ghetto where we lived and Bush loved him!
The scooter represents everything wonderful about out time in Encinitas, that easy, carefree time before we were parents, before we had bills, when all we had to worry about was whether we were having fish or chicken tacos for dinner. The little blue beauty never broke down, never gave us a lick of trouble and I would buy another Honda Elite again in a heartbeat.