Hover boards Don’t Hover, Dumbass!!!
Can someone please tell me what the hell is going on with everyone riding hoverboards? Actually, don’t tell me- I already know the answer and I’m definitely not digging it. Hoverboards signal the precipitous decline of our culture into the abyss of complacent laziness. And no, I’m not joking.
First of all, call me Captain Obvious (please don’t- I hate those commercials), but has anyone else stopped and looked at these things and wondered, “Why are these called ‘hoverboards’? Does anyone know what the word ‘hover’ means anymore?” These things have wheels, and in case you didn’t notice, those wheels make contact with the ground, thus making the “hovering” something of a blatant misnomer. They are really just segways without the handlebar in the middle, not some long-awaited fulfillment of the futuristic visions of Marty McFly from Back to the Future.
Which really is to say that they are just another excuse for not walking somewhere. Is this how lazy we have become? We invent things to remove the need for carrying our corpulent forms from place to place because that act alone has become too taxing for us? Sadly, that is exactly how fat and lazy we have become.
Do I need to cite all the statistics on obesity in the United States? Two thirds of adult Americans are overweight or obese, and the trend is moving rapidly in that direction. Since 1960, the percentage of adult Americans who are considered obese has almost tripled from 13.4% to 35.7%. Living in Colorado, the thinnest state in the country with only 21% of the adult population being obese (let that sobering stat sink in for a moment- Colorado is the thinnest state with ONLY 21% of the adult population considered obese), I sometimes forget just how fat the rest of the country is. Then I take my kids to Disneyworld and remember that the rest of the country has people so large that they have given up on walking altogether, instead riding a scooter around the park, usually with a wire basket in the front to hold the snack they need to get them through the next hour or so.
And yet, WE are the nation developing technology to escape the drudgery of walking? Seems like maybe we could benefit from a few extra steps or so. Perhaps the occasional stroll through the park on a nice sunny day? Naw, let’s get out on our “personal transportation devices”! And then fall perilously to the ground…
Everything we keep inventing seems to be with the sole purpose of expunging some task in our lives that somehow or another we previously deemed ourselves capable of doing. Microwaves have taken away the need for cooking our food. Movies have taken away our need for reading the book. Social media has removed the need to actually engage our loved ones in meaningful conversations. And the internet has given us consistent porn access to free us from the need of maintaining our romantic relationships.
Beaver Creek ski area has escalators so you can go skiing without having to walk up to the slopes. The airport has a “moving sidewalk” because the plane can only take us quite so far in our travels. And now we have developed devices that can get us out of walking altogether. Way to go America!
The government recommends that we get 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise each week. That’s just 2.5 hours each week, people, or a mere 20 minutes a day. And yet only 3 to 5 percent of Americans meet this preposterously low bar (never mind we try to jump over it- that would be way too stressful!) As we move into a work environment that has become increasingly sedentary, due to the loss of agricultural and manufacturing jobs to automated machinery, our bodies need to be more engaged, but they are not because when we get done with sitting at our desks all day, we get on hoverboards and ride them home to watch our televisions.
So do we really need hoverboards? Put the damn things away and go take your dog for a walk. That will keep him from finding out how to use the computer and writing fat shaming rants about you on Facebook while he’s checking out cat videos. Well, maybe not, but take him for a walk anyways.
Steven Craig is the author of the best-selling novel WAITING FOR TODAY, as well as numerous published poems, short stories, and dramatic works. Read his blog TRUTH: in 1000 Words or Less every TUESDAY and FRIDAY at www.waitingfortoday.com