Every great civilization arrives at its tipping point. Perhaps it begins to decay under the weight of an insupportable caste system. Or perhaps it finds itself forced to reckon with imperialist invaders. In some cases, an intellectual revolution rewrites the rules that undergird society.
In our case, it’s fucking hoverboards.
Can there be any doubt that these hands-free gyroscopic scooters signal the end of the great neoliberal experiment? We’re talking about devices that routinely catch fire, tempt priests to sin, injure boxing champions, and cause movie-star freakouts on airplanes. There are only two ways the future can unfold: Either we survive, or the hoverboards do.
We’re a month into our coverage of #HoverboardCrime, and still the mainstream media has yet to recognize the epidemic in our midst. Buckle the fuck up, because this week… what? Oh, right—hoverboards don’t have seatbelts. That must be what makes them so cool.
- Cleveland — March 21: Well, here’s a new one: Three men reportedly entered a store, one inquiring about the price of a hoverboard. When employee Muntaser Ahmad “told the man the hoverboard was $800, the suspect pulled out a small black handgun and pointed it at him.” Feels like he could have skipped a step, right? Ahmad drew his own handgun, and in the shootout that followed, the suspects escaped and one bystander took a bullet in the arm, which means Americans are statistically more likely to get shot during a hoverboard dispute than an ISIS attack.
- Las Vegas — March 22: Everything about this dude pretending to be drunk while hoverboarding around Vegas as a “prank” is a crime, especially the dubstep soundtrack. If only he’d been cuffed for a DUI.
- Phoenix — March 23: Arizona State University joined countless other colleges—even Floridian ones!—in banning hoverboards from campus. If you’re caught hoverboarding, you’ll have to take it up with the dean, who presumably already has a huge shelf full of confiscated hoverboards in his office, waiting to be stolen in a National Lampoon-style caper. If Arizona and Florida are cracking down on something, it’s gotta be pretty bad. For god’s sake, bath salts are pretty much legal in those states.
- Indianapolis — March 26: A pair of teen boys stole a hoverboard from two 10-year-old girls. At gunpoint. It’s hard to overstate how badly they need their asses beaten—preferably with the hoverboard in question.
- Bryan, Texas — March 27: Evidently not feeling the Easter spirit, two college-age bros pushed a dude off his hoverboard and stole it. How do I know they were bros? “The men were described as being white, one just over 6 feet tall wearing khaki pants, a baseball hat backwards with sunglasses and a baseball-style shirt that was white with black sleeves. The other was wearing a neon green baseball hat, black shirt and blue jeans, according to police.” Guess they really needed that hoverboard for the spring break rave they were headed to. The best part, however, comes courtesy of Texas law: “The crime is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.” Just imagine showing up to your first day of prison, being asked what you’re in for, and saying, “I pushed a dude off his hoverboard.” Really makes walking seem cool again.
- Union, South Carolina — March 28: A dad and his 13-year-old daughter were happily hoverboarding around when—you guessed it—two men robbed them at gunpoint, specifically threatening the girl. One suspect, Devon Lamont Chavious, was later arrested. Here, if you’re interested, is the face of a man realizing that his entire life derailed the moment hoverboards were invented. (And that you can’t resell a stolen one on Craigslist for all that much, anyway.)
- Denver — March 29: Two teens had their hoverboard stolen by several other teens “in a red SUV or pickup truck,” once again at gunpoint. This column has often pointed out the absurdity of yoinking someone’s hoverboard when you’re in a car, but the preponderance of firearm-related #HoverboardCrime lately has us wondering if we need a guns-for-hoverboards exchange program. On the other hand, that could make the country a lot more dangerous.
Photo via Soar Boards/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)