In D.C., law firms that hire summer associates typically pack their summer calenders with a slew of social events. You'll always have a couple of standard dinners at a Partner's house as well as some obligatory happy hours. Beyond that, anything's fair game. My firm also took us on a dinner cruise, to a couple baseball and soccer games, as well as to a few plays, movies, and comedy clubs. All in all a pretty good summer... except that I'm still feeling a bit unfulfilled. Why might you ask? Because I never got to segway.
Segways, in case you're unclear, are two-wheeled, self-balancing, scooter-like contraptions that bury the needle at a zippy 12.5 miles an hour. Everyday in D.C., mobs of tourists sporting "F.B.I. Agent" T-shirts purchased for 2 bucks from some street corner vendor cruise around the city on these speed demons as part of any of a number of organized tour groups.
For one reason or another my firm thought it would be a knee-slapper to make public spectacles of us summers' by setting us up to segway around the city like tourists. The thing is, I was all about it. With a tour group named "Segs in the City" tapped to herd us about, is it really any wonder?
Unfortunately, we got rained out on the night of the big tour. And it didn't just rain, it poured. The IRS building is closed until 2007 because of leakage from the rain that night. So alas, we were forced to reschedule... and what do you know? It rained again. I swear it rained for two damn weeks straight. We could have been in the Pacific Northwest for all we knew. We tried to set another tour up one last time, but the summer was more than half over and there just wasn't another workable tour night.
Why am I so bummed about it? Well... because I don't think I'll ever do a segway tour on my own. Having the firm plan the tour for me gave me an out. I'm not sure I could bring myself to pay for one. That said, I'm now a little fixated on these two-wheeled little gizmos. What's behind this fascination? I'm not quite sure other than to say that I seem to relish being the geek at times. Back in high school I used to show up to disco-skating on Saturday nights in a graduation gown and a Slash wig. The idea of strapping on a bike helmet and dodging sidewalk traffic while running in a pack of segways just sounds like a smashing good time. Apparently, however, this allure isn't universal. A couple of summers' at the firm swore they wouldn't be caught dead on one of these suckers... said they were "morally" opposed. Perhaps they aren't aware of how cool segways have become... from bad-ass Jackie Chan to Elvis-loving Junichiro Koizumi to also-ran John Kerry to the Chicago P.D., everyone seems to be riding these things of late. In fact, George W. even gave one a whirl not too long ago, although for purposes of full disclosure, I should note that he did encounter a bit of trouble (see below).
Which brings me back to my discontent. It's lasted long enough now that I'm wondering if I'm destined to crack at some point and cough up the money for a tour. Or maybe I could just rent one and hit the D.C. streets (and beyond) on my own. I've seen people take these things into office buildings, restaurants, and even the a Senate office building. I'm certain I could handle a segway better than Bush. I'd be a regular old Homer Simpson on the thing..."Fly, Segway, Fly!" (My only problem would be coercing someone into joining me).