Saturday, July 01, 2006
Cost: $65/person for 3 hour tour (plus a possible additional $500 if American Express was not the best credit card company on the face of the earth)
It was a dark and stormy night...
We headed into DC to meet Dilettante Amanda at the Segway place. Due to the weather and traffic, we were running a few minutes late, so Amy and Nicole dropped me off so that I could register us while they found parking. As I was making my way up the five steps to the Segway place, I tripped and fell up the stairs and stubbed my toe. (Cue dramatic music indicating foreshadowing here.)
Our tour guide, Steve, was a young guy with a great attitude and we liked him immediately. What we did not like was that we had to wear helmets and bright blue rain coats like the rest of the dork patrol on this tour. (As fun as Segways can be, there is no possible way to look cool while riding one.)
This three-hour tour started off a little rocky when an elderly gentleman in our group ran into a stopped car at an intersection. We may have rolled our eyes a little bit when this happenend (refrain: dramatic foreshadowing music). From there, we rolled down the streets of DC, stopping occasionally to look at monuments and get a bit of a guided history tour. We also stopped occasionally because I kept falling off my Segway. I fell a total of *three* times. To break it down for you, I've assigned a special rating system that details our tour guide's reaction and the amount of pain I was in.
Fall #1: Tour guide Steve's expression: concerned
Pain Quotient: 1 on a scale of 1 to 5
Fall #2: Tour guide Steve's expression: exasperated/incredulous
Pain Quotient: 4 on a scale of 1 to 5 (I scraped my elbow and bruised my coccyx)
Fall #3: Tour guide Steve's expression: Don't know...he refused to look at me
Pain Quotient: 4 on a scale of 1 to 5 (the Segway kept ramming into my shin)
Damage Quotient: 4 on a scale of 1 to 5 (the Segway handlebar broke completely off and Tour Guide Steve had to drive my Segway back to HQ)
Between falls 2 and 3, we were stopped in front of the White House, where Dilettante Amy seemingly became possessed. She began turning 360s in a tight circle with a maniacal look on her face all while making beeping noises. This sent all of the other dilettantes into fits of hysterics.
Also between falls 2 and 3 (and after I had tried to convince Tour Guide Steve that my Segway was defective, we overheard a smug/nerdy -- "smerdy"? -- member of our group saying sarcastically, "Oh, I'm sure it was a defective SEDGE-way." From that point forward, we could no longer call it a SEG-way. It was (and still is) a SEDGE-way).
After we had locked up the Segways to take a walking tour of the last of the monuments, we went back to the Segways and Steve asked us if we remembered which Segways were ours. Amy deadpanned, "well, we know which one is Kathleen's" (pointing to the one sans a handlebar).
Back at HQ (God, I love saying that), the four of us sat on a bench like so many juvenile delinquents waiting for their parents to pick them up after drinking too much Milwaukee's Best and cruising around in a Chevette (at least that's what we imagine it would feel like...obviously none of us has a frame of reference for such a thing.)
I was forced to fill out a damage report saying that I would pay $500 to cover the repair of the Segway ("forced" because they had my credit card number on the reservation...there was nothing I could do at the time).
Over time, my coccyx healed, AmEx disputed (and won!) the charges, and the other Dilettantes have never again mentioned my utter lack of coordination. (Had you going there for a minute, didn't I?)
Necessary beers and food followed at the Old Ebbitt Grill (thank God for cushioned seats.)