I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the whole “Ok, boomer” trend, where all the people who are not Baby Boomers (that is, people born between 1946 and 1964) have decided that they need something dismissive to say to old gasbags when they won’t shut up about the Millennials and how they don’t do anything right and are always on their phones or whatever. I’m Gen X, so I barely know what’s going on, anyway, but I’m told this is A Thing. Well, now there’s a sort of car, targeted squarely at Boomers, that manages to encapsulate the primary reasons people say “Ok, Boomer” in the first place.
It’s really more of an elaborately enclosed mobility scooter than a car, and I’m not saying these sorts of vehicles don’t have a place in the overall transportation landscape.
But let’s just look at who this thing is marketed to, and how it’s intended to be used: it’s not for people with disabilities, it’s for able-bodied, albeit older, people, and it’s shown driving on the sidewalk.
That’s where I think the BoomerBuggy X feels the most like the worst reasons people even think they need to say “Ok, boomer” ever: it takes over any sidewalk it’s on like it owns it, and everyone else on the sidewalk—kids, pets, joggers, whoever—better get the hell out of the way, because here comes a freaking car that’s filling up the damn sidewalk.
Fundamentally, I’m all for small neighborhood electric vehicles; I think for a lot of people, they can make life significantly better. And the Boomerbuggy X could absolutely work like that, as the company itself shows in this little video:
In crappy weather, driving in alleys and on neighborhood streets, hell yeah, this is a great thing for a lot of people.
But then there’s videos like this one, too:
That music paired up with this is pretty hilarious, too.
But come on—if you’re taking up your neighborhood’s entire sidewalk width barreling down in an air-conditioned, $7,000 TO $9,000 mini car, that’s some privileged Boomer-ass shit right there.
Take it on the street, and, great, have at it! It’s got decent enough specs for a neighborhood get-around vehicle— it’ll do 8 MPH, can go between 37 and 49 miles per charge, an audio system, climate control, all that. If you want to tool around your neighborhood roads in this thing, feel free to put the Beatles on a nonstop loop and buzz around to your heart’s content.
But not on sidewalks. They don’t even permit bicycles to ride on sidewalks. Why the hell should you be able to drive a narrow car down one?
What happens when one of these encounters a group of people walking in the other direction? If it’s a sidewalk on the side of a busy road, very likely the use case where these are most likely to be on the sidewalk, those people are going to be forced off that sidewalk. This just seems like a bad idea.
Hell, when I had a car to test of similar scale to this, I kept it on the roads, driving hugging the curb, because I felt like a dick if I took it on the sidewalks.
Even the freaking Larmar was intended to go on the road, once you drove it through your garden gate.
I mean, if this is classed as a mobility scooter, I think that means you could potentially drive it indoors, from home to the Orange Julius in the mall and back without ever leaving your seat.
Do you want to effectively take over the sidewalks in your neighborhood by driving a small car on them instead of driving it on the street, or, weather and health permitting, walking? Do you want to let the world know that the sidewalks are for you, dammit?
Write your check for $7,000 and pick your color.