As soon as I got home, I turned on the radio. Nothing. I switched on the TV and clicked through a dozen or so channels. Nothing. It was as if the terror attacks in Tel Aviv had not happened.
As a victim of several of these attacks, I was still shaken, I had most certainly been terrorised. My day had started as usual with a quiet breakfast in my home in Rehovot. An easy drive on curiously empty roads had taken me into the centre of Tel Aviv for a brief meeting with my bank manager. A pleasant meal in one of Tel Aviv’s countless restaurants had set me up for the journey home. Little did I realise what was waiting for me.
I had hardly made it out of the restaurant when the first attack occurred. A terrorist, disguised as an ordinary Israeli youth, came flying at me on what I later discovered to be a “Smart Self Balancing Two Wheeled Hoverboard”. This devilish contraption weighs some 10 Kg, without its rider, and travels at 10-15 km/h. It is designed to inflict serious injury on any pedestrian who is not quick enough to jump out of its path. And, as an added advantage to the terrorist, any witnesses to the attack will be unable to help the police identify the culprit as this weapon has no registration number. Advertisements for this weapon being sold in the UK take care to point out that it is illegal to ride a Hoverboard on public streets, they are only legal on private property. Sadly, this important caveat has not reached Israel.
We are fortunate that Tel Aviv’s terrorists are educated people and know that Queen Boadicea’s chariot did not have knives fixed to its wheels, as the legend suggests, otherwise they might have been tempted to make their own additions to their Hoverboard chariots.
Our police have not had time to look at the Hoverboard’s UK website – “When riding an (sic) hoverboard, you risk serious injury from loss of control, collisions and falls. To reduce the risk of injury, the rider must always wear a helmet and other body protection such as knee and elbow pads.”
None of the Tel Aviv terrorists were wearing helmets but had not attracted any police attention. I was reminded of a night, long ago, in London when, as a pedestrian, I was stopped and questioned by a police patrol for carrying a helmet. (I was walking home after having to abandon my motor scooter with a punctured tyre.)
Luckily, in spite of my advanced age, I was able to get out of the path of this Hoverboard terrorist. But the attacks were just beginning.
Still somewhat shaken by my close encounter of the increasingly frequent kind, I almost missed the fleet of electric scooters coming towards me. These electric scooters, the terrorists’ favourite weapon, are far from being a child’s toy. Many have a top speed of more than 40 km/h.
To quote the website: “ …. scooter is made of aluminum alloy material, which use (sic) the latest electronic brake technology to ensure the safety of the user during driving …. ”
Like the Hoverboard, the stress is on the safety of the rider; not a word about the defenceless pedestrian forced to share the sidewalk with these terrorists. Not a word about the lack of any identifying number, not a word about the absence of third-party insurance; the terrorist’s ideal weapon.
As a matter of curiosity, I looked at the old, pre-scooter, meaning of sidewalk – A sidewalk (American English) or pavement (British English), also known as a footpath or footway (my emphasis), is a path along the side of a road. A sidewalk is normally separated from the vehicular section by a curb.
This definition is clearly out of date. I propose a new version:
A sidewalk, better known as a sideroad, is an addition to the road. It is indistinguishable from the road and is used by a large variety of vehicular traffic. While pedestrians are permitted to use the sidewalk, they do so at their own (very high) risk.
On my way home, back in what I thought was the safety of my car, I came across some suicide terrorists. Driving electric bikes and scooters, they ignored every rule of the road. They drove towards me, on the wrong side, daring me to hit them. They went through red lights, hoping that I would kill them. Their intention was clear, they were quite prepared to give up their lives so that I would be jailed for their deaths. A truly terrifying thought.
And not a word of this terrorism in the news.