Roger M. Kaye
A retired physicist reinvented as thriller novels writer

Two game wardens, seven hunters, and a cow

I was not thinking of Tom Lehrer when I was out walking in Tel Aviv yesterday. In fact, I was concentrating on the difficult task I had just been given; opening the incredibly strong wrapper on my choc-ice. I had picked a popular make, which I will not advertise here (the only adverts you will see here are for my Len Palmer Mysteries, available from Amazon, have you bought one yet?).

Coming out of the shop into the dazzling sunshine I just missed being struck by a lunatic on an electric scooter. I was on the strip that used to be called a pavement, or as our Americans friends would say, the sidewalk, but should now be renamed the Path of Death. A collision between an elderly pedestrian and a bulky electric-scooter rider travelling at up to 40 kph will not end well. As a result of this near death experience, my fight with the ice-cream wrapper was further hindered by my shaking hands.

But the problem for pedestrians is not just the ridden scooters. A new company offers a downloadable App for your SmartPhone that finds their nearest available electric scooter which you can ride for as long as you like. When you are finished you just dump the scooter. The company advises you not to leave them in bike lanes, ramps, entrances, or by fire hydrants. It is best to leave them on the pavement. Yes, dump them in the middle of the pavement and let pedestrians worry about breaking their legs. The company’s website does state that scooters must be operated in bike lanes and should not be driven on sidewalks or roads, but there is no enforcement or penalties for doing so.

Perhaps we in Israel could learn from California. Californian laws recognize a “motorized scooter” as any two-wheeled device that has handlebars, a deck that is designed to be stood upon when riding, and is powered by an electric motor. Motorized scooters are not defined as motor vehicles, but you are not allowed to operate an e-scooter on the sidewalk. The driver must be at least 16 years old and must wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet meeting safety standards. Electric scooters are permitted on roads that do not have bicycle lanes as long as the speed limit for that road is no more than 25 mph.

The ice-cream finally surrendered and my thoughts turned to revenge, to hand out the retribution the scooter rider so richly deserved. It was then that I noticed that the long-gone scooter rider had not been alone. The streets and the pavements were full of various contraptions all competing with both vehicles and pedestrians.
The words of Tom Lehrer came unbidden to my lips:
I went and shot the maximum the game laws would allow
Two game wardens, seven hunters, and a cow.

But my version was a little different:
I went and shot the maximum the game laws would allow
Two Electric Scooters, seven Electric Skateboards, and an All Terrain Hoverboard.
(With apologies to my readers, Tom Lehrer had an easier time finding a rhyme)

About the Author
The author has been living in Rehovot since making Aliya in 1970. A retired physicist, he divides his time between writing adventure novels, getting his sometimes unorthodox views on the world into print, and working in his garden. An enthusiastic skier and world traveller, the author has visited many countries. His first novels "Snow Job - a Len Palmer Mystery" and "Not My Job – a Second Len Palmer Mystery" are published for Amazon Kindle. The author is currently working on the third Len Palmer Mystery - "Do Your Job".
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