Every year, people scramble to find that one Halloween costume that best captures the zeitgeist of the previous 12 months. This year, we got a lot of people who dressed like the cat in the “woman yelling at cat” meme and so many baby sharks. I don’t know if electric scooters qualify as a meme or just a massive trend that’s still chugging away, but this person’s “busted e-scooter” costume strikes me as the best one I’ve seen yet.
This costume would have worked well last Halloween, too. The e-scooter craze kicked off in late 2017, so it’s been going for a solid two years now. But I think it was wise of this person to wait until now before busting it out. E-scooters are firmly rooted in our collective consciousness. We know them. We’ve seen them. We may have even ridden them. And more than a handful of us may have “accidentally” bumped into a scooter (or even a whole herd of them) and just kept going. Oops.
The “wounded scooter” has quickly become a totem of urban life in 2019, as universal as steam belching out of a sewer grate or a flattened rat in the middle of a sidewalk. They’re everywhere, on the sidewalks, in the rivers, stuck up in trees. The scooters are so easy to vandalize that kids have devoted entire Instagram accounts to it like it was a sport.
There’s also something about this costume that speaks to this current moment in time, when the promises of Silicon Valley tech companies have been exposed as compromised or false. We’re being lied to on a constant basis, our data is being mined and misused, and now our sidewalks are being blocked, too? What the hell?
I’m really heartened that this person went the extra step in lying down on the sidewalk in (what I assume to be) Washington, DC — next to a real fallen scooter, no less — to put the costume in its full and complete context. That’s dedication.
By the authority of absolutely no one and with full acknowledgement of my inherent biases as a transportation reporter, I declare this the best costume of 2019. (This person dressed as the bus that fell in the sinkhole in Pittsburgh is a strong runner-up.)