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Like any form of land transport that is not automobile, backhoe, motorcycle, bicycle, skateboard, or foot, the Segway instantly makes its operators look like complete rubes. The vehicle’s Web site uses such phrasing as “feel the freedom for yourself” and “discover what fun, smart transportation feels like.” I don’t know—risking getting hit with half-eaten fast food traveling 50 mph out of someone’s car window doesn’t sound so “free” to me. There’s even an off-road Segway, with big knobby tires; whoever chooses this model doubly deserves to have his ass kicked. And do you know how much a Segway costs? Neither do I, because you have to assemble your own Segway from a massive list of parts, and the end result appears to be an approximately $1,200 mistake. My urgent, unsolicited advice to interested parties is to buy a bike and spring for some balls while you’re at it. Have you not seen Arrested Development? The reason that a Segway was written into the show as Gob’s means of commuting is that Gob is what is known, in the parlance of our time, as a “douchebag.” This monstrosity is the PT Cruiser of “alternative transportation.” How did it come to exist? Several well-paid people sat around a boardroom and actually concurred with one another that this thing was a good, profitable idea. But wait! Perhaps I judge too quickly. Maybe the creators were one step ahead of us; maybe they purposefully created a machine that will take society’s dolts and face-plant them right into the sidewalk. SegwayFest 2005 kicks off Friday, Sept. 23, and runs through Saturday, Sept. 24, at the Hotel Washington, 515 15th St. NW. $90. Visit segwayfest.com for more information. (Andrew Earles)