Vespa picks up its drive in America

Europeans view Americans as, among other things, drivers of gas-guzzling hulks.

Europeans view Americans as, among other things, drivers of gas-guzzling hulks.

That view was affirmed by our own president, who recently called on us to break our "addiction to oil" and reduce our dependence on foreign sources of oil. Now, along comes this European company with an idea of how to reach this objective: more motor scooters.

Vespa made a splash last week with a full page ad in The New York Times calling on "US mayors" to consider scooters as an energy efficient and zippy way for their residents to pop around town. (A cultural disconnect may have prevented them from understanding that most big-city mayors travel in taxpayer-funded fleets of SUVs, which are free to knock over intrusive scooters as a security risk.)

The company has also plastered ads throughout the New York subway system touting their peppy products as "The cure for gas pain."

While the wisdom of plowing through icy winter streets on what is essentially a souped-up bicycle wasn't addressed, the ad campaign has taught us that "scootering" is an actual verb that Europeans use without cracking a smile.

But Vespa's proposal would inarguably save drivers a ton of gas money, cash that would immediately be spent on Gucci motorcycle jackets and proper scooter apparel by the average New Yorker.

So don't dismiss scootering out of hand, you gas-greedy Yankees. And if you need one, we hear that Vespa has a few to sell.

1. Clueless
2. Ill-advised
3. On the right track
4. Savvy
5. Ingenious

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