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The Honda U3-X anti-mobility device
The Honda U3-X anti-mobility device

Uncanny resemblance.
Uncanny resemblance.

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A friend of mine who’s battling diabetes, obesity and a host of other ailments just found out about Honda’s new “personal mobility device,” the U3-X. He sent me a link to the promo video for this paramecium-shaped Segway descendent, and seems pretty excited about it. Not I. It reminds me of Bernard Wolfe’s Limbo, the Cold War-era novel about a post-apocalyptic dystopia where men perfect themselves through amputation. Society has determined that “disarming” (and dis-legging) men is the only way to curb their violent behavior and ensure the survival of the species. Women are raised to desire limbless husbands, spoon-feeding them, changing their diapers, pushing them in strollers from place to place.

The U3-X, as I see it, isn’t about mobility at all. It’s about anti-mobility, a limb-withering eat-more-do-less machine. The butt cheek holders, enlarged and reinforced for sale in America, might double as defibrillator pads.


The grays

Last night I dreamed about gray squirrels. I was in the auditorium when dozens of them showed up, mostly in pairs, standing on their hind legs with their arms around each other, walking across the stage and into the aisles as couples might at a slow-motion square dance. Then they morphed into larger creatures, still squirrel-like, still gray, non-threatening, not making a sound. Then I woke up.

Even though the dream was typical of what abduction researchers call “screen memories,” I’m pretty sure that it was brought on by three things that happened yesterday:

  1. A co-worker who’s never expressed any particular interest in ufology asked me apropos of nothing, “What do you know about the grays?” I suggested he read Whitley Strieber’s Communion.
  2. Steve Bassett announced a new conference, Contact 2010, to be held at the National Press Club in October (like this year’s X-Conference will be in May) and to focus on “the realities and implications of human-alien experience.” Until now, Bassett has concentrated almost exclusively on lobbying governments to release their UFO files. Some have. Others, like ours, haven’t.
  3. A baby possum appeared on the threshold of the theater lobby door and would have come in if I hadn’t chased him away. Baby possums look sort of like squirrels, I think.