When I was 10, Marty McFly rode a hoverboard through a 2015 Hill Valley’s Courthouse Square, and I knew what I wanted from Santa that year. Needless to say, I was disappointed that Christmas morning in ’89.
Fast forward to the real 2015, and a tattooed woman in her early 20’s has maneuvered her way off the DC Red Line and onto the escalator in front of me riding some kind of self-powered two-wheeled object that looks like a disembodied Segway. It has a blue neon underglow that gives it the appearance of floating. My calves ache in sympathy as she shuffles to maintain her balance on our long ascent to the street, and I hold my breath as she navigates to solid ground, surprisingly without incident. As she pivots, I ask her the name of this strange new transportation device.
“It’s a hoverboard,” she tells me.
And I know exactly what I want for Christmas this year.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this sentiment. As a pediatrician, I’m also sure I’m not alone in my concern for the safety of kids using these products, just as I was for the young woman riding hers up the Metro Center escalator.