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                                            TURFWAR RAMPING UP by Stan
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Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman

Newsflash: Scooter riders are trying to scoot into skateboarders skateparks.
Shocking newsflash: Skateboarders and scooterers don’t like each other.

Seriously, the skateboarders, or skater dudes, as The Teen liked to call them, worked for years to get cities to accept them as being real human beings.   Finally, cities broke down to say “Okay, if you promise to quit ruining our handrails, our benches and jumping headfirst with no helmets into our automobiles, we’ll build you skate parks. Its money we were going to spend on the homeless, but since your pants are baggier…”
So thousands of skate parks were erected… or… er… dug all around the country whereby the skater dudes became begrudgingly accepted. With this acceptance came a surprising smugness. Park rangers were employed to monitor the skate parks. Seriously, that’s what the guys policing the skate parks are called – park rangers. And the dudes, despite all their anti-authoritarian pretenses, accepted park rangers being their hall monitors. It’s like Groucho Marx, who for years said he wouldn’t join any club that would have him as a member, saying “Yippee” when the day comes they open their doors.

Everything was fine until one day Razor USA started making aluminum scooters with their swivel BMX style handles which became popular to the tune of 25 million units. You know what happens when 25 million units are on the streets? The cities don’t like it: traffic accidents, broken stair nosings, more beautiful handrails ruined. You know what would fix that? Allow the scooter dudes and dudettes to use the skate parks, which would be fine except skater dudes and scooter dudes don’t mix. For some reason, the skater dudes think the skate parks are exclusively theirs. It’s like all the Groucho Marxes finally got in the club then got haughty about it.

Each association is flaming each other on their Facebook sites. Heidi Lemmon, director of the Skate Park Association says “Handlebars? What wussies!” Katherine Mahoney, V.P. of Razor USA calls the skateboarders “Elitists in Billabongs!” To this I’ve got to say in the famous last words of Rodney King: “Can’t we all just get a lung?” Sorry, make that “get along.” 
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You see the craziness, here, the outcasts now doing the outcasting? It’s as if the skater dudes all took a trip to Arizona to learn discrimination. They all copped a “we worked hard to get our parks” attitude and seem to be urging the scooter dudes to irritate the city enough to get their own parks.

To evoke another King, Martin Luther, do you think if he were alive today he would find this a worthy civil rights fight? “I have a dream that one day people are not judged by the type of wheels he rides. I dream that the little children on scooters will be able to play with the little children on boards, where they are not judged by the bagginess of their pants or the color of their boards but by the popping of their Ollies. I have a dream where brothers and sisters of all wheels will be able to execute half-pipes and mini-ramps together. I have a dream we’ll see dudes and dudettes doing nose-grinds and McTwists, scooter and skateboard side-by-side. Yes, I have a dream.”

Did you hear that, skater and scooter dudes? The future! Now, if only you could read.
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