If you've been seeing more differently-waistlined Americans rolling along the sidewalk in scooters, the cause may not be a wave of disease and injuries. It might just be laziness.
The power scooter is an increasingly ubiquitous sight, with an estimated 1.2 million in use nationwide. But while the $1,000-plus vehicles have been hailed as a boon for the infirm and the elderly, they are now finding a new constituency: able-bodied people who simply don't feel like walking. In addition to theme parks like Dollywood and Minnesota's giant Mall of America, the scooters are popping up everywhere from Las Vegas casinos to grocery stores. When scooter demand outstrips supply at Wal-Mart, greeters "evaluate the situation" and make sure that people using the scooters can demonstrate a legitimate need, according to a company spokesman.
The Wall Street Journal's Ellen Gamerman rounds up a regular gallery of sloth for her survey, including a guy who admits he uses his scooter to get casino seats "right in the mezzanine with the handicapped people."