Forget Bird Scooters! Ride My Manticore for 50 Rupees a Trip


From South Congress to Hyde Park, Bird electric scooters were taking over Austin, Texas. And, in theory, this alternative form of transportation would’ve suited our community just fine.

Though, some of us yearn for simpler times. Where have all the penny-farthings gone? Sure, I-35 isn’t paved with cobblestone, but my apartment building was built in the late ‘80s, so I think I know a thing or two about the olden days.

Oh, and there’s my manticore from the medieval ages — Good ole, Manty!


Don’t let her image fool you; she’s docile as a lamb. With the body of a lion, tail of poisonous spines similar to porcupine quills, and a scorpion’s tail, you can’t possibly find a more fantasmagorical mode of travel.

If you aren’t sold, let me better disarm her:


Remember that awkward phase you went through in middle school? Even Manty wasn’t spared from the foibles of growing up.

On a Bird scooter, you’ll receive dirty looks left and right from aggravated street walkers. Carefully positioned atop Manty’s back, you’re the bell of the ball. At least, no one has told me any differently.

For those of you that aren’t up to speed on the exchange rate of ancient rupees to dollars, I can confidently say that this is a real steal. Bird scooters require an activation fee and charge by the minute. At a flat rate, I’m offering you the ability to fly to work and an unmatched opportunity to bond with a manticore that’s lived through the plague, renaissance, and three feature-length Madagascar films. Spoiler alert: She’s not a fan.

All this to say, you might have mixed feelings about Austin’s City Council ushering the scooters out of town. But, with better options for travel cropping up by the hour, I wouldn’t sweat it: Manty’s not going anywhere.


Creative renditions of Manty produced by Javier González.


This article was written by Holly Ratcliff who battles the first-world woes of public transit on the daily. Holly studied poetry at Texas State University. Her literary research is available through the Texas State Undergraduate Research Journal: “‘Too much water hast thou, poor Ophelia’: An Object-Oriented Reading of Hamlet.” Twitter/Instagram: @HollytheHare


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