Remember When There Were No Zip Cars?

I walked out my front door one Sunday morning to pick the newspaper up off my driveway, and I accidentally stepped on one of those zip cars.  It hurt.  The little, boxy car put a few sharp indentations into the soft fleshy part of my foot, and I was placed on my crab-soccer team’s injured reserve list for the next three games.  That would teach me to walk outside barefoot.

At the time of the incident, I screamed in agony, and the zip car zipped away.  I hopped after it, but the car slipped down a rabbit hole, and the next thing I knew I was sitting at a little round table, trying to remember whether I was supposed to go with “drink me” or “eat me.”

What a nifty idea—cars that you can rent ad hoc and drive up blades of grass like the characters in Antz.  In Paris you can rent a bicycle like this, which in French is called a “velo” or “le bicycle.”  The program has proved so popular that they are now considering a re-creation of the Napoleonic Wars on bicycles instead of horses, and of the Franco-Prussian War, where instead of starving Paris the Prussians will hoard all the bicycle pumps.

What else could use the “zip” concept?  I think zip boats are the next zip thing.  You could instantly rent a boat anytime you had the urge to sail somewhere, hopefully with Captain Ron at the helm, or put on a white suit and do a drug deal in the middle of the Indian Ocean, or you are rummaging through your parents’ attic and find an old map that obviously leads to One-Eyed Willie’s treasure and the chance to save your family’s home from foreclosure.

Even if you don’t live right next to a large body of water, the zip boats would still be useful.  You could rent the zip boat, host a barbecue on it, and tell all the people you work with that you had a party “on the boat” on Saturday and that the reason you didn’t invite them was because you couldn’t find them on Facebook.

I also like the idea of zip big screen televisions that could be rented for special television moments like the Super Bowl, or the season finale of The Real Housewives of Scythia.  There would be kiosks for all the latest forms of technology: LCD…plasma…ambient particles of Axe body spray that congregate in clouds above large cities.

I can imagine even zip lawyers.  They could all stand in a line tethered to the metal rental stations, and dressed in varied interpretations of the term “business casual.”  Pop in $15,000 (credit card reader available) and the zip lawyer would be yours to sue whomever you wanted.  You would be able to commence a lawsuit against an individual or corporation of your choosing, ask them to photocopy all their bank statements and receipts and mail them to you, and then make them sit in a room at a long table for seven straight hours on a work day, and ask them questions about things they don’t remember.

The only problem would be that you would not be able to return the lawyer to just any kiosk.  For wherever you tried to return the lawyer, you would keep getting told that it was the wrong kiosk, that you had to go to a different kiosk.  And by the time you found the right one, there would be another $15,000 worth of charges to your credit card.