Capital Region Uncles Call For Ban On Hoverboards

By Scott Salad

Published January 31st, 2016

ALBANY—The non-profit watchdog group Capitaland Uncles Against Hoverboards said it wants New York state to impose a ban on the self-balancing, two-wheel scooter rides until they are proven safe for everyone — especially uncoordinated men in their 40s who like to show off in front of their prepubescent nephews during the holidays.

“My 12-year-old nephew Mason thought I was the coolest person on Earth,” said CUAH founder Paul Blathering. “Then I got on his hoverboard at Christmas and now he thinks I'm the biggest dork ever.”

The 47-year-old Blathering — who suffered a compound fracture in his neck Dec. 26 after careening onto I-787 in Cohoes— is calling for the formation of a panel to study the impact hoverboards have on the psyches of middle-aged men.

“Hoverboards are a menace to those my age,” the quadriplegic said from his hospital bed at St. Mary's in Troy. “Unlike people in their 50s and 60s, the 40-ish crowd doesn't like bragging about its aches and pains. Often times that type of self-denial manifests itself in the desire to try activities we really have no business trying. Like hoverboarding.”

Josh Klunt — a 43-year-old CUAH member who blames his nephew's hoverboard for third-degree burns he received on New Year's Eve — agrees.

“I was stupid. I admit that now,” he said. “But that doesn't change the fact that we need to outlaw these things.”

The financial planner initially told first responders his injuries were the result of a fire that occurred while the vehicle was charging — an issue that has plagued the machine since it was released in 2014. But after doctors at Albany Medical Center extracted three pounds of gravel from his backside, he changed his statement to police.

“These are actually road burns,” Klunt told The Smudge. “I went barreling out of control down my sister's driveway. I landed flat on my back and then skidded a good 40 feet. It hurt like hell.”

Although he's still in tremendous physical agony, Klunt says it’s nothing compared to the emotional pain he's had to endure since being called a “schlubby retard” by his 11-year-old nephew, Jackson, while he was being loaded into the ambulance.

“I've fallen from grace,” he said between drips of intravenous morphine.

While lawmakers consider a ban, the state Consumer Protection Agency is urging all men over 40 who feel compelled to try their nephews’ hoverboard at the next family gathering to just say no.


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