Friday, August 15, 2008

Peppermint Squad

With a name like "The Peppermint Squad" you wouldn't imagine this group of intrepid motor scooterists to rule the streets of Dorchester the way they do or be given the respect they feel they have rightly earned. Despite thier sweet name and unintimidating mounts, the Peppermint Squad buzzes through neighborhoods from Mattapan to Andrew as unquestioned kings and queens of the potholes.

Squad members often travel solo, commuting to and from work and going about sundry errands on their scooters. Around about 8:00 PM they gather at a local watering hole to convene a posse and go on patrol. They can be seen most evenings travelling in a pack down any of Dorchester's streets, ever vigilant, marking their territory, on the lookout for miscreants who violate the Squad's code of honor, civic duty and good behavior.

Motorists decry thier tactics of corking an intersection so that elderly shoppers and churchgoers can cross a busy street. The same goes for their escort of wheelchairs through crosswalks. The Peppermint Squad believes that everyone who travels the pavement on more than two wheels should defer to those who travel on two or less, motorized or not. Traffic laws apply but rules are made to be bent. It is just good manners. An article of the club's constitution requires each member to say, "Please," "Thank you," and address anyone older than the speaker as "Sir" or "Ma'am."

Members of the Peppermint Squad take a lot of ribbing from thier coworkers and acquaintances outside of Dorchester. People who live in the Dot step out of thier way, tip thier hats, salute, or put thier hands over their hearts when the Peppermint Squad passes in full, motor scooter-ific regalia.

We will take the next few weeks profiling the members of this elite, homegrown institution and describing thier deeds of derring-do and community service.

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