Friday, August 07, 2009

Mobility scooters: Got to get you into my life

For many, walking is a pleasurable activity, but for the longest time that was a sentiment I did not hold. Who needed the threat of hard labour for a crime when someone could easily try your weak body by asking you to walk up to the corner store for a carton of milk when you'd done nothing wrong?

Walking just wasn't for me, and even now, people who choose to stand when there's a perfectly good seat available continue to baffle me. I guess evolution didn't make us all equal because we are mixed bag of standers and non-standers, walkers and non-walkers. Nothing like a good sit, I say! So strong was my desire not to walk that following a car trip to a much anticipated destination, I would find myself bitten with a little disappointment as all that nice sitting was about to get turned on its head.

So great became my desire to avoid walking that at some point I developed a deep longing for a mobility scooter. The idea of rolling around town, doing whatever I wanted and never having to walk delighted me no end. I was a little concerned by the possibility of my limbs going to sleep permanently and their function upon my command becoming reduced, but I didn't let a little old thing like paralysis shatter my dreams. There was an animated segment on Sesame Street of two knees having a conversation, both unwilling to do anything. The owner of the knees is asked to accompany people on various outings but always declines in exchange for continued sitting. Finally, at the conclusion of the scene, the lady needs to get up and the knees freak out, virtually unable to complete the task. The message was loud and clear, but I always tried to tell myself I wasn't that fat or lazy so it wasn't going to be a problem. My laziness persisted.

One time we were at Disney's California Adventure Park waiting for the Electrical Parade to begin. I adore the parade, but there's always an agonising wait with few benches around so a lot of standing eventuates. Suddenly, two guys in their 30s whizzed by on scooters, laughing and drinking beer (which I don't think is allowed at Disney parks except in designated areas!) and I was so mad at them for their flagrant disregard for the rules, but I think deep down, I was just jealous of their posession of scooters without really needing them.

I saw the dark side of the mobility scooter while at a Joann's fabric store last week to acquire a zipper for skirt I was making. While there, I stopped at the Viking sewing machine centre where I bought my machine because I had a question about a problem I was having with mine. The lady was out the back so I just sat down and waited when suddenly a morbidly obese woman on a mobility scooter rolled up, parting the red sea of chairs in her wake, and said to me "Oh, I have to recharge or I'm not going to make it to the parking lot." She then asked me to plug in her scooter for her. I was about to explain that I don't work there when I realised my employment has nothing to do with her request. I was compelled to help her. She pulled out the cable and luckily I knew where the nearest outlet was since she was right where I had taken sewing classes and plugged in my machine. I thought that was it when I realised the other end of the cord was still flying free. She handed me the other end and said "This goes in under the seat." At this point, I start freaking out a bit because I didn't want to get anywhere near her seat or her ass. I start hoping it's just on the side, but when she started gathering up her skirt and twisting to the side it just about made me fall to my knees and beg the Lord for forgiveness. "If I believe in you can you make it so I don't have to go near the fat lady's ass?" I sucked it up, realising I had to proceed, lest I be of character suited for a Seinfeld reprise. Thankfully I saw where the plug went and it is not too deep, though still far closer to her undercarriage than I would ever have hoped to venture. It had a flap on it and all I could think of was that now it would take a few seconds longer and I'd have to go in with two hands instead of one. I am relieved when the prongs all meet up quickly and I am able to back away before she unloads some horrendous, obese woman gas upon me. She was polite always, but also a bit unintentionally condescending. At the conclusion of what I found to be an ordeal, she said "You did a great job" as though it were so hard, though maybe I had my fear of her ass all over my face and appeared to require some reassurance. Maybe these mobility scooters aren't quite worth just saved sore feet and back pain?

My resistance to walking lasted a very long time, but after a big work out regime three years ago, I got use to it. While certainly not my most favourite mode of transportation, should walking be required, I now find I am not unwilling or even bothered to have to do it. My endurance is way up for a long day sightseeing and I am whole new person on that front. It was just a few weeks ago when I saw a someone on a mobility scooter and thought "Wow...I don't really want one of those anymore!" I excitedly told Gregg how awesome it was that I didn't really want a mobility scooter anymore. I was surprised when what I believed to be a great breakthrough was met with disgust. I suppose my new found willingness to partake in day to day walking was not going to be met with a celebratory parade.

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