I’m going to town!
Taking a trip into town is a drag! For able bodied people, they just get in the car, drive to a car park and then park the car and walk into town to browse…BUT…for me, it’s a little something less awe-inspiring and a lot more like a pain in the proverbial!
Step 1: Planning
I plan where I am going to park, depending on blue badge bays and IF I think one will be available, otherwise, I’m going to be driving round town like a modern-day “Ironside” sniffing out clues as to where a space might be!
Step 2: Getting my kit together
Mobile phone ✔
Cigarettes (if you smoke) ✔
Blue Badge – IN the car ALWAYS! ✔
Carer (oops, nearly forgot!) ✔
Plenty of fuel (for parking-space cruising!) ✔
Step 3: Actually going out the door WITHOUT forgetting stuff!
Out the door, get to the car ANY WAY I CAN, as walking is a nightmare best reserved for Monty Python fans who are familiar with the “Ministry of Silly Walks!”
Getting into town is the usual type of drive, competing with speeding taxis, idiotic tailgaters and buses with no rear view/wing mirrors, only to have a near miss with another white van car ‘cos the driver was on his phone and “didn’t see me” at all.
I get to town, and find a parking space, and low-and-behold, it’s an EMPTY blue badge bay, so having fought off a taxi and one of those “cash-point” cripples, I manage to park and we begin the process of getting out of the car. My carer, bless her, gets my wheelchair out, and brings it around the car, narrowly avoiding being run over by a taxi dropping off and NOT “seeing” her, and I transfer from front seat to wheelchair, settle in and get comfortable.
We begin a trip into town by sorting out where we need to go, and keeping an eye out for pedestrians who have gone “wheelchair-blind” as soon as they arrive in town, and head into the nearest shop…only to find my arch nemesis…COBBLESTONES! God how I hate those…as my wheelchair, unlike council trash carts and most scooters doesn’t have suspension, so I get bounced around like a ping-pong ball in the world championships, before negotiating “drop-kerbs” with 2” clearance before you hit the road and lack of ramps for shops…honestly, I think I might try to take up base-jumping…it’s EASIER!
It’s finally time to sort out what we have bought and where we want to go for a break (‘cos god knows I need one now) and head off for a coffee. It’s a nice change to see other people walking about, not caring about who/what they bump into, especially as they often do it due to the fact that they are staring at their mobile phone, as if it’s the coming of the 2nd zombie apocalypse! Town has, and always is an adventure, and it’s fun sometimes to see people nearly jump out of their skin when I talk to them, instead of leaving all the conversation to my carer and hoping that they’ll pay me some form of lip services whilst talking over me at louder volume, or the bank employee who got down on his haunches to talk to me, which, I might add nearly ended up with me being carted off to the police station for punching said bank employee!
Suffice to say, getting out and about in my wheelchair is a nightmare I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, let alone any of my friends, but it does have its compensations.
For example, when I’m sitting down during a shopping trip, or I don’t have to worry about moving to a table for a coffee and have to “sit down” at the table, or that I can whiz along shouting “Rocket Power” every time I fart out loud in town!
So, if you see me please talk to me, don’t step over me, or avoid me like I have some modern day bubonic plague! And don’t assume that because I’m in a wheelchair ‘the lights are on and no one is home’ it’s my legs that don’t work, NOT MY BRAIN!