Saturday, January 15, 2011

Boot Scootin'

I have been unable to use my right foot for nearly 5 weeks now, due to surgery. When I finally felt up to getting out and about, my first retail visit was to Wegmans. Since then I have shopped at other local retailers--the mall, Macy's, Price Chopper, Wal-Mart, Target, BJs.
At the same time, winter-wet floors are treacherous for people using crutches--slip, sliding away and all that. So, I have been getting around on those electric scooters you normally see "old" folks driving.
A sociologist could do a fascinating study of: human beings respecting the scooter rider, avoiding the scooter rider, refusing to move for the scooter rider, staring at the scooter rider. Now I know I don't fit the normal profile of a scooter rider, but do people really think I'm just taking a joy ride?
I have a new-found appreciation for people who use wheelchairs for their mode of transportation, and how various stores are easier to get around than others.
It's interesting to me, also, that different stores' scooters operate better or worse than their competitors'. All of them possess a quite-loud reverse warning beep, and all of them stop too suddenly. That was a lesson learned when I nearly got rear-ended by a tailgating cart-shopper at Wegmans on New Year's Eve! I have since learned to finesse the stop by easing my grip off the "go" lever.
By far the best scooter I've driven was at Target--this baby tooled right along, nice and smooth, so fast my 19-year-old son had trouble keeping up. This was a scooter that screamed, "respect the driver."
Wal-Mart's, on the other hand, dribbed and drabbed, making those behind you annoyed at how slowly you were traveling (are we really surprised I would get looks at Wal-Mart?). Hey, it's not the driver's fault the dang thing doesn't go fast! Oh, and I had my funniest mishap at Wal-Mart. Check out the photo!
In less than a week I won't be needing the Amigo, as the scooter brand is called, but I will leave its seat with a greater awe for those who depend on them for hunter-gathering eggs, milk and coffee.

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