You’d think not driving would eliminate road rage. Plus, Woodpecker!

Nothing to do with rage or roads or wheelchairs. But this is what was flitting around in my backyard this morning. Cool, huh?

So here is something you might not have known about wheelchairs. There are no brakes. Well, there are, but they are called hands.

Also, a straight line is much easier to roll in than in an arc.  As in, if you see me rolling down a path, you should get out of my way.  Please.

I say please, and I mean please, but if you don’t move, I might run you over.  Or at least into you.

I’ve been telling everyone that the wheelchair has brought out all the road rage I don’t have when driving a car. And everyone laughs. Because they think I’m kidding.

Another think people don’t think of if the incredible number of ups and downs you don’t notice as a walker.  Like at intersections.  The roads are higher in the middle, so it is a hard push to the middle, and then an easy ride for the second half.

This weekend I was crossing a road, and realized a group of high school students were standing around chatting and blocking the wheelchair ramp.

So I shouted out “I’ve got no brakes” as I started accelerating down the slope.  And they all laughed.  And so then I called out, “No, really.  No brakes”  So they scattered.  But with smiles, so the whole thing was good.

Unlike at the farmer’s market, where I often have to call out, “excuse me” “wheelchair” and “down here” (the last usually directed at people who are about to bash my head with their purse or shopping bags).  A guy stepped right in front of me, even after I said, “Excuse me, down here, wheelchair”  I mean right in front of me.  And I can’t stop on a dime.  What I can stop on is a leg.  Which I did.  I mean I did slow down, so I didn’t maim the guy.

Okay, that was an accident.  So not exactly road rage.

But I’m pretty sure spitting on the neighbor’s truck, which he continually leaves parked over the edge of the sidewalk counts.

Is spitting really (wheelchair) road rage? Maybe, maybe not. But it is illegal in China. So I think that makes me a rebel.


About woodenmonkey

Just your average solar powered, hybrid driving, organic eating, happily married, pro-choice, feminist Christian artist and writer from San Francisco.

Posted on October 10, 2011, in wheelchairs suck and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I don’t know if I could venture out like you do in a wheelchair all by myself. At least, not in such a short time that you have managed. I think you should wear a cape that flies out behind you when you’re whizzing around in the wheelchair.

  2. Um, yeah. That would be brave. On my own I can go about a block. One of the limiting factors is my inability to drive. And I randomly get stuck places, so wheeling myself the eight tenths of a miles it takes to get from my house isn’t the best idea.

    So those stories where I’m out and about? I’m with someone. Usually my sweet husband.

    The only way I excel in the wheelchair is a wicked loud voice (when I *sweetly* announce there is a “wheelchair, coming through!” so I don’t have to road rage anyone) and my control issues that prevent me from letting anyone push me (unless I’ve gotten stuck by a curb or super steep hill).

    Because of this I do have triceps of steel. Which is pretty sweet. But not deserving a cape.

    You on the other hand, as a single parent, you deserve a cape and a whole lot more…

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