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I’ve been practicing on my scooter for over a month and I’m still far from perfect. Thank goodness I never had this much trouble driving a car.
The problem is, having to learn how to maneuver in small, sometimes very restricted space. It seems there are doorsills, corners, and cupboards everywhere just waiting to jump out and bump into me.
The amazing thing is, I don’t seem to have inflicted too much damage in my bumper car ride through the house. Much credit is due the designing and engineering that went into the manufacture of the scooter. The body is well insulated and shielded by a resilient bumper material, both soft and pliant. The wheels are set in spots of safety where they can withstand and avoid collision with any objects.
No one in the TV commercials for various scooters, looks as if they have had or would ever have much trouble navigating. They blithely zoom around living rooms straightening couch cushions, carrying plates of food to the table, popping in and out of narrow doorways at home, in and out of restaurants and stores, and generally looking care and trouble free. All of this is entirely possible, but I wonder, did they ever have to reshoot some of the scenes because the driver missed the cushion, dropped the food, slammed into a bathroom door, or had any kind of trouble getting in and out of store fronts? If they didn’t, then I’d have to force myself to say that I am the most inept scooter driver in the country.
I seldom reach a specific spot at first try. Lining up next to a table, for instance, takes a lot of backward and forward fitting. The seat turns so that once you’re parked; you can swivel around to face the table head on. The trick is to get in just the right place. If you’re sitting on a regular chair, adjustment to correct distance is easy – you can pull your chair up to the table. If you’re parked and spun in the scooter and you still are too far from your place setting, you have to reverse the procedure, get your motor going, and make some more back and forth moves.
My daughter tactfully suggested that my depth perception may be a bit off. At first I scoffed. I’ve always been able to see the back of my head, like an owl. Okay, so maybe I’m not exactly a spring owlet anymore, but so what? No, I insisted that the scooter needs a back up mirror. Upon reflection however, (no pun intended), I realized that back up mirrors always distort distance from other objects, so how would they help me? The only answer is to move slowly enough, so if I do bump into the table, I don’t break anything.
Since starting my career on wheels, my dining room table has sustained a few bruises. Actually, two legs had become wobbly and the table has moved rather noticeably out of position. Today, my son came over and bolstered the legs and repositioned the table. I shall now make a concerted effort to be very careful in all my landing approaches.
In the meantime, I have sustained a few bruises myself. The way things happen to me it’s a miracle I’m in fairly good condition. A couple of weeks ago I had a terrible Saturday. It was a shopping day. The way it started I should have known something would happen.
I no sooner sat in Adele’s car than her adorable Jack Russell Terrier jumped in the car and sat on my lap, kissing me like mad in the process. She and I share a mutual love. She plunked down before I had a chance to get my legs straight. She was only going a short distance with us so I didn’t bother to sit straight. When we reached her home where we would leave her before going on to the grocery store, Adele scooped her up off my lap and shut the car door. My knee was still at a bad angle and the door hit it. No biggie.
When we shopped we reluctantly stopped at a nearby store, a big one, which was supposed to have lots of room for the A to Z merchandise plus groceries it featured. There was no room. The aisles were the narrowest in my experience. I was in one of their electric carts, since it was not a good walking day for me. In trying to run around a metal display case they had at the end of the aisle, I couldn’t make the turn and jammed into the serrated edge of a shelf. I saw stars. That night when I got home, my right pant leg was bloody. My knee was bleeding, swollen, and turning blue and a piece of skin about 4 inches in length had been neatly ripped off my thigh.
The very next day I opened the freezer to take something out, and a solidly frozen 3 lb block of macaroni and cheese fell on me. I was sitting in my scooter, so it bounced off my head and smashed into my right hand. My thumb has never been the same and if it weren’t for the fact that in my family we all have heads as hard as cannon balls, I might have ended my driving life right then and there. What a headline – “Anderson found in her scooter, dead as a doornail, clutching frozen macaroni and cheese with a broken hand.”
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