Dumber than the Door

Wow. The temperature swooped up to a balmy 65 degrees, a significant change from the 30 degrees of just the other day. I greeted the warmth of the day with a gleeful chortle and hopped onto my new mobility scooter. It’s been sitting in the living room, patiently waiting for warmer weather because it’s pilot has a thing about being cold. I twisted the key into the ON position and turned it hard to port and made a graceful U-turn and motored to the front door. It was not a problem to keep the door open, I simply threw it wide and left it there. The storm door was another story. Pneumatically operated, it has a fetish for the closed position. I gave my scooter a little throttle and reached out to unlatch the door. So far, so good, I started to pass through the portal and then make the hard left turn right outside the door that would take me down the ramp installed for me.  With the throttle on the right, I had to operate the throttle and turn the scooter with my right hand as I reached across myself to hold the storm door open.  This worked until I was halfway through, at which time I had to switch hands and hold the door with my right hand while I tried to drive the scooter with my left.

That’s a very non-intuitive way to drive something with handlebars. Fighting to make the turn while holding the door open failed to work out, mostly because the turn was too sharp. That left me having to back up so I could make a K turn to line up with the ramp. Meanwhile, the door was insisting on trying to close itself. A grunting, muscle stretching battle ensued, but I finally managed to get through the door and aimed down the ramp. I let go of the door and twisted the throttle, lurching forward down the ramp. The door swung closed and the operating latch for the storm door grabbed the pocket of my jacket. The next thing I knew my scooter was moving down the ramp without me; I was hung up on the door with my jacket stretching in such a way that that it became a straight jacket. I couldn’t reach back and unhook myself from the door and ended up hanging from the door latch with my butt six inches off the deck.

I had to collect my surprised wits and get my feet under me so I could get my weight off my jacket. This would allow my arms to move enough to untangle my coat from the door latch. I managed this, only to have the storm door slam shut –with my jacket neatly slammed into the door, fouling the latch. This, of course, caused the latch to refuse to work. I ended up having to take off the jacket, leaving it stuffed into the door, so I could go around and through the garage. Once inside the house, I could work the latch from inside, where I would also have more leverage against the door. As I shucked out of my jacket, I watched my scooter drive down the ramp, cross the driveway and over my wife’s rose plants. It didn’t stop there, the throttle apparently left slightly engaged, my scooter kept a slow albeit relentless pace through the strip garden and into the driveway of our next door neighbor, tight toward the door of his car.

It sucks to be a cripple, I tried to jog after it, looking more like a drunk suffering a bout of St Vitus Dance. My spastic pace took me in the path of the errant scooter, crossing the rose bed just as it did. Of course, the roses, irked at having their dormant slumber interrupted, grabbed my pants leg with their thorns, causing me to face plant into more rose bushes. Plucking a few thorns from my hands and face, I managed to catch the scooter and stop it a few inches from the polished side of the neighbor’s car. It really is a pretty day, I thought to myself as I guided the scooter into the garage where I parked it. I pressed the button that lowered the wide door, eclipsing the now threat filled day from my view. If chemotherapy has taught me anything, when it goes awry right off the bat, stop. Do not continue. Do something else instead.

There was a great movie on television I noted as I scanned the TV guide. I had a great afternoon watching it.