Winter games.....

So. I have been chastised by my wife (Sarah) about my frequent and voluble use of English language swear-words. I tend to NOT be very happy about the various situations I find myself in - thanks to ms - and tend to pepper my speech with invective describing my situation at the time, whether that is alluding to something happening to me or complaining about bouncing off the floor - again.
Unfortunately we also have a 7-year-old son who joyfully copies a lot of what I say, so after nervously trying to dissuade him from telling people to bugger off (…”whatever you do…DON’T tell your mother daddy said that!”) I now make a conscious effort to swear in other languages that most others around me (hopefully) won't understand. I lived and worked in both France and Italy for about 10 years and speak passable French but pretty fluent (colloquial) Italian. So now my son has been heard to porca-miseria happily. 
2 minutes on Google would allow anyone to find out just what he is saying but for the time being we are safe-ish…..

I noticed during various travels over the past 2 weeks the effect I have on other people. Most notably how they deal with someone with a walking device.

Taxi Drivers: I usually book a taxi online and don’t worry anymore about warning them about my rollator fitting into a car as it collapses into very manageable package that fits into our little compact hatch-back easily, so a standard sedan with a boot is not a problem. When the taxi arrives there is usually a look of panic and desperation on the drivers face which becomes relief as the driver realises that the dreaded walker/rollator collapses into a small, lightweight pile of metal and that it will fit easily into the boot. When we get to the destination, there is more panic as the driver realises that he cannot pull-up where he would normally, but will have to accommodate my disability and get as close to the address as possible. Until about a year and a half ago, I used to let taxis pull-up where they would normally for anyone else and then stumble about as they speed off, once even falling badly as I was being hurried along by the driver for stopping in the street. Now - I get them to stop exactly where I need them to and bugger anybody complaining.
School-run: I drive my electric golf-cart up to my son’s school and he being not yet a teen, is very happy to have me along with him. Initially the reception from other parents was mixed, some parents couldn’t care less while others nervously watch me coming and then dart out of their way towards me to pass a comment to me that is usually about the weather or how wonderful my golf-cart is (“wow, its NOT really a mobility scooter is it?”) and a third group who watch to see how many people I am going to massacre today, let’s just say that you absolutely CANNOT miss me coming, I guarantee that, and I have yet to run anyone down….
Shops: I love going to shops. I love watching the faces of shop-counter attendants when they see you heading in their general direction …oh please god DON’T let him come up to me please please please please please…..oh bugger he’s in front of me….
I discovered that shop-counter attendants want you gone asap, and sometimes acquiesce to whatever I ask …….yes! a chicken burger DOES come with free chips and 10 rolls too! (just go go go go…..)
Or the freeze-step, this is when a aisle-worker unsuspectedly walks around the end of an aisle in the supermarket and discovers you standing there leaning on your rollator; SLAM BRAKES ON. Instant halt and about-face heading off rapidly in the opposite direction….. Sometimes I absolutely have to hunt down someone when I need to ask a question and love the panicked look on their faces when they realise that there. is. no. escape……

Sometimes people treat you like they would anyone else and I live for those moments. A few days back, I accompanied my son to an extra-curricular activity at a local venue that required the designated parent (me in this case) to sit for an hour while the child jumped up and down and ran about. When it came time to leave, the instructor came up to me and chatted away so I stood up, but thanks to ms my legs gave way and I headed towards the floor. However, I managed to elegantly recover without hitting the floor or embarrassing my son. The Instructor looked momentarily startled then laughed and said “you really nailed that bounce/recovery…nice one!”

You gotta laugh……


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