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Commuting Suicide: Volume XXXI
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I'm faking you out. By placing this rant in the "Commuting Suicide" section, it allows me to be seen in a light other than "total inhuman asshole"; a description both accurate and humbling. And upon reading this, you'll probably agree.

People in motorized wheelchairs need to go.

Still with me? Still want to read what this is all about? Gathering pitch forks, torches, and a map to my front door? Keep reading.

Thumbnail image for motorized_wheel_chair.jpgOn my way to work today, hence the proper placement of this article under "Commuting Suicide", I was walking at a leisurely but determined pace. Average for a New Yorker, and perhaps a bit rushed for non-city folk. With iPod in and pumping sweet tunes through my cerebellum, I spent the few remaining minutes before work enjoying myself. While it was overcast, I noticed a few small leaves, the first of the season, appearing on the ends of tree branches. Today was going to be a good day.

The bump was heavy and metallic, and it hit me perfectly mid-calf. Pulling my earbuds out and quickly turning expecting to question who was driving a golf cart on the sidewalk, I was met instead with a sneer and a "shooing" wave by an elderly lady at the wheel of an electric wheelchair. More shocked than anything, I stepped aside as she pinned the machine and took off in a cloud of dust down the block.

Collecting myself, I realized quite clearly that this woman was a total fucking bitch.

I'm happy to park two and a half miles away outside Target so handicapped people can hobble up to the store and buy their Metamucil with relatively little effort. Waiting in a line for three hours outside Space Mountain, while the kid with Cerebral Palsy gets pushed up to the front of the line is fine with me. A lifetime of living in a tortured body deserves to travel through a simulated space ride. I get this. I support it. Treat them well.

But if you're behind the wheel (or straw) of a motorized wheelchair, then GET TO THE BACK OF THE FUCKING LINE.

You are in a moving vehicle which, if you think about it, means you are no longer handicapped. You have super powers. You can move faster than the average man. We are now the Jimmy Olsen to your Superman. We are now the handicapped. Traveling through life and expending no more energy than pushing a button or breathing; that's super human. You don't need the better parking spaces. You don't get to head to the front of the line at Disney World, because, let's face it, your whole life is like being on an amusement park ride and the only ticket you had to pay for was never walking again ... ever. That and maybe shitting yourself once in a while.

These electric wheel chairs have become quite popular with the overweight crowd. I've seen them cascading out of their specially designed minivans with the huge side door and hydraulic lift, the motor struggling under their huge load. They're upfront and center in the parking lots, just outside the doors to the Mall. You'll find them in supermarkets blocking aisles as they reach for the cans of extra cake frosting with their "gripper handles". Here's a thought: you're overweight, wouldn't the best solution be to get off your ass and walk to a store whose walls aren't lined with food?

So to the lady who ran into me this morning, and who I'll invariably have to wait for as her cart is loaded into the bus, thanks for not giving me an apology. Thanks for not caring. Who knows, if I got to spend my days in a Mario Kart-like sidewalk derby, perhaps I'd be too proud to acknowledge the little people.
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24 Comments

Echo, you have manage to make me laugh uncontrollably for the first time since my dog died.

I apologise for ever throwing an ill word in your direction.

You have once again restored my faith in humanity.

This statement:

"your whole life is like being on an amusement park ride and the only ticket you had to pay for was never walking again ... ever. That and maybe shitting yourself once in a while."

is..... I, for the first time a speechless. I feel like I've just used herion.

Please renew my subscription to YBNBY.

said Dave on April 8, 2009 5:08 PM.

You're welcome Dave. That one was for free.

said Echowood on April 8, 2009 5:12 PM.

a should be am and herion should be heroin.

Sorry, I can't laugh and type.

said Dave on April 8, 2009 5:20 PM.

this happened to me once. i was walking down 57th street and from behind i got a really annoyed sounding "WATCH OUT". i turn around to find a motorized wheelchair with a guy in a full suit (overweight) who obviously needed to be rolling EXACTLY WHERE I WAS WALKING. the sidewalk on 57th street is extremely wide, there was plenty of room for him to simply go around me. it made no sense. i just watched him roll away, stunned at his rudeness and the overall absurdity of the whole situation.

said amy on April 8, 2009 5:28 PM.

Echowood,

Making fun of a person's handicap, even if the handicap is conquered by a mechanical devise is despicable. It is a bonafide, stupified, overexlemplified, statement of hate.

I call for a boycott of Yesbutnobutyes.com until this moronic article is removed from circulation. I also call for your resignation.

Reverend Alfred Charles Sharpton.

said Rev. Al Sharpton on April 8, 2009 5:38 PM.

Dave... I mean Rev. Sharpton, we really need to get you a dictionary. "Devise" is what you do when you're planning something. "Device" is a tool or gadget. Also, and for future reference "advise" is the action of giving guidance to something, "advice" is a noun and means "guidance". Sorry Al, needed to call you out on that one.

said Echowood on April 8, 2009 5:48 PM.

Damn.

Come on that was kind of funny.

said Dave on April 8, 2009 5:54 PM.

I mean,

Come on, that was kind of funny!

or fune.

said Dave on April 8, 2009 5:56 PM.

Why does Al Sharpton get all the apologies?

I just want one.

said Dave on April 8, 2009 5:58 PM.

By the way.

Thanks for the spelling advise.

You could be my English advicor.

That way Jellio can't call me an "Illiterate Buffoon".

said Dave on April 8, 2009 6:04 PM.

I'll admit, I had a quick flash of me sitting behind a row of microphones, apologizing to some kid in a wheelchair while the good Reverend looked down upon me... but then I saw "devise" and knew it wasn't him. That, and I doubt his e-mail address is "alsharp@yahoo.com"

You're aren't illiterate, and only a buffoon of the best kind.

said Echowood on April 8, 2009 6:38 PM.

Echo, you are slowing coming back around to the dark side. We are very pleased indeed.

You will be receiving a package shortly. Please do not open it, but carry it with you at all times.

You will be given instructions at the appropriate time and place.

said Tim on April 8, 2009 7:48 PM.

Hey, first time commenter long time reader here.

Have to admit you're bloody right on the motorised wheelchair menace.

In Melbourne Australia there was a big fight between skateboards & inline skates and the "Pedestrians" because of the ban on the wheeled transport in the city during daylight hours (Eg 7am - 7pm) Big uproar from the skating community, and actually had people who work in the inner city (Suits etc) complaining that it wasn't the skaters that were dangerous on the footpaths it was the motorised wheelchairs which heed for noone.

Get them off the footpath and onto the road, or just don't leave home on them.

said Ash on April 8, 2009 9:43 PM.

Forget the motorized wheelchairs, it's those damn scooters that are the problem, mainly because the people who use them aren't disabled, they're just too lazy to walk, and delight in beeping the horn. You know the type that scoot around the supermarket.

Last time we were in Vegas, we heard that there was a real problem there because so many people who were too lazy to walk from casino to casino were renting the damn things, that there were not enough left to rent to people who truly were disabled.

said Scaramouch on April 9, 2009 1:41 AM.

Outstanding! An overexlemplified example of oustanding investigative reporting in the YesBut universe.

said Jellio on April 9, 2009 5:57 AM.

Jellio, you sarcastic brute, you.

said Tim on April 9, 2009 6:12 AM.

Before you criticize, roll a mile in someone else's wheels. Go rent yourself a chair (power or manual), padlock yourself to the seat for the day, and try to carry on your normal activities. Then report back.

If your building or apartment's not accessible, we'll let you walk out - but realize your universe and choices just got that much smaller.

No cheating getting up to go to the lavatory - find an accessible restroom, then try to do lateral transfers.

Ditto, driving and mass transit. You'll be surprised how few subway stations are accessible.

You noted "With iPod in and pumping sweet tunes through my cerebellum...". Perhaps you did not hear someone say "Excuse me", and was fed up with the inconsiderate dummy with the earbuds in?

said Kevin L. on April 9, 2009 10:36 AM.

Screw you Jellio. I made up the word.
Al does it all the time.

said Dave on April 9, 2009 10:42 AM.

Echo, I second what you wrote in the whole.

Man, I hate being "tailgated" when I'm on a mall/supermarket and someone with a electric wheelchair or a scooter keeps forcing to take over, of course, especially when they don't really need.

I'm really, really glad when I let a person who really needs go first on the line, when I help them out on the escalators, but I hate with all my strenght when someone uses his/hers handicap condition to take advantage over us. Or when they are just plainly too lazy to walk.

Thanks to Jeebus, the streets where I walk when I'm going to work aren't scooter/elec.wheelchair friendly.

Once I argued with a fat-lazy-bastard who was strolling around in the mall's restaurant area looking for an empty table, on a segway, without paying attention to where he was going to. The bastard almost crushed my foot, hit my table and spilled my beer on my burger, went on ahead as if nothing had happened AND was hit by a flying vanilla ice-cream that left an ugly stain on his jacket. Ok, substitute "flying" with "thrown by me"...
He could have my face crushed if he wanted, by God, he could have eaten me with two bites for so fat he was, but he was so lazy he simply turned around and started a discussion from where he were.
"Talk to the hand" is all he got from me.


said Leonardo Carvalho on April 9, 2009 10:56 AM.

ok...Dave goes by Al Sharpton....good to know. Any other little jems I should know now that I'm back. Is there a YesBut for dummies?

said Jellio on April 9, 2009 11:04 AM.

Dave has a brother. Thomas.

You'll know when you meet him.

said Baierman on April 9, 2009 11:55 AM.

PS - Echo, far as I'm concerned, this lady did you a favor.

From now on turn down the Coldplay and pick up the pace.
Beaten by a wheelchair. Jez! Buck up man. Walk faster or pack a switchblade to pop those tires. Otherwise I'm afriad it's the suburbs for you slow poke.

said Baierman on April 9, 2009 12:03 PM.

Dave also has a son.

His name is Baierman.

said Dave on April 9, 2009 12:05 PM.

Interesting how the internet works.

Came back to check for additional comments, and your page has two links to wheelchair van vendors and a splash ad for the GM Mobility rebate program.

BTW: those "specially designed minivans with the huge side door and hydraulic lift" - except for one experiment with an hydraulically operated passenger seat by GM, there are no production model cars capable of properly accomodating a wheelchair. You have to take a van or minivan, rip out half or more of the interior, drop the floor, raise the roof, and modify the doors. Basically take list price and double it.

said Kevin L. on April 9, 2009 1:29 PM.
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