The Red Menace – The Sequel

I’ve written occasionally about Mom’s electric wheelchair, The Red Menace.  For those who are unaware of the origin of this nickname, it’s because when she first got her candy apple red electric wheelchair, she managed to hit every piece of furniture, every doorframe and every wall along her route.  It seemed a more fitting label than ‘the wheelchair.’

During the first month or so, if she was going to her bedroom, the hall way was a bumper car tunnel of bounces and scrapes.  Her doorway seemed to shrink inward each time she tried to maneuver through.  Her bathroom door accommodated entry into the room but wouldn’t allow her to back out.  It was a struggle and the learning curve was very high and very twisty.

But now she’s had almost nine months to practice –the same amount of time it takes to gestate a baby.  Which is why Bill and I are hoping that soon she’ll be reborn into a better, safer, more responsible driver.  But we aren’t holding our respective breath.

Over the last several months the scratches in the doorframes and floor moldings have only increased both in number and depth; the gouges on the doors have only gotten deeper; the chips up and down the corners have only multiplied; the dents in the large appliances have only compounded.  And then there was this morning’s discovery.

As I plodded down the hall toward my first cup of coffee I noticed a shadow on the wall.  It was a foot or so from the foyer, an inch above the molding and about the size and shape of a quarter.  I leaned down for a closer look and discovered a hole that was punched all the way through the wallboard.  I shook my head in resignation, poured my coffee and joined Bill in the Arizona Room.

“Did you see the hole?” he asked, taking a sip of Breakfast Blend.

“Yup,” I replied.  “I’m guessing it isn’t mice.”

A half an hour later, Mom woke up and wheeled into the living room.

“Did you crash into the wall yesterday?” I asked, coming into the living room with her breakfast.

“I guess so,” she replied.  “I know I bumped into the wall after my shower last night.”

“Well there’s a hole in the wall now,” I said, handing over her banana and breakfast bar.

“Oh?” she responded nonchalantly, turning on the TV and punching in a local channel.

As the news began to blare, I stared at her somewhat incredulously before asking, “Is that all you have to say?”

“Well what do you want me to say?  I’m not a carpenter,” she said, then pause for a moment before continuing.  “At least not anymore,” she finish with a chuckle.

“And this is funny because…” I said.

“Because, I’m not a ‘carpenter.’  Get it?  That was my maiden name.”

“Hysterical, Mom.  I’ll send you the repair bill.”

Hole in the wall

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