Sunday, August 19, 2012

Elephants and industrial design

When my daughters were small, maybe before first grade, we often read a little book called Brave Baby Elephant.  The kids may still remember it, because the title became a sort of secret byword for brave adventures.

The plot was that a pre-first-grade elephant decides that he will go "by himself, alone" up the stairs into the possibly dark second floor and brush his teeth without adult assistance.  Of course, he succeeds.  There were probably congratulations.  So for a long time, we would describe some new plan to do almost anything "by myself, alone."

Why am I telling you this?  I looked at the calendar and realized it's been a month since my first ever ambulance ride, and my walker and I have never gone  past the front walk by ourselves.  Muscles are disappearing, as they will when we are over 29 and under-exercised.

So today, I set out for Gelson's.  By the time one risks the parking lot and gets into the store, it's easily two blocks from here.  In said parking lot, an SUV and a kid on a skateboard each missed me by inches.  Not many inches.  Previously, I had hoped to be inconspicuous and non-invalidish.  Bad idea.  If I had been wearing Jimmy Chous, at least the woman in the SUV would have noticed me.

So my new walker design will include, of course, a London taxi horn, maybe a flashing red light as well.  There probably is no law against having these on a walker.

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