Friday, December 09, 2005

Excuse me while I rant a moment (OT)

I'm off today. In fact, I have every Friday off this month and I'm off Christmas week too. That's one benefit of bing an old fart at work (where seniority counts for nearly everything) and having a lot of vacation time to use up before January. So, being a guy and all, I went to do some scouting for Christmas presents. I'm terrible about hiding things away. If I bought gifts now, I'd give them to Mary and the kids long before Christmas arrived. So I wait until the last minute to buy stuff, but I've scouted it out weeks or even months beforehand.

But there's something that really annoys me. I'm not exactly petite. I'm about 6 feet tall with a 36 inch waistline and 210 pounds to throw around. Why is it necessary to put clothing racks in department stores so close together that I have to turn sideways to get between them! I'm not kidding. This is a real source of anger.

There was a time we were researching wheelchairs for Mary. It looked as if she'd need one since she has an adult form of muscular dystrophy. And it really opened my eyes to the difficulties the disabled face. Shopping is a real pain-in-the-ass when you have to do it from a chair. The grocery stores put stuff up out of reach. If you think motorists are rude to cyclists, try getting across a busy street or parking lot in a wheelchair.

But clothing stores are the worst. The racks are so close together that it's impossible to get a chair between them. This effectively shuts off that section of the store from a wheelchair user. Even the main aisles are cluttered with displays, making passage difficult. If someone abandons a cart, a wheelchair simply cannot get through. This is annoying in normal circumstances. In an emergency, it's life-threatening. I was inside our local XXX-Mart when it caught fire. People simply left their carts and ran.

So, in a just world, the executives and managers of these big clothing stores would be strapped into an Everest-Jennings wheelchair and forced to work that way for a week. It would change their perspective a lot!

(Rant mode to OFF. We return you to the usual, slightly surreal CycleDog!)


Blogger George said...

Good post. My mom spends some time in a chair and she hates it for the same reasons you have brought up.

She knows she needs to use one from time to time and she's totally okay with that fact, it's just that handicapped people are treated like shit most of the time.

5:10 AM  

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