Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Scooter Girl goes global

Where to begin...

Belated Happy Halloween, Happy Thanksgiving, Merrry Christmas and Happy New Year! I missed a lot of holidays, folks. I didn't miss out on much of anything else, though. Life is and has been frenetic and wonderful. My new, "handicap" accessible home is almost finished (details, it's always the details), visited the Philippines and Singapore (more on that later)...ack, I'll just talk about it as the memory strikes me.

First off, let me tell you about international travelling. I thought I had it all knocked out flying domestic. Uh uh. International means just that - people from another country. I was flying on the airline of my people. I'm going to skip to check in at LAX. I purchased upgraded tickets because I mistakenly thought customer service was better. Nope. They had "thoughtfully" separated my parents and I on the plane. In fact, they put my mother on the upper deck and my dad two rows ahead of me. I explained that I needed both my parents nearby so that if I had to use the restroom (a no brainer given that it was a frickin' 15 hour flight), someone was going to have to help me and I didn't think the flight attendant's credo included wiping my ass...okay, I didn't say it quite so graphically but yeah, that was the point I made. My mother, in a bid to help, said, "Would it make a difference if she showed you her leg?" What? Like the ticket agent was going to turn that freak show down? Okay, picture this...LAX International. 6pm. 250+ people waiting impatiently to check in...and there I am, pulling up my pant leg for all to see. I have to say, without any exaggeration, you could hear several people gasp or inhale, a few, "oh my god" and the agent, with his close-up, saying, "WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR LEG?!" I let mom and dad explain while I pulled down my pant leg and silently rolled away, very conscious of the eyes upon me. Sigh. We were assigned seats together, though. Payment for the show.

So, time to board the plane. We're giving our tickets to the agent and he says, "You can't take your walker on board the plane" I shot out of my mouth, "Um, excuse me sir, I can't walk without it and how am I suppose to get to the bathroom?" His reply? "It's against airline policy" Oh, I see. I'm gonna have to pee and take a dump in my pants. How lovely for everyone around me. Or better yet, I'll call the attendant and ask for a really large bowl to do my business in. I can already see it. My dad starts spewing, "I want to talk to the supervisor! You guys are a bunch of idiots!! Who's running this goddamn airline?" I'm so frustrated I tell my folks to let it go till we get to the plane. We get down there and poof! I have no way to board because they wouldn't let me take my walker! And then I get this airline idiot tell me I "should have made arrangements for an aisle (Barbie) chair" because now I have to sit and wait until they get one. Oh my. I thought my dad's head was going to spin around and pop off!! I just sat there and closed my eyes until Mike and Ike, as I calls 'em, rolled up with the Barbie chair. You know, I'm no lightweight but I certainly didn't need a pair of weightlifters to get me on board. What I got, however, was Mike - older than my father and maybe 105 pounds - wet. Then there was Ike, a younger version in his 50's weighing in at about 140. These two clowns strapped me in and when they tilted my chair backwards, I almost hit the ground. I could see their arms shaking and hear my Dad yelling, "Don't drop her! Be careful!" I needed at least one strong person on my team and I had been assigned two members of the "Under 70 and 150 pounds" club. These two bozos could barely get me over the step and down the aisle. All the way to my seat I heard my father muttering about the "lousy, stinkin' airline" and all its faults. I saw the people staring. It was all I could do not to cry. Nice way to start my trip, huh? But give me a glass of wine and a hot, steamy towel before takeoff and I'm fine. My adventure had begun in true Scooter Girl style.


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