Excerpted from John Kawie's column "Life At The Curb" in the January/February 2006 issue of Stroke Connection Magazine.
When I was home, recovering from the stroke, and able to walk with a cane, the
Don’t get me wrong. I love mothers. I love babies. But there is something that happens when you combine the benign loving mother, innocent baby, cell phone, iPod, blackberry, a triple latte caramel macchiato with a double shot, and a stroller. Hey, this is the 21st century, and with all those stroller accessories we should call it the Modern Parent’s BMW, “Babies Migratory Wheels.”
I would try to be sympathetic, but mom’s in a hurry, she’s on her cell, sucking down her coffee, and the kid’s wailin’ up a storm. He doesn’t know what’s going on, and the more he cries, the faster she goes. Does she think the wind will make him feel better? Of course, the faster she goes, the more he cries, because from his point of view it’s like the Indy 500. He’s terrified, so naturally he starts to pee. Wanting to be changed, he cries louder, and the louder he cries, the faster she goes, like a circle of hell on wheels, and I’m in the line of fire!
That’s just the single stroller, or “roadster” experience. Then, there’s the double-barreled BMW, the SUV of strollers.
What is the deal when you have two kids? You gotta take them both out at the same time? You can’t just take one kid out and put the other one in storage? What about your underwear drawer? You stash your money and jewelry in there, so the kid should be safe, too.
Let’s not forget the guys in electric wheelchairs. I know they have an edge. I was in a wheelchair once, too. But as soon as I hit the street, do I have to play chicken with Ironside? It’s like that scene in “Rebel Without a Cause” where James Dean plays chicken with another guy. Dean rolls to safety, and the other guy rolls off the cliff. Well, I’m the other guy.
Now, I’ve got a problem with stationary objects – cracks in the sidewalk, mailboxes, and parked cars. I’m not afraid of going off a cliff. I’m afraid of getting impaled on a parking meter.
One day, most people will have a gravestone that reads, “Bob, a Good Man, may he Rest in Peace.” I’ll have a parking meter that says, “Time expired, here lies John.”
Editor's Note: For information on booking John Kawie's one-man show about stroke recovery "Life At The Curb," contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org