Sunday, October 07, 2007


Most days it seems like I get home around 7. But Wednesday it was 5. Coming up the sidewalk, maybe a block from my apartment, I felt or sensed a little flutter, a hiccup, in my chair's drive. I slowed down, sped up. It seemed ok. I crossed the street.

In front of my apartment door, I stopped to push the garage door opener-style button velcroed to my left armrest. The door opened but my chair would only limp in a labored ellipse. The right motor had gone out. I could smell a faint burned-up electronics smell.

You can imagine how long it took to hit just the right angle into the apartment. If you are imagining a very short time, that is not what I mean.

So I half-assed inside, made some calls. I was going nowhere so I graded a few late papers, full in the knowledge that, lo, Thursday would bite. And it did.

I sat around all day waiting for an Atlanta company to deliver me a rental. Cost? 330-odd bucks for the month. Yay being disabled.

At 7 LaShawnda ambled up with the chair. The Gramps Chair. The Paul Particle Deccelerator.

The Jazzy. The Jazzy Jet, in fact.

Top speed: 3 mph.

Which seems slow in the abstract. The abstract, where you think, yeah, having your penis torn off by a chimpanzee named Moe is a bummer. Bad but you've never met Moe and everything is intact.

The abstract, where I scoffed for years at The Jazzy dribbling past, only to be saved by its slo-mo isn't-Grandpa-cute-barely-passing-through-space-sporty-contours.

But then you run smack up the side of Reality.

And in Reality 3 mph is extremely slow.

Especially when you have to walk to work every day.

Damn you, The Abstract. Damn you, The Jazzy.


So I'm going to New York in a couple of weeks. In my rented cherry red Jazzy Jet.

9 comments: said...

Bleh. How irritating to say the least. I'm sorry that happened.

Dr. S said...

Oh, man! How long until your chair is fixed? No chance it will be ready for New York?

Paul said...

Well, my chair is 11 years old and has lasted me through grad school, two previous jobs, and a daily trek to campus, which suddenly revealed its age and mileage. So I think it's a junker now. I'm hoping my insurance with the university will cover a new one.

Anonymous said...

what a terrible comparisonl! Paul, that was traumatic reading!

Sorry about your image...however, most people don't have the same feelings about that chair that you have...i, for on, have always thought they looked pretty cool for a chair...


Paul said...

Haha, I agree with you, ra; I just wanted to see if anybody would call me on it.

The slooooooow is annoying, though.

Taylor said...

Upgrade time!

11 years old!? Did it run on coal?

Listen Paul, we've got robots rolling around on Mars. Our computers are becoming big ass tables:

Our cars look like elongated bubble-planes with three wheels:

Your next chair will be powered by a pack of Betavoltaic batteries that will last for 30 years:

I wouldn't be surprised if you could control it with your mind! (citation needed)

Seriously Paul, a new age has dawned. The double-J is but a temporary setback (or slowdown), the calm before a veritable typhoon of technology will carry you from place to place, from this world to the next.

Mark said...

Since it appears you're gonna go for the whole old coot vibe maybe you should consider this:


bp said...

That sucks, man. What's a new chair cost? I mean, what's the range?

BTW, I'm sure you just received a most sad e-mail.

Paul said...

I'm gonna guess 6-10 thousand dollars.

And, yes, the sad email is beyond sad. Hard to take.