Author: Kara Mae Adamo.
At some point during the summer, I am going to run over a handicapped person.
It won’t be on purpose, but it is an inevitability. I am trying to accept this now so that, when it does finally happen, none of us will be in shock.
My reasoning for this stems from my initial waitressing paranoia: that, whilst carrying a larger-than-I-am tray, I will trample a small child.
I have been gearing myself up for this for years now. Parents allow their little hellions to run amuck and, though I try my damnedest to avoid them at all costs, some day they will trip me.
I will fall. Hot soup will burn them. And it will be my fault. I will be left defenseless as the wee thing cries…and some crazy toothless housewife will smack me with her slipper.
As it happens, I am currently living in Alaska. I have a better chance of tripping a bear than a small child: they are a rarity here.
But physically handicapped people—particularly old handicapped people—are everywhere. They have replaced children in my nightmarish prediction…and, again, it will be my fault. The only problem here is that I’ll legitimately feel bad. If it is a child running around, at least I can kind of share the blame in my own head…but a crippled person? No way around that one.
So I have gotten to the point where, out of blatant fear, I avoid these cane-bearing individuals and their handi-paraphernalia. It’s tougher than you’d think. Wheelchairs are like landmines around here; everywhere you look, they’re propped up against walls and wedged in between tables.
Like I need more inanimate objects to harm myself on.
Yesterday, whipped butter kicked my ass. It wasn’t on the floor, either. I was cleaning the dairy fridge towards the end of the night and reached up to grab the tub that houses said spread. My coworker Molly saw it and said “Don’t do it.”
I looked at her with a little smirk (usually the first sign I’m about to screw up) and said “I’ve got this.”
I lifted the tub, knocked myself off balance, and fell back right on my ass. The tub of butter remained upright.
Cholesterol Bin: 1; Kara: 0.
It is a losing battle. That butter didn’t even have limbs. It was stationary. Someone on crutches is armed and dangerous compared to that.
Then today I was carrying a coffee pot over to a table, looked the other way, and nearly ran head-first into a dude with a semi-permanent back brace looking thing…and that’s when I knew it: crippled people are next.
I’m not even entirely sure that the handicapped person will be the one getting hurt in this situation. Sometimes, in my little day-mare, the handicapped person wins. I weigh a buck-nothing. Given enough velocity, a grandmother with a walker could take me out.
She’ll just stare at me with her worried grandmotherly eyes, help me up with her free hand, and fish a peppermint and a tissue out of her purse to make me feel better.
That is a level of humiliation I am not yet ready to face.
What’s worse is that, given my personality, everyone who knows me is going to think I did it on purpose. I’m trying to avoid it, but as those of you who have met me in person (or have ever read my blogs) all know, I can scarcely walk in a straight line. When in crowds, I’m like a bull in a china closet.
So this installment is my official, publicized disclaimer: I am not aiming for children or handicapped people. Any harm done to members of one or both of these categories is purely the result of my inability to maneuver like a coordinated adult.
And possibly karma. I’m sure it’ll have its hand in this somehow.
But, then again, who knows? Maybe another inanimate object will jump out in front of me just in time. It’s all just a waiting game at this point. For now, I shall toe the ever-present line and continue to walk amongst the general public. I’ll say a prayer to the cosmic universe and keep my fingers crossed.
And I’ll stay as far away from wheelchairs and canes as I possibly can.