National Federation of the Blind
Control and Other Olympic Sports
Reprinted from www.rknighton.blogspot.com
By Ryan Knighton
March 3, 2010
My pals and readers who live
beyond the 4 square blocks I tend to restrict myself to, they've been
asking how It all went, life in the Olympic city. To them I can only say
The Olympics were here?
Wouldn't have known it in my
neighborhood. For that I'm grateful. Last thing I wanted to suffer was
all the guidance. I can just see it. Crowds of red mittens grabbing at
my elbows, trying to exercise some patriotic do-gooderness on the local
One afternoon I took the Skytrain
to Granville Station. Wanted to pick up a fancy mixer at the Bay for Tracy
for Valentine's Day.
Before you scoff, before you
denounce my dippy choice of romantic gifts - yeah, yeah, nothing says
love like a muffin production gadget - let me say Tracy has had it on
her wish list for some time now. It ain't just a mixer. This thing is
a GPS, editing suite and a mobile surgical facility in a box.
And my plan was to get it for
my gal, all those winter sports hooligans be damned.
I was that last guy, the one
who the doors close on. Only the doors didn't close on me exactly, they
closed on my white cane. Think of two teeth biting down on a toothpick,
I wrenched and yanked, but
couldn't get my mobility aid out. The handle remained inside the car with
me, but about 3 feet stuck outside, pointing in the direction I'd meant
And then the train took off.
"Hey, that thing stuck?"
an Olympic enthusiast asked, tapping me on the shoulder with his red mitten.
I gave up yanking and instead
tried to lever the cane like an oar. No give.
"Do you think it'll clear
the wall?" I asked.
"Uh oh," said the
We both stepped back from the
cane's handle, and waited to see what would happen. It was sort of like
observing a feral animal that might be dead, or could be ready to pounce.
But the handle just hung there.
The outside half didn't seem to graze anything, or spark, or snap off.
"Think you're okay,"
the mittens finally said.
As we pulled into the next
station I imagined what it must have looked like to folks waiting on the
platform, this cane sticking out of the door, cutting along like a scythe.
Finally the car stopped, the
doors opened, the cane fell into my hand, and what had been a scythe now
returned to its gentler nature.
Now I could cheerfully be pissed off, about being lost at the wrong station and all that. Bloody crowds, bloody cane. Wait'll I'm carrying an industrial-grade food processor, I thought.
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