Drunk Driving in a Wheelchair

Welcome to the site everyone. If your reading this, I can only assume that you either know me personally or were unfortunate enough to click a series of links and ended up in the inescapable abyss that is my blog. Sorry to those in the latter group.

I hate the introductory posts that are typical for most new blogs. No matter your intention, these posts either end up being self-aggrandizing or overly self-deprecating and are of no use to anyone.

So go to the ‘About’ page for all that shit.

What I decided to do to introduce myself is to tell a story from my near recent past that will hopefully illuminate where I’m coming from and the kind of person that I am now. So, for your enjoyment, I present the cautionary tale of the time I got so drunk that I flipped my wheelchair off a curb.

My little brother was in college, to begin with. He, my dad, and I have always been really close. So after he went away to school, Dad and I had made it a habit to visit him a couple of times each semester. These visits usually entailed  a meal at one of the local restaurants my brother frequented and then some drinks in whatever hotel my dad and I booked a room while watching movies on cable.

On this particular visit, we went to a sports bar that had drink specials that are only available in towns where the majority of the population are college kids. The special of the day happened to be Long Island Iced Teas (LIIT). Now, I’m a sucker for liquor deals as I’m not a beer guy and I don’t like to order wine at a sports bar. So I partook in this fantastic deal and ordered a LIIT.

As most experienced drinkers know, LIITs have the ability to put anyone on their ass. They are delicious and loaded with alcohol. Bad combination for a novice drinker. Which I was.

The three of us had a couple of drinks at the bar and then retired to the hotel room for an evening of bad movies . Luckily for us, my brother had half a handle of vodka so we were set. Unlucklily for us, two adult males with a high tolerance for alcohol and one who thinks he can keep up makes half a handle disappear quickly.

We’ll fast forward a bit for the sake of story telling. A few hours later, we were out of liquor. Some people see this as a sign to stop drinking. Everyone else knows it’s time for a beer run. Fortunately, the hotel my dad chose was across the street from a beer emporium. My brother volunteered to run over and I volunteered to go with him because I didn’t know how drunk I was. He did know how drunk I was, so he declined my offer. My dad convinced my brother to take me with him because…brothers!

After a harrowing trip to the beer shop that I remember almost nothing about and in which I, allegedly, almost destroyed a display of beer, my brother and I returned to the hotel.

As in most hotels, there were a series of columns at the entrance. These columns were situated so that there was about a foot of concrete in front of them and the walking space was behind them. Most everyone knows that drinking kills both depth perception and the ability to listen to reason. When my brother and I returned to the hotel, we were walking/rolling side by side. Being very intoxicated (i.e. drunk), I decided it was a good idea for us to go on opposite sides of the column. My brother, being not drunk, suggested this was a bad idea. Me, being drunk and thinking I knew everything, ignored him. I chose to drive my three foot wide chair to the street side of the column where there was a half a foot of concrete.

We all know what happened next and I’m going to get to it, but before I do I want to say something in my defense.

I made it past that column.

Have you ever seen a disaster movie where something horrific happens and you hear the disembodied voice of a woman screaming in the background? This is almost exactly what happened when I went off the curb.

As I was drunk, the sequence of flipping is kind of disjointed, but I remember everything afterward very clearly. Here it is, in script form (Bold = actions/character descriptionsItalics = characters) :

ME (V.O.)

Holy shit! I just flipped my chair.

A woman in the background lets a a shrill scream.

MY BROTHER

(Ashen faced, panicked)

Oh my god. Are you hurt? What do I do?

I take brief inventory of my body. Flex my neck and arms. Nothing is hurt.

WOMAN

Are you okay?!

ME (To MY BROTHER)

Go to the room; get Dad.

ME (CONT’D)

(To WOMAN)

I’m fine. Thanks.

This was not the first time my brother had seen me helpless on the ground (but that’s another story), so he ran and to get my dad. Due to my state, I can’t say for sure how long it was, but they seemed to arrive very quickly, got my chair upright, and we headed back to our room leaving a very confused woman standing in the hotel driveway.

I know that this story will not be applicable to everyone, but I hope that any wheelchair bound reader will take it to heart. I won’t say don’t drink and drive, because my wheeled peers always will be, but make sure you at least stay on the inside of the columns.

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One Response to Drunk Driving in a Wheelchair

  1. Awesome… and cherish those of us who stumbled in here by accident… drunk… because sometimes, we are all you have to work with.

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