22 August 2004

Do they not have wheelchairs in Edinburgh?

I have abrasions on my right breast.

I bet you're wondering how those sentences are connected, aren't you?

I've been subjected to all manner of stares etc, over the last week. One guy was so desperate to not have to walk along the street anywhere near me that he took an almighty jump to the left (or maybe it was nothing to do with me and he was just warming up to go and see The Rocky Horror Picture Show later on). Irony upon irony of course he suddenly found himself face-to-face with a woman on an electric scooter. Cripples on all sides, the bloke looked like he was having a panic attack.

I have of course seen plenty of wheelchair users about over the last week. But given that all of them have been gravitating around fringe venues, I can only assume that they are all tourists like me, or performers.

Especially given the novelty alue I seem to hold. I've seen countless people fail to cross the road this week because they've been so busy watching how it is that I do it, that they've forgotten that the green man means that they can go.

Of course, some people will walk out into the street despite being so distracted by the lady in the wheelchair. This brings me onto Accident I Nearly Caused Number 1. Quite simply, a couple were so busy staring at me whilst they crossed the road, that they failed to noticed the two cyclists coming at them until they were only centimetres apart.

Accident I Nearly Caused Number Two: I was pushing up The Pleasance. As anyone familiar with Edinburgh will know, it's a pretty steep hill. A child of about 2 and a half, possibly three at a strech was walking up the road in front of me, his gandparents dragging him along, one by each wrist. He apparently had the neck of an owl, and had rotated to watch me pushing up the hill. He was literally staring like he'd *never* seen a wheelchair before. How does a child get to that old and have never met someone disabled? Oh, that's right, I forgot about all the segregation and discrimination that goes on. All the "special" children from his area are probably forced into their own special playgroup, and not allowed to play with the normal kids. Eventually of course, he came to a kerb. He wasn't watching where he was going, I was far more of a novelty. He didn't land flat on his face (or on the back of his head in his case, the owl-child) as his grandparents were still clutching him by both wrists. In my "I've been awake for three days" state I found myself slightly evilly thinking that it was a shame he was being propped up - he could've learned so many valuable lessons.

But, of course, the accident finally did occur this evening. A local woman was so busy staring at me that she failed to notice the step she was about to trip over. She landed on me, fingernails out. Hence the abrasions on my right breast.

It's OK. I can live without my right breast. That's the less important one. I'm "Lisa 'Left Boob'". Though, I do have that plaster of paris model of my left boob somewhere which I could use for extra support until the injuries heal, had it been the left she'd gotten of course.

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