Saturday, April 4, 2009

Rebel With a Cause

A small nearby town was once listed on the top 10 speed traps in the U.S. That's quite an accomplishment for a very small rural town with only 2 or 3 miles of busy roadway. I always felt that as new development began to impress itself in the area, the police would be busy with real crime.

It seems that's the case. I haven't seen the police making as many traffic stops. They have however, allowed some behavior that if not illegal, is certainly very dangerous.

Yesterday, on my way to the carwash I spotted this elderly woman.

She's on one of those Houveround chairs.......on her way to Papa G's restaurant for breakfast!!!! I'm pretty sure that the chair came with some instructions, including warnings about driving the chair as if it was a car. She had just come whipping down a side street and crossed a very busy state road!

Sorry for the pole that's in the picture but I had to pull over to snap the shot and she was moving fast. Guess what? This is not the first time I've seen her doing this, and..... when I looked over at the restaurant parking lot there was another chair near the front door. There's more than one elderly person driving around town on a chair.

Her rig is outfitted with orange signage (similar to the slow moving farm equipment) and an orange flag.

She's a rebel with a cause - to go out for breakfast. I'm just wondering if her family knows she's driving on the roadways.

The Other Mother had someone out here one day demonstrating one of these contraptions and sure enough she whipped up to the end of the street on it. I told here that they were designed for mobility around the house but somehow a rebel gene kicks in when they sit in that chair.

This reminds me of the story about the elderly Iowa man who set out on a trip to see his ailing brother in Wisconsin. What was he riding? His lawn tractor!

NOTE: After searching the web I found several stories of people traveling cross country on lawn tractors.

A guy from Alaska heading to Connecticut.

The Iowa man traveling 5 mph to see his brother.


Mary said...

The other chair is owned by her husband. And you are right about them being a terror. Yesterday she had a problem and got stuck on the railroad tracks for a bit. Rumor has it that she and her husband will be moving but I don't know for sure.

Suzanne said...

Mary - I knew you would have the scoop! It just blows my mind that the local police allow this as they're such sticklers about everything else.

Vee said...

You mean that's illegal? I had no idea. We've got a whole bunch of these types in my corner. It certainly isn't the brightest thing to do. One in particular has an orange triangle flag on a long antennae attached to his, which can be pretty frightening to watch as he manuevers in traffic and I mean traffic...the big city, which is roughly nine miles from here.

LDF said...

There are several of those little "vehicles" in my community ... and most of the drivers are terrors! They "own" both sidewalks and streets, get very irate when you won't get out of their way, and one feisty fella even laughs aloud when he sneaks up behind you on the sidewalk and makes you jump! One elderly couple here rides twin scooters like this together ... as in SIDE BY SIDE ... and super terrorizes traffic. (Although they are cute, all decked out with matching zebra-striped cushions and fancy paint jobs.) A few people ride them right INSIDE our office, and believe me, there is NO extra room for that kind of thing!

Susan said...

Suzanne, thanks for stopping by my blog. You are invited to dinner whenever you can get here. By the way, I had strong thoughts of you just a while ago. I was making meatballs and baked them in the oven. How simple and I learned from you.

Mom Taxi Julie said...

We have a lot of people that drive those around our town. They even helped get more side walks handicapped excessable. They go ALL over town, usually in groups of 2 or 3.

PatQ said...

That's too funny. I love it. My mother is a terror in her wheelchair, she's always running things over, like dog paws. I think they should have to have driver's licenses to drive one in public.

Paula B. - GemStateMom said...

Is the movie you are referring to The Straight Story ?

If so, I found it very endearing...not a high-paced action film by any stretch, but very heart-warming with a positive message about reconnecting with family. I was particularly struck by the kindness of people Alvin Straight met along his journey. Very inspirational.

These Jazzy carts are becoming so popular...can't decide if it is an improvement over the golf cart many seniors used to use for town travel. Do you have your share of those also?

dara Ickes said...

You have to take a look at this article. It is about a man on a homemade motorized bar stool.

this happened in a town near where I grew up. It is about 30 miles east of Columbus Ohio.

dara said...

it didn't look as if the whole link copied. here it is again.

Louise said...

When I was a kid, I used to mow a couple of lawns for money. We lived sort of in the country--people had 2-acre plots of land, so I mowed on a tractor. When I wanted to visit my cousins, 2 miles away, I just hopped on the tractor and drove down the road to their house. Didn't even think of the slow-moving sign. But probably a bit on the unsafe side,no?

Anonymous said...

I saw a lady on one of these on a narrow, busy Roanoke street last week. I'm surprised she didn't get side swiped by a big truck. Really dangerous for people to be using these on the roadways.....

In Arizona you had to watch out for golf carts on the street... what are these people thinking and why do their children not know they are doing this and stop them... it's beyond me.

The Blue Ridge Gal

Suzanne said...

Vee - You've got a bunch of these in your neck of the woods? Sheesh, I must be living under a rock. I never thought that someone would even attempt to drive them on the streets.

LDF - The way you describe them taking over the sidewalks and streets reminds me of a saying I heard about senior citizens - "Shut up and give me my damn discount!" I gotta be careful what I say though, because I am one of those senior citizens.

Susan - I stop by your blog often, especially when I'm feeling really hungry. Everybody - go over to Schnitzel and the Trout where Susan cooks the most fantastic food. I'm thinking of going back up to Wisconsin in July when you'll be visiting Heidi (Milk Man's Wife).

Julie - OH NO!!! They're politically active too???

Pat - I can sympathize with your poor doggies. The Other Mother was in a wheelchair after she broke her leg. All my doorways were destroyed as she attempted to power her way through narrow spaces!

Paula - YES, the Straight Story was based on the true event. I'm going to search it out on Netflix and watch. Thanks for the review. Golf carts are as rare as hen's teeth around here. The reason? Well, you know the area - wide open spaces with LONG stretches between farms. I can't imagine someone attempting to take a golf cart on the country roads where idiots drive 90 mph.

Dara - OK, that amazing.....crazy!! I'm always amazed at what people come up with. Drunk driving on a motorized bar stool. You couldn't make this stuff up if you tried.

Louise - Yes, I've seen kids around here riding a lawn tractor either on the shoulder of the road or across an open field.

Di - My concern was for their safety. This woman crossed a very busy road.

Jenni said...

I've seen several people riding those things around town in Wichita. One woman in our old neighborhood goes everywhere on hers. She uses sidewalks when she can, but there are many places that isn't available. There was also a mildly retarded man who lived with his parents in our old neighborhood and drove an old farm tractor around to the store and other places close by. His parents, who may also have been mildly retarded or just a little slow, used a golf cart to get around. I'd see them drive away and hours later come back with Walmart bags.

Merisi said...

I guess these old folks are just happy not being confined to their four walls. They probably have a driver's license from the good old days when they still were driving cars.

I haven't encountered any here, but bicycle riders or kids on their skateboards, *kaboosh*.

Anonymous said...

We have a man who does this in our town. He's been pulled over by the police on a four lane that goes through town! They told him to stay on the sidewalks & off the main roads. I really don't think they care sometimes.

My mom got a speeding ticket once driving 50 in a 30mph zone when she was in her late 70's(not that old to me). When I asked her why she said the only time she could move fast was in the car. LOL She used to make people mad in Walmart because she wouldn't stop for anyone or anything. She just wanted to get where she was going.