So before we start this let me explain something, I have no issue with disabled people, I have no issue with people in wheelchairs but sometime life opens your eyes to something a bit different that able bodied person do all day every day and we take if for granted.
So the first event was earlier in the week, the wife and I have had a weeks holiday and we were at a local shopping centre, I was outside one of the shop while she was inside looking clothing etc. when I heard this voice, it was the voice you hear when somebody is slightly annoyed and on the phone, “no its not like that”, “that is not what happened” and is normally followed by somebody pacing up and down the pavement, or car park where ever you happen to be. Except this person was in an electric wheelchair and rather than pacing they were driving up and down the the walk way weaving in and out of the shoppers not at full speed but equally not slowly either, having a loud discussion with the person on the phone. It was quite funny watching the shoppers being approached by the weaving wheel chair as they tried to guess which way they should move, the wheelchair driver weaved between them with the look of somebody who did not see anybody around them but continue to loudly discuss some important issue with the person on the phone. The wheel chair was last seen diving into the shop as the wife came out still loudly discussing the on going issues. Never did get to see what happen in the shop as we walked off in the opposite direction from the shop, if the discussion was loud outside it was going to very loud in the shop.
The second incident took place the following day, had taken the wife son and daughter shopping in Southampton, we had finished shopping had the customary handfuls of bags heading back to the car, we waited at the pelican crossing for the little green man to make his appearance and then legged it across the road when he did. Half way across the road on my right I see this electric wheelchair travelling at a fair old rate on knots down the pavement heading for the crossing (no it is not the same person as yesterday). My family is on my left so I make sure I get away from the lights as the clattering of the wheel chair gets louder, I am about to turn to my left to make sure my family is clear of the impending carnage when there is a big bang, followed quickly by the sound of somebody falling heavily and a gasp from the other shoppers negotiating the crossing. I turned to my right to see the wheel chair stationary on top of a man whole cover, the occupant is trying to get up off the floor, I quickly check the surrounding area for fallen shopper and my family, thankfully no body was hit. It seems that the lid of the manhole cover (large cast iron type) was about an inch lower than the lip around it, the rattling sound the wheel chair was making was the sound of one of the footrest rattling on the floor, the wheelchair crossed the manhole cover, foot rest jams into side of manhole cover and stops suddenly and ejects wheel chair passenger from wheelchair. Thankfully he was unhurt (other than dignity) and we left the crowd that had gathered around him to sort things out (I have no medical skill that I could offer).
Now the first incident is just one of those things you see able bodied people do everyday of the week but its is not until you see it being done by a person in a wheelchair that a little light bulb goes on in your head, but it was so second nature to the person in the wheelchair just weaving in and out of other shoppers, the walkway where we were was wide and was in no way busy, there were quite a few shoppers around but not busy. The second incident just shows that sometime these wheelchairs can be quite dangerous not only to member of the public if they are hit by one but also to it passenger. I have to say I am surprised that nobody else was involved, there must have been around 20 shopper\members of the public around the pelican crossing when the incident happened fortunately all escaped injury. But like able-bodied people, disabled people have falls, we are not normally around when it happens.