We had a strange sort of shopping trip yesterday, strange because my ex husband had arranged to collect us and take us in the car, and even stranger when we got there and bumped head on into the ‘locked wheelchair’ conundrum, or ‘Where is the key?’ Only thing that I bitterly regretted about the whole saga as it unfurled was that I had unfortunately forgotten to take my camera with me. If I had it on my possession, you would all have been treat to some very funny photos of my ex Mum in Law (although here I have to add I still call her Mum as does half the town) sitting looking very concerned in a disabled child’s trolley!
Concerned because she would not only be facing backwards but also have no way to see exactly where she was going and would have to gaze at her son’s ample stomach as she was wheeled around the supermarket! They picked us up in good time at 9.20am, and if all things had gone according to plan, we should have been first through the doors, followed by being first in the queue at the checkouts dead on ten o’clock. I assisted Mum L to get out of the car (her son having abandoned her in favour of toddling off for a wheelchair trolley) whilst K was despatched to collect the Tesco Wheelchair.
We both stood waiting by the car for about five minutes before I decided to go and see where K had disappeared to. She was stood by the shops wheelchair and informed me that they couldn’t find the key to unlock it. You see, it was padlocked to a steel post next to the flower and plants area. Why? You might well ask! After all, the store itself is locked, the wheelchair is kept inside the store, so quite why its felt necessary to padlock it to the nearest metal post defeats my logic but there you go. Members of staff were being despatched hither and thither to find the correct key with which to open said padlock. In the meantime, poor Mum had been left standing outside by the side of the car leaning patiently on her walking stick.
I sent K out to keep her company while I tried to make some sense of the situation. Different members of staff kept coming to the padlock with different sets of keys in their hands, trying them all out one by one, all to no avail. Ex hubby was, as usual, spending his time having a natter with every snooker playing buddy that happened to enter the store. Hmm. So much for arriving early! In the meantime, Mum must have decided she was fed up of waiting by the car and with the able assistance of my daughter, was slowly making her way hesitantly towards the supermarket doors.
As soon as I peeped out and saw them, I hastened across to help. I told her what the problem was. Nearby there was a disabled child’s trolley ( this one obviously not deemed to be in any danger of disappearing and therefore not shackled to anything) and despite the fact that it stated a weight limit of 35 Kgs all three of us set about, all hands to the deck, in hoisting Mum up onto the seat. She didn’t look too happy because the seat faces backwards, which meant that all she would be able to see would be the portly stomach of her son as he pushed her around, and there was nowhere for her feet to rest either so they were left dangling.
However, what else could we do? This turn of events called for drastic action! Somehow she had to be pushed around the supermarket! They vainly attempted to unlock the electric trike type chairs outside, but they had not charged up. What on earth was wrong with the staff this morning? Not only that, but by now, it was ten o’clock and our early shopping advantage had disappeared like a proverbial puff of smoke!
It was rapidly turning into some sort of ‘Carry On’ film. ‘Carry on Wheelchair’ or ‘Off your Trolley’! But just as ex hubby began marching down the first aisle with Mum perched up high in the disabled child’s trolley, lo and behold a different member of staff, who so far had not been involved in the ‘search for a key’ saga before appeared and stated that the keys were in the drawer and promptly found the right one!
At last! We could use the wheelchair and poor Mum was quickly hoisted down from her perch and placed into the now free wheelchair! Now we could all begin our shopping, okay not at the early time envisaged but in comfort and not having to face a rotund stomach as she shopped!