If the local trip to the grocery store was a frustrating success, then our next venture out, this time to Costco, an hour’s drive away, was a comical catastrophe in slow motion. Susanne dropped me off at the front door and I crutched in, showed my ID, and hopped onto the scooter. This one seemed a bit more worn out even at first glance, its grip bars rubbed thin of vinyl, the green-red light that indicates battery power totally absent–as if to suggest to patrons that AT ANY MINUTE you could be stranded at the back of the store, in the produce room, where you could quickly freeze to death as you weakly called out for help from the indifferent staff.
Judging this book by its cover, I was proved correct. The hum from the battery was low and strained, and I trudged off at about 1 mile an hour. I didn’t wait for Susanne, figuring that she would quickly catch up with me by the time we rounded the electronics and jewelry counter at the front of every Costco store. Sure enough, she looked at me, leaning forward and looking for a riding crop, and giggled. I needed the store to be downhill, somehow.
You know you look ridiculous when little old ladies see you and laugh, pointing in your direction. I attempted to look serious while perusing through the fiction titles, but I don’t think I pulled it off. Adding to the silliness of it all was a 2-foot long chain of lint and dust that trailed behind the scooter like a dirty “Just Married” string of cans. I had, I guess, my own rattail for the device.
We made our way through the store, the battery hum slowly decreasing in pitch, attempting to forewarn me since the battery light was no longer with us. Susanne would collect anything I had put in the crooked metal basket and put it in her shopping cart because she didn’t want me to be weighed down by anything else. I trudged oh so slowly to the front of the store after we’d made our purchases and plugged the yellow beast into the wall. Suck the life into yourself, I told the machine. Good breath in, bad breath out.
I stood there waiting for Susanne to pull the car up, then decided what the heck, I could crutch out there just fine. A little boy saw me and asked his dad if he could get some black sticks, too. Apparently they’re the new Razor, and WAY cooler than battery-powered scooters. But this kid probably never saw the scooters at the Oddfellows House in Walla Walla. Those people’s scooters are pimped out!