WIDE LOAD

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Last night, I had the best laugh in ages. It wasn’t a night out, a comedy show, or even a funny flick – the laughs came courtesy of The Best Woman in the World.

I took Mum to Asda – this is the lass with diabetes, arthritis, heart problems, three hip replacements (all on the same hip), a lung missin’, and who is about to have a toe amputated, by the way. I MAKE her use her wheelchair sometimes because she refuses to let pain stop her walking, because, y’know – “I’ll never get better if I don’t exercise.”
Anywho, walking into the store, her foot was so sore she actually allowed the pain to show for once. So I spoke to customer services about using one of their disability chariots – you know the type, scootery thingie with a basket at the front. We were shown how to operate the vehicle, and my Mum hobbled in.
Oh dear.
First, she attacked the fruit. Bruising some apples, no doubt, she suddenly reversed – a manoeuvre which was telegraphed by the INSANELY PIERCING BEEEEEPING; a good thing, actually, as it warned people to “RUN! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!”
I don’t know how we (or the bananas) survived that aisle without further incident, but…suddenly, there came a left turn, as Mum wanted to look at the tinned goods. All was okay…until she saw a BOGOF offer at the end of an aisle and took a sudden right. She turned towards said shelf – and so did a whole display of biscuits which had snagged themselves onto the base of the vehicle. I managed to stop the thing from toppling over and wiggled it free. But this did result in muggins ‘ere yelling “TAKE IT WIDE” like a loon for the rest of the shopping trip…a trip that included an eighteen-point turn in the ice-cream aisle, complete with a guy in pleats, desperate to get it on film, and me going “where’s yer camera? Get this recorded!” and his replying, “I’m trying, I’m trying!”
On the way to the tills, she nearly ran over a small child, whose parenting skills were rendered useless due to their being in utter bulk at the mad old woman who had clearly never taken a driving lesson in her life. I then had to guide her through the narrow till area, with the help from some woman on the other end who looked like she was directing air traffic.
Paying for the stuff went hitchless, and as we left the till area, she received a massive round of applause from the happiest bunch of shoppers I’ve ever seen – she’d brightened up the entire place with her insane “skills”. I’m pretty sure the staff’ll be acquiring the CCTV footage and sticking it on YouTube – if they don’t, I’ll be taking her back for a repeat performance, camera at the ready.
Getting into the car, this old geezer came over: “you’re not letting HER drive home, are ya?” – and told us he’d had the best laugh in ages. His wife had died a few weeks back, and this had been his first time out without her.
Once we were in the car, she remarked on how she admired people who used disability scooters all the time, because “it must be awful to be disabled”. She’ll be in denial until the very end, that woman. And I’ll be right at her side, because it’s a right privilege that she lets me tag along for the ride.

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