Friday, November 21, 2008

From Where He Sits

I'd like to take a moment to introduce you to a friend of mine. Elliot Stearns writes the blog From Where I Sit, and while I have only met him once (that I can remember...cause I drinks a bit), I can say he is a hell of a guy, and let me tell you why.

One Tuesday night, I ventured out to Milwaukee, a fifty minute drive for me, to meet with some fellow bloggers at a bar. Most of the night is still bleary, but I clearly remember getting up to leave. I shouldn't have been driving. Elliot came up to me like he was going to give me a big, friendly goodbye, but instead of shaking my hand, he rolled his wheel chair onto my foot. He gave me a choice: He could break my foot or I could give him my keys.

I, of course, gave him my keys. I was a little sloppy, but I wasn't stupid. I was in a fix, though, as I was the only person heading back to Jefferson County. Quick thinker that he is, Elliot told me he had just the solution. I followed him out to his oversized van and there in the back was an extra motorized wheelchair. He offered to let me take it home as long as he got to hold onto my keys. It was a deal I couldn't pass up.

So I got into the chair, we said out goodbyes, and I took off. The chair itself was nice, but the voice synthesizer and the mouth control were a little odd, especially considering Elliot can use his arms. Plus the mouthpiece tasted like stale Twinkies and Pall Mall's. But still, I was appreciative and the chair was pretty fun...until the battery died.

So here I am, about a block from Mayfair Mall, drunk with a dead motorized wheelchair and working legs. I figured my night was going to get very awkward. It was then I heard a honking horn. Who was coming to my rescue again that night but Elliot!

Sharp guy that he is, he figured out what was wrong at the sight of me. Generous soul that he is, he offered to give me a hitch and head to Jefferson County. I thanked him profusely, got back in the chair, and squealed with terrified joy as he pushed me with the van. The ride was a blast. Only twice did he lose me. I feel terrible to this day that I prolonged his evening by an hour the second time when I veered off the interstate and lost consciousness.

But that's the kind soul that Elliot is. He could have just left me there, but he waited. When we got back to my place, I loaded his chair back into the van, shook his hand, and off he went. I am eternally grateful that he was looking out for me that night, but I do have just one question. Elliot, when am I going to get my keys back?

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