Archive for March 19, 2015




19 March 2015

“Hi Chuck, I haven’t seen you in months. How are you?”

“I’ve been down here on the few odd days when It’s been warm enough. I just about didn’t come today. With wind chill it’s -20 (-4 F). This has been the coldest winter since 1993-94. I saw that on the Weather Network.”

“Do you have your new scooter yet?”

“Yes, I got it, but I can’t use it in this cold weather. I can get downtown alright, but unless I find a place to plug it in, I don’t have enough power to get back home. For a while, I was plugging in at the department store near where I meet my friends for coffee, but one day this guy came along yelling and screaming that I wasn’t allowed to use their electricity. I went upstairs to talk to the Manager. She said that she was only the Weekend Manager, but that I was allowed to use their power anytime on the weekend. Then she gave me the phone number of the Weekday Manager. I phoned her on Monday. She said that she didn’t have any problem with me being there, or of using their power.

The next time I plugged in, the same guy came yelling and screaming at me. I explained that I had permission and gave him the names of the two women I spoke to. He said, “We’ll see about that. In the meantime, get out of here, now!”

I said, “I just have to fold up my walker, first.”

He said, “No, I want you out of here immediately.”

I slowly folded my walker, attached it to the back of my scooter and drove off. I guess he’d talked to someone higher up, because the next time I tried to plug in, there was no power. So, nobody can use it. I could go to the underground parking garage, but they want to charge me 8 bucks, same as they charge for motorcycles. I can’t afford that.

“Talking about no power reminds me of something funny that happened last weekend. My daughter borrowed my electric wheelchair. I asked her beforehand if she knew how to charge it. “Yeah, no problem, Dad”. She used it to drive to the supermarket, when she came back out the battery was dead. She had to push the chair all the way home. I asked her to show me how she connected the chair to the electrical socket.  l had to laugh. She had the cord plugged into the outlet, but didn’t have the other end connected to the chair. I said, “You’d have been better off shoving the other end up your ass. At least that way you would have gotten a bit of a jolt.” We laughed over that for a long time.

“Another problem I’ve been having is with a guy in my building. He has a scooter similar to mine.  He parks in my spot and plugs into my outlet. I pay $40 a month for that parking spot. He doesn’t even have his vehicle registered. There are no plates on it at all. I talked to the landlord. He agreed with me, but said there was nothing he could do to have the vehicle removed. I phoned the cops. They came, but said that because there’s no registration, they can’t issue him a ticket. Lately, the guy has been parking further down and has an orange extension cord hanging from his second-storey window. I don’t think that’s legal.

“I’m still fighting with the TV company. They agreed that I paid the $158.00, but not the $54.00. That’s where this whole thing started. I wish I had the name of the woman I spoke to. I may need that in court. They mailed me an empty box with instruction on how to pack the receiver for return. I’m not doing their work for them. I phoned and said, ‘You can come to my place between 4:30 and 5:00 pm not a minute sooner or a minute after. You can pack your own damned receiver.’ “

I said, “I can’t believe that this mess has been going on for over seven months now.”

“Yeah, and every time they call it’s a different person, usually from Pakistan. I call it India because before 1947, Pakistan was a part of the British Indian Empire. After, the British provinces were partitioned into India and Pakistan. The princely states, previously ruled by royal families, all acceded to one of the new states. In 1971, Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan and East Bengal, seceded from Pakistan. The Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims are still fighting.”

“I have to go to work now, Chuck, but maybe I’ll see you on the next warm day.”

“Who knows, I may be here tomorrow. Take care, Dennis.”