My New Wheels, Hazel and the Big Race


I made a purchase yesterday. It's very exciting and hip. I bought one of those carriages on wheels that many seniors use to pull their groceries home. Let me tell you those shopping bags that we have all been forced to buy have handles that are way too long and when I carry my stuff home in one of those its almost taller and bigger than my entire body plus it keeps smacking me in the knees like a ball crane. That's not good.

Anyway I wanted mine to be nicer and more fashionable (because I am such a fashionista) than everyone else's so I customized. First I chose a neon green sack that shows I am environmentally (and other type of mentally) conscious and I like to disco dance (don't we all). Then I figured I should get some mean wheels so I went to my favourite skate board shop (of course I skate board - actually I own a long board with a great design of dogs playing cards - I can almost guarantee you that I am one of the few if any middle age Jewish women who grew up in Cote St Luc - or as I like to call it - Cohen St. Luc - who skate boards, doesn't brush or blow dry her hair and whose idea of dressing up is wearing a lumber shirt that still has all the buttons and is long enough to fit like a dress which works well when people ask why I never wear dress because then I wear my longest lumber shirt and well they have to take the comment back -sort of)and I chose a pair of fat knobby wheels and get this - I bought some shocks as well.

So I put together this gangstered out trolley and took it for a ride to my nearest friendly grocer (actually they are not friendly at the nearest grocery - the guy at the fish counter doesn't like to be asked to cut the fat off the tuna and the woman at the meat counter doesn't like me asking if there is anything behind her counter that did not involved animal cruelty and the cashier well she's standing on her feet all day (what's with that expression - how do you stand without your feet?) having to say "Do you have airmiles?" 1000 times and "Swipe your card the other way or push your card all the way in" so she is in no mood for me. I only really needed a few things but I wanted to test my wheels so I figured I'd stock up on canned soups for the Winter. I paid $5 for one of those salad kits. I have no patience for washing lettuce, cutting up veggies, choosing a dressing and besides the kits come with funky stuff like pineapples, oriental noodles, sun dried tomatoes and instructions.

People were checking out my "ride" and it got me thinking maybe I should start taking orders and sell these babies for some serious cash. As I was nursing that thought a little, crunched up old lady banged her ride into mine. I was shocked. I wanted to see her license and registration and her insurance information. But all she did was shoot me a dirty look and move on. I couldn't believe it - not even an apology.

Once I was out on the street she faced me off and we made our way to the corner. I moved my wheels back and forth in front of me. She did the same and then BAM we were off to the races. She was a lot faster than I had imagined however I knew there was no way her old battered cart could keep up with my techno machine. And then it happened, we were 65 seconds into the race when one of her wheels popped and I must add not very adventurousness (I made that word up and it's wonderful). That was it, I was clearly in the lead and going to be the winner. People were clapping and yelling all along the sidewalk. I had fans.

As I made my way home I decided I would multi-task and in addition to walking, talking to myself (the usual), pulling my cart and having disturbing thoughts that I would also whistle and skip. Whistling bothers some people but others rather enjoy it. As for skipping, well I hadn't done that since I was a little girl. It was actually quite early on when I acted and looked like a girl. I would be sporting this pink dress and these white leotards (awful things) and my Buster Brown green shoes (I was quite the matcher) and I would be holding hands with this boy that I liked who lived on my street and we would be skipping to the park (the fact that he was skipping is much more disturbing than my outfit).

I arrived home exhausted from skipping, whistling, pulling my cart, the big race, shopping, making decisions (all the right ones) and well from just being me. I emptied my cart and about 50 soup cans later closed the pantry door. Just then my doorbell rang. Now I don't usually answer the door - I mean what for? If I don't have plans with someone and I am sure that I did not invite anyone over - why would I go to my door? Instead I peaked out the window and saw this older woman (like 110 yrs old) that lived across the street. I had never spoken to her but seeing her standing there hunched over I couldn't help but let her in.

She introduced herself as Hazel and said that she had seen my new cart and was wondering if she could borrow it. I was thinking what is she going to do with it? She's like 120 yrs old and can barely walk and she doesn't look like she eats so why would she need groceries? It killed me to give up my ride even for a few hours but I just couldn't say no to her so I pulled it over and placed it in her hands.

I went back upstairs and looked out the window again (because that's what you do when someone leaves your house - you watch them leave - why? - well maybe they will be talking to themselves or whistling or skipping and hey that would be interesting)and I couldn't believe my eyes, that woman who had smashed into my cart and raced with me on the street was waiting for Hazel. The wheel on her ride had been repaired and they took their places, side by side on the sidewalk and the next thing I knew they were racing down the street. I ran out and yelled "Hazel - you're 180 yrs old - stop - you're going to break my cart" She was leaning on it like crazy - like it was a walker and then it happened, my cart split in half and caught Hazels fall saving her life.

The other woman being the kind, warm hearted soul that she was just kept running and yelled out "I win, I'm a motherf**ker and I win"

I hurried to Hazel and helped her get off the ground. She was surprisingly springy and flexible for a woman of 150yrs. My cart was totalled - a write off - a wreck.

I walked Hazel home and she kept apologizing. I told her not to worry as I examined my mangled cart. I wondered if I should work on a new design and then it came to me - what if I drove my car to the grocery store, parked in the lot,had my items placed in bags and then placed them in my trunk? This was genius. There would be no walking, racing, skipping or crashes but I would still whistle. I was on to something for sure so I brewed some tea, invited Hazel over and we watched re-runs of The Golden Girls.

It was a great day, all in all and me and Hazel, well we're tight even if she is 100 years older than me.