Even cab drivers get a day off, for family…
Walking into Best Buy with my younger boy on Saturday, to procure the kid a 32″ flat screen in the spirit of Christmas, we spot a bright yellow Best Buy-emblazoned wheelchair set just behind the store greeter.
Travels of Christmas past come dancing into my head, like sugar plums. And a devious smile encroaches upon my face.
“Hey, Milo. Remember some years back when you, me and Leo were flying to Maryland for Christmas? And I had you guys push me across the airport over to our gate in one of their wheelchairs? Ha! And we hit that incline that you guys were too small to get me up, so some good Samaritan all rushes over and helps you guys push me up it? Like TWENTY YARDS! Ha!! Good times!”
And Milo dutifully goes around security and gets into the Best Buy wheelchair. As Santa dutifully wheels his boy over towards the back of the store, and the rows upon rows of flat screens…
We contemplate the wares.
“Dad, it HAS to be 1080 pixels!”
“But son, 720 pixels is $20 cheaper!”
“But Dad, my Xbox works BETTER with 1080!”
“Uh-huh… Merry Christmas, Milo.”
The boy reaches over the side of his wheelchair, wrestles with the unwieldy box, and after some finagling comes to rest the beast over his wheelchair’s armrests.
And we roll…
Despite it being the Saturday before Christmas, baby Jesus has taken mercy on the Milo and me. We find ourselves only four patrons back in this winding, jerry-rigged rope line; complemented by shelves full of last minute Chinese impulse-buy Christmas-themed crap trinkets the likes of Largemouth Bass beer bottle openers packaged in red and green holly-garnished boxes.
With feigned confusion, several shoppers one-by-one magically appear at the front of the line, synapses almost visible, as all waiting in line before can see each trying hard in their head to work out a justification to stay at the front. But as the line is really not all that foreboding, AND THERE’S A CRIPPLED KID IN A WHEELCHAIR FOUR PATRONS BACK… ain’t NO ONE cutting THIS line!!
In short order, it is Milo’s and my turn at the first of the four staggered registers.
The pimply-faced clerk, Clark (per his name badge) mercifully contorts himself over the counter to search for, and scan, the hidden bar code lurking somewhere Murphy’s Law inconvenient upon the large box in Milo’s lap.
As Dad reassures, ALOUD, “Merry Christmas, Johnny. This year it’s a TV. Maybe, just maybe… NEXT year, Santa can afford to buy you those legs.”
And Clark the Clerk rings away, as trying to give Santa the hard sell.
“Would you like me to add a year’s worth of protection for the TV?”
“Oh, no thanks. We have rubbers at home.”
However, Clark the Clerk remains unfazed. He either does not hear the remark, or he simply does not care. Clark remains steadfast and stoic, as he just continues tapping away at the register.
And Dad swipes.
And as I do, I suddenly note one of two older butch lesbians checking-out at the register just ahead of ours walk back to Milo. She gently bends down to wheelchair height, gets DIRECTLY in Milo’s seated face, and smiles as whispering to him.
“Son, you may want to tell Santa about a company called ‘XO Bionics’. They make legs for people.” The well-meaning lesbian continues, beaming, “Maybe Santa can bring you some for Christmas!”
But Well-Meaning Lesbian’s partner barks back, significantly qualifying from the forward register.
“But they only make them for adults! Maybe next year!”
Dad gushes, “See, Johnny! Santa will maybe bring you some legs NEXT year! Ah, won’t it be GRAND, son!”
And with this, Dad grabs his receipt from Clark the Clerk and rolls a now horrified “Johnny” over towards the door… situated just FEET past the register!!!
After all that, Santa and Johnny can’t just return the wheelchair to security, STAND and WALK out of the door CARRYING the flat screen TV… RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE TWO NOW PROUD DYKES!!!
No. Johnny and Santa MUST commit. We roll PAST security… and out towards our van.
I grab the keys from my pocket, and remote the back hatch open with a BEEP… BEEP… BEEP…
Santa nervously ZOOMS Johnny across the lot, as coming to a halt with the BANG! of Johnny’s wheelchair into the back of the van. Johnny struggles to work the cumbersome box into the back, with the still beaming lesbians following close behind headed to THEIR car… PARKED RIGHT NEXT TO OURS!!
I wheel Milo, er… Johnny towards the far side of the van, out of dyke sight. And he quickly jumps out of his wheelchair to settle into the van’s shotgun… AS SOME ARRIVING SHOPPERS EXIT THEIR JUST PARKED VEHICLE on THAT side of the van, all jaws agape and befuddled.
Like a bat out of the North Pole, I roll the chair back across the lot and return it to security.
Once done and headed back towards the van, I shield my eyes from the glaring sun, as I grab my trusty iPhone for a dictated note.
“X… O… Bi… Onics.”
And as I do, a warm voice headed in my direction suddenly cuts through the all-encompassing sun.
It’s the lesbians! They’re going BACK into Best Buy!
Their proud, beaming faces emerge from the glare, as both smile BIG with the revelation that their suggestion is being taken to heart. The one helpfully corrects me.
“It’s spelled E-K-S-O… Bi… Onics… Merry Christmas to you! AND Johnny!”
Photo by Christian Lewis
Stuff THIS in yer stocking! San Francisco TAXI: Life in the Merge Lane… (Book 2) out now!