I was deep asleep. I woke up with a jolt. I heard a commotion.
I figured out that I was in my van in Walmart parking lot. The commotion was Rahnee, having it out with the store greeter.
“Ma’am! You can’t bring that scooter out of the store, MA'AM!” the greeter spat.
Rahnee tried to ignore her but the perturbed greeter followed her out to the van. “Bring that scooter back!” Rahnee spat back that she wasn’t trying to steal the store’s cripple scooter. She was merely bringing her stuff out to the van. But the greeter was having none of it. She went back in to summon security. Rahnee put her stuff in the van and we were gone.
So this made me wonder if there’s ever been an actual case of someone trying to steal one of those ragged-ass Walmart cripple scooters. I found two cases. (Warning: These stories are true.) In Houma, Louisiana, police pulled over a guy driving a motorized scooter down a busy street, towing behind him a guy in a wheelchair. Turns out the scooter was shoplifted from Walmart. The driver just said he took it to go for a “joy ride.” He was charged with theft (grand theft store cripple scooter?) and operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
In Florence, South Carolina, two guys jumped into a pair of scooters as they were leaving Walmart and took off. Police caught up with them pretty quickly. One guy jumped out of the scooter and tried to run away. The other first claimed he purchase the scooter and then said he took it because he got “tired of walking.”
Note how neither of the scooter thieves were crippled. That because no real live cripple would steal a store scooter. I can see where a lot of cripples might be tempted. I mean, a cripple without adequate wheels is like a turtle flipped over on its back. But wheels, especially motorized wheels, are FUCKING EXPENSIVE, particularly if you’re on Social Security or if you work at a place that pays crap wages, like Walmart. You become intensely jealous of any cripple who has the wheels you lack. You entertain fantasies of wheelchair jacking. So in a moment of inertia-induced temporary insanity, absconding with a Walmart cripple scooter may seem like a brilliant solution.
But cripples know that driving a store cripple scooter is like driving a barge. That’s how sleek and maneuverable they are. And they’ve got that God-awful, eardrum-piercing, irritating warning beep whenever you back up! So no genuine cripple would steal a store cripple scooter. It ain’t worth it.
Smart Ass Cripple reader Nancy is a genuine cripple who went to Walmart. “I went to get some groceries after a long day dealing with ailing parents,” says she. “I needed a lot of stuff so I used the Walmart scooter.” She paid and tried to exit but the store cop blocked her and said she was not allowed to drive the scooter out to her car. “Now I was tired and it was late I wanted to get home so I protested about having to transfer all the items to a regular cart and then again to my car.” The store cop said he’d get someone to help. “But I waited 10 minutes. Nothing happened. So I said ‘f this’ and tore out to my car.”
But that little stunt apparently landed her on the Walmart cripple scooter watch list. Maybe the FBI dusted the scooter for fingerprints or took a DNA swab and then slapped Nancy’s mug shot up in the break room. Because the next time she exited that Walmart, the cop chased her out of the store and grabbed onto the back of the scooter yelling “You can’t take that scooter out of the store!”
But it wasn’t even Walmart’s scooter. Because of the scooter hassle she got before, this time Nancy decided to byo.
Eventually the store cop figured that out. A crippled store cop would never have made that mistake. We know a barge when we see one.