Gather, children. Let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time, a very financially stable, yet mysteriously angry, elderly woman drove her motorized wheelchair into the most expensive, all-natural, ridiculously over-priced
organic, our-chickens-are-hand-fed-with-golden-spoons-and-our-cows-only-had-to-chew-their-food-once meats and pampered garden produce, grocery store in Tulsa, and proceeded to use her transport to knock other elderly female shoppers down! Yep. Three of those unsuspecting women hit the floor, victims of a hit-and-run motorized wheelchair driver. One minute they are standing, counting calories and whatever else the healthy humans do in those stores, and then boom! They’re sprawled out right there on the floor by the tofu hot dogs and bean curd jelly. Do you think they ever in their lives saw that coming? I’m betting they didn’t.
What could be more visually disturbing yet comically satisfying than to see a person who basically has a total Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free-Because-I-Can’t-Walk pass from society wreak absolute havoc on the most sheltered, pampered consumers Tulsa has to offer, in the most civilized, classy grocery store ever? I’m thinking most of these Healthy People have never shopped down the street at the Warehouse Market, where I personally saw a man beat up his wife in Aisle 5 next to the Almost-Meat and Ketchup, while we innocent bystanders scattered like roaches so we wouldn’t be caught for hours and hours in the grocery store during the police investigation. Please note: That incident wasn’t hilarious, and it was very bloody and disturbing on many, many levels. But since there was no blood, and no serious injuries, Angry Wheelchair Lady just makes me laugh.
Yesterday, I had the awesome luck to be the one to pick up Wendy (not her real name, but she reminds me of Peter Pan’s Wendy, so we’ll go with that) from her job at that Heathly-R-Us store. She’s young, and things like this tend to rattle the youthful American adult born and raised in the Bible Belt, but to me, that kind of incident is the frosting on the cake of life. I just wished Wendy had called me when the first hit-and-run victim hit the floor. I would have broke every traffic law trying to get to that hoity-toity store just to catch a glimpse of The Angry Elderly, Yet Health-Conscious and Environmentally Responsible, Wheelchair Lady making her 5 mph getaway from each scene of the rampage, leaving a downed, confused, yet elegant and immaculately groomed, victim looking into the fluorescent heavens. There were three victims...3! And they weren’t even each on the same aisles or anywhere near one another. Surely store management could have issued a warning on the intercom that a crazed wheelbound woman was knocking down people with her ride? Well, I know where I don’t want to be in case a terrorist cell comes to Tulsa.
They could have saved so many egos…lol.. But alas…the whole store was paralyzed with surprise and fear. And, as quick as it began, the assault was over. Her thirst for blood was sated, and she returned to her shopping like nothing out of the ordinary had happened. Evidently, security let her finish her shopping unmolested, pay, and then leave. In all fairness though, I’m sure this particular store’s security force had no idea they would ever have to deal with this sort of crime. How do you handle an OJ Simpson-like wheelchair getaway in a fancy all-organic, anti-violence against man, animal, or vegetable establishment? Ahhh, the chains that bind…lol.
Did you all know that Tulsa is also the magnificent city that gave the world the Walmart Meth Cook who, being financially strapped, decided to go ahead and borrow some supplies and prepare a batch of satan’s sunshine right there in Walmart? That story made national news…of course. You’re welcome, America.
A while back, a very rare, very sought-after spider was sent carefully 1000′s of miles to one of our universities so it could be studied, cataloged, and whatever else scientists do with poisonous, creepy insects from around the world. When it arrived, someone killed it, thinking it was just another Oklahoma spider. Smashed it. That story made national news, too. Again, you’re welcome, world.
It always seems when a story from Tulsa generates enough interest to make it to national news, it makes us Okies look simple, stupid, or just plain clueless. I used to hate that perceived perception a lot, but I’ve come to understand and embrace the eccentricities of simple, practical, logical people. And one thing you can’t call Okies is dull. This particular state may have some peculiarities, but it’s citizens aren’t boring.
I now applaud the guy who smashed the spider. In the end, one less spider on the earth is one more drop of happiness in my bucket of life. And I respect the Walmart Meth Cook who wanted to ply her trade bad enough that she’d risk blowing up a Walmart in the wee hours of the morning in order to do it. You can’t win if you don’t play, right? Of course, I respect the guys who caught her and took away the explosive materials even more, but there is a certain amount of hope and satisfaction I get when someone has a new, unique, different story to tell about their own life. Yes, Walmart Meth Cook will be telling hers to people with their own stories who will probably beat her up for aiming so high, but there are going to be generations of people that will remember her incident. I’m writing about it here, aren’t I? And, as drug busts go, it takes something really different to make national news, and she managed to capture the nation’s attention for a minute or two. That isn’t all that easy, I’m thinking. You go, girl. They teach classes in prison. Maybe focus on something besides chemistry.
I would dearly love to sit down with the Angry Wheelchair Driver to find out what her mission was, and why. What had made her so angry that she felt she had to strike back? I want to know her story. Did her random, seemingly unwarranted acts of violence make her feel better? Or worse? I hope she just did it on a dare…I really, really do. Wouldn’t that just be too funny?
People who do weird, unexpected things are remembered. Maybe not in a good way like Winston Churchill or Abraham Lincoln, but nevertheless, their existence on this earth is imprinted in some memories and though their names may be forgotten, their actions will make people laugh and chuckle once in awhile… Those who blend seamlessly in society are forgotten quickly and permanently. We’ll all eventually be forgotten, but don’t we all want that to happen long after we die, and not the minute we walk out of a room?
I write this whole post for two reasons. One, I have this fantastic picture of my neighbors riding to the store on a Sterling Emerald Mobility Scooter that I wanted to show you guys, and two, to encourage you all to embrace your individuality, no matter how shocking and bizarre it is. On some instinctual level, I guess we are pack animals, but because of our God and our thumbs, we needn’t stop there. Enjoy the strange people around you, and strive to be someone people will remember. Listen to other’s stories, share yours, and don’t be afraid to add a twist or two to your own existence. We only live once. Leave an impression.