Monday, December 02, 2013

2124 Walking Balls

Recently I was at the emergency ward. My father bumped his noggin and had to get stitches and such. Time slipped by slowly, as it does at such places. Each moment in itself absolutely interminable and then suddenly you look up and three hours of your life have disappeared.

After they looked at his head and rolled him in for a CAT scan to rule out internal bleeding, they returned him to the room for a while where we could kill time in relative peace and quiet.

Then, time to leave. A doctor came in, said everything was fine, and we were free to go. But first they wanted to stand up my dad and make sure he could walk with the aid of a walker. Which they then brought out. I was amazed.

Amazed because, though we were in a high-tech hospital, with computers and all kinds of electronic modern miracles everywhere, the walker they pulled out was a cheap aluminum fold up thing with, get this, tennis balls stuck to its rear feet.

I'm sure you've all seen such walkers, and even more expensive ones, being utilized by old people as they ambulate through public spaces. Elderfolks shuffling along, pushing their walkers in front of them, sometimes with front wheels spinning, but always with tennis balls sliding in the back. It seems so cruel in a way, since none of the folks in question is ever likely to play tennis again.

So here's my question. If everyone is going to put deflated drooping balls on their walkers anyhow, why doesn't the designer/manufacturer come up with a ball-oriented solution? Build it right into his product. Why does even a hospital resort to accessorizing the walkers with off-label after-market balls?

Which are now in your court, designers.    

America, ya gotta love it. 

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