Saturday, March 6, 2010

Quoth the Cane..Nevermore!

For the past few months, I've been in the market for a new cane. (Exciting times, I know. Just living the dream). The problem is that my current cane is broken and makes a tapping noise, the source of which I have not been able to locate, so I feel like I'm walking around in an Edgar Allen Poe short story, since I'm followed by a perpetual tapping, tapping on my chamber floor. (Quoth the cane, nevermore).

You'd think this would be easy. Go to a medical supply store, pick out a cane that does not scream "I carry wads of graying ten-year-old Kleenex and peppermints in the pockets of my cardigan," adjust that cane to my height: problem solved. Off to the races. All systems go. Ever onward to victory.

No. Wrong. Problem not solved. All systems not go. Victory Because, when I went to the medical supply store in Champaign, here are the cane choices I have to choose from:
  • A cane patterned with American flags and eagles.
  • A cane patterned with red hats.
  • A zebra-striped cane.
  • A Las Vegas cane, because what happens in Vegas doesn't have to stay in Vegas. You can carry the bright lights of the Vegas strip around on your mobility aid. All the glitz, none of the having to pee in a Big Gulp cup because you can't drag yourself away from the slot machine.
  • a polka-dotted cane.
  • a cane with a kind of swirly, paisley design that managed to look both geriatric and acid-trippy all at once.
  • a cat cane. Because what I really need is to look a little more like a crazy cat lady.
Now, see....I like cats. And I like Las Vegas (or I did like it that one time I went there for a tournament and we got to take a free limo to all the games and basically rolled up in that joint like the pimps we are). And I even like red hats, though that whole red hat poem gives me horrible flashbacks of Grade 10 English and a kid who was so competitive with me that the teacher had to hide my assignments and give them to me after class because he would occasionally tear them up if I beat him. (True story). But do I want to carry any of them around on my cane? No.

The reason: I am six feet tall. I have the out-of-control hair of a young Bob Dylan or Dan Bejar (it's about the only similarity I have with Dan Bejar, alas). I walk like I inject heroin into my feet. I have a tendency to talk with my hands using elaborate gestures that routinely cause me to spill drinks and hit people in the face. The last thing I need is to draw more attention to myself.

I therefore require a cane that is both badass and inconspicuous: the kind of cane you could thrust proudly in the air at a Destroyer concert but also lay demurely under your chair at a meeting or, say, a garden party (I've never been to a garden party, but I once had this Garden Party Barbie, so I've always wanted to). I suspect that such a cane does not exist. I suspect that I will be walking around with my noisy cane forever....or at least until the surgery (fingers crossed).

Does anyone have any suggestions? Because right now that "snakes on a cane" option is looking pretty damn good.

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