Crip Etiquette

I’m in Albuquerque for a mission operations rehearsal.

I’ve got about an hour and a half before I go on duty, so I go to the Starbucks near the base, get myself a latte, and settle down in an armchair to read for a little while.

In a bit I look up and see two women, one pushing the other in a wheelchair. It’s a tight location – because there was no room next to the armchair, I left my chair in front of me. Next to that is a table. I look in the other direction and there’s an exit, so maybe that’s where they’re trying to go. “Am I in your way?” I ask.

“Yes,” pusher-woman says.

So I untangle my crossed legs, put on my shoes, pop into my chair, then turn to face them, expecting that they will back up so I can get out of their way then return back to my seat. They just stare at me. “Where are you trying to go?”

“She wants to sit there,” pusher-woman says, pointing at the armchair I have just vacated. What the hell? So I grab my mug and my book. “Back up so I can get out,” I say. Pusher-woman is not very quick on the uptake, trying to move tables and chairs, but eventually she backs up enough so I can get past. I get in my car and go to work half an hour early. I was halfway to the car before I realized what had happened. No snappy comebacks.



  1. wheelchairdancer

    what? no, really. what? incredible!

  2. Disgruntled Ladye

    Whisky Tango Foxtrot???
    Have these people never heard of common courtesy?

  3. Book Girl

    Some situations are just so weird and unexpected that there are no snappy comebacks for them. Unfortunately. ;-(

  4. Timmargh

    That’s terrible.

    Unfortunately my own mother can be a bit like that, i.e. “my son’s disabled and therefore the most important person here” — she cuts across people in the street when she’s pushing my chair. Well, she used to until I insisted on hiring a scooter each time we go shopping …

  5. kellie


    That’s just… wow. Talk about a titanium set!

  6. yasmín

    Um, that’s just bizarre.

  7. mdmhvonpa

    And this is why some people park in HP spots … not because of this type of behavior, but precisely due to the existence of such thought processes. Yikes.

  8. Mouse

    Are you sure pusher-woman wasn’t riding a broom!


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