An item in today’s news (which is updated here) tells how a 21-year-old guy (with the Most Excellent name of Ben Carpenter) was driving his electric wheelchair across an intersection, when, just as he was passing in front of it, a semitrailer waiting at the light took off, hooked Ben’s wheelchair into its front grill, and ended up carrying the still-sitting-in-his-chair-facing-outward Ben four miles, at 50 mph, down a highway.
This is what I couldn’t help but imagine went through Ben’s head as this happened to him:
Tra-la-la, here I am, steering my electric wheelchair across the street. I like this chair; it moves pretty good. A little slow, I guess. Plus, this thing could use a radio or CD player. Could probably hook one up here in front somewhere.
I can’t believe the light is already blinking “Don’t Walk.” I’m barely halfway across! Oh, well. I just have to move past this idling semitrailer truck, and I’ll be safe on the sidewalk.
Okay, this truck is hitting me. I’m being hit by this truck. I’ll die now. Adios, this life. I love you, Mom! Love you, Dad! I….
Wait. I’m not dead. Why aren’t I dead? How can I not be dead?
Whoa. Whoa. Whoa!
Okay, I’m a hood ornament on this truck. The handles of my chair have caught on the grill of this truck, and the truck is moving, and I’m now the biggest hood ornament in the history of the world.
I wonder if this is really happening? Can this actually be happening? Am I actually attached to the front of a moving truck?
Oh, great, we’re getting onto the highway. There’s the Dairy Queen. Those guys have the best shakes. Too bad I’ll never have another one, since I’m about to die.
It’s gonna be ugly when my wheelchair drops off this thing. I don’t even want to think about it.
There’s the Kirkpatrick’s place. That Julie Kirkpatrick’s cute. I like how she flirts with me in our math class. Too bad that’ll never happen again, since I’m about to die. Terrible! I really like Julie.
Okay, we’re actually getting on the highway. And I’m still hooked to the front of this truck!
Does anyone but me find this insane? This never happens, right? This isn’t some sort of new city program for helping the handicapped get around, right? Of course not. Someone would have told me if trucks were going to randomly start picking me up and driving me places. This is definitely an aberration.
Okay, this guy’s revving this truck up to full highway speed. I just can’t even believe this. We gotta be going 30 mph already.
We’ve gotta be going 40 mph.
This is it. This is full speed. I’m attached to the front of truck that’s going full speed down a highway.
And yet, freakishly enough, I’m still alive.
Ouch! Bugs! I’m getting hit by bugs! Close the eyes! Nose-breathing only!
You know, this would make one awesome wheelchair. If I wasn’t moments away from being dead, I’d think how this was actually kind of fun. I mean, this is a way to travel when you’re handicapped. I love my electric wheelchair, but coming down the street with a whole semi behind me would really take care of business. People would move.
These bugs! They hurt!
So, I wonder where we’re heading? There’s nothing for miles ahead. Probably going all the way to Detroit. When we get there, I am definitely making Mr. Worst Trucker Driver Ever buy me dinner. And he’s gotta take me right back home. Not like this, though.
You know, I love the springtime. Especially now, when I’m seconds away from being dead. It’s so beautiful out–or would be, if I could open my eyes. A little humid, maybe.
I can’t believe I’m actually getting bored! How insane is this?
I guess I just have to wait until Bubba the Oblivious pulls over to a rest stop, or whatever. Or until he runs out of gas.
I wonder what he’s gonna say when he discovers me hooked to the front of his truck? He’ll probably be, like, “So you gonna pitch in for gas, or what?”
Don’t laugh. Do not laugh. Jiggling this chair even more is not a good idea.
Hey! The police! The police are pulling us over! I might make it! I might live! I might not die the Stupidest Death Ever!
We’re pulling over! We’re stopping! I’m not gonna die under a truck today!
This is unbelievable. I cannot believe this just happened to me.
I have got to tell Julie Kirkpatrick about this.