Whenever I run into my friend Sean at the local mall, I know I'm in for a wheelchair race. It's not anything we plan.
Sean has a turbo power wheelchair. I don't know what kind of engine this wheelchair has but he hits his joystick and off he shoots. He also has been in a wheelchair his whole life so he's expert at race strategy. He can figure out a way to weave in and out of the customers so that you're left somehow behind him, with a choice to run over a baby carriage or a grandma.
Today however I was not his victim. I had my nephew along in his wheelchair.
I tried to warn my nephew that Sean will just launch into a spontaneous race. And , you see, you just can't turn him down. I've never been able to. Neither was my nephew.
He kind of taunts you until you decide you're going to just race him down an aisle or two. What the heck.
But then he beats you - and so you keep racing. Before you know it, you're racing Sean all over the mall.
And you never ever never ever win.
Sean, my nephew and I got onto an elevator. That's when it began. Sean said "I bet I can beat you in this wheelchair."
My nephew said "No way."
"OK, we'll see," Sean said as the doors opened.
"Don't - do - it," I told my nephew. He gave me a look that said "Watch this." I knew he was a goner.
A few moments later, Sean had raced my nephew down the shirt aisle in JC Penneys and basically run him off the road, er, main aisle. My nephew was tangled up in some sweater vests I think.
"You okay?" I asked.
"Where is he?" my nephew asked. It was war. He took off after Sean.
Then I saw the two of them weaving in and out the upper level of the mall. I rolled behind, rolling my eyes.
But you know what I saw? People laughing, people grinning, people enjoying Sean and my nephew as they raced each other spontaneously. I saw it in a way that I can't see it when I'm busy trying to beat Sean.
It was great.
Sean won of course. My nephew gave up after about fifteen minutes. He told me that he'll try again.
Of course he will.