Le'see ... I'm 66, a little bit fat, sometimes a bit stiff. Today I had to leave work about noon as I had an appointment near downtown. Felicia was my driver, and was in the paratransit bus that the company got several months ago, with bright fancy colors and logo. The seats are not comfortable, as they seem to be tilted forward just a little, as well as are "short" from the seat back to where the back of your knees are, so it feels like you are about to slide off. I make sure that I wear my seat belt, though a shoulder harness and some kind of handle would make me feel safer. Wearing rubber soled shoes also helps to keep me from sliding forward.
I prefer the window seat because the aisle seat, with a wimpy armrest, makes me feel like I'm going to fall sideways onto the floor. The seat belt buckle was in bad shape, but I got it on and fastened. BUT when Felicia got me to my designation, I could not get the seat belt to unlatch! Part of it would move just a little but not enough to release. Both Felicia and I messed with it, with no luck. I thought, "Uh-oh, the lady I had the appointment with just might have to sit with me on the bus", but that really wasn't an option because paperwork was involved, which would be in her office.
Felicia called dispatch (on the phone, rather than the radio so that others would not hear) to ask permission to cut the seat belt. She never got through to a dispatcher, so went into the building and asked the receptionist if there was a maintenance person available.
I could not get the one end of the seat belt to stretch, as it had tightened a little (I hate for seat belts to do that!). I knew that I am too big to slide toward the floor to get out of the seat belt - and even if I made it a little, I'd probably cut of my breathing and get stuck hanging there!
While she was in the building, I tried something else. The seat belt was near my hips, and of course from then on to my feet, things get smaller rather than larger. (I'm not Dolly Parton or Barbie, but you get the idea.) There was no one in the seat beside me, and while the armrest on the aisle could probably easily break, I decided to take a chance. I held onto the back of the seat, then managed to twist sideways a little, with my back toward the aisle, hoping the armrest would hold. Then I twisted some more, and twisted one hip, knee, and foot in almost unnatural positions, and voila! got one leg up and over the seat belt. The other leg wasn't as hard to free, but still took some twisting.
As I started to get off the bus, Felicia came out of the building - and wondered how I unbound myself. She probably was looking forward to having someone stab and slash at the obstinate strap! ("Take that! you cheap fiend!")
The driver who picked me up to come home was about 45 minutes late, had a couple of others on board, and still had more stops, so I rode for 2 hours before getting home, even though the office where I was is only 15 miles from my house. (Yes, I had crocheting with me!)
But at least I worked 4 hours, got things accomplished where I had the appointment, had 2 nice drivers, and made it home before dark.
P.S. One friend emailed me direct, saying he'd like to have seen me do "the twist and the limbo"! A friend in Ireland asked me if our buses have CCTVs on them (no, they don't) because the buses there in Dublin all have that (and captured her falling on one).
To be insightful means to intuitively grasp things - an "aha!" moment!
- I am a member of the church of Christ. I have been writing things since I was little. Some have been printed, some posted. I write to teach or encourage; to blow off steam; and for fun! I had my own motorcycle in my 40s; I was a bluegrass music DJ for about 13 years; I've performed some. I am a member of the NRA. In 2003 (age 59), I became high partial legally blind; in 2005, I had to get hearing aids! Franklin Field said: "Poor eyes limit your sight; poor vision limits your deeds". And no kidding, the picture was made April, 2012!
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