Someone once said that a wheelchair is a magnet for social inappropriateness. I've always thought that true. Here's the most recent example:
Joe had something to do down at the Eaton Centre and I decided that I'd like to go along for the ride. It was bitterly cold out and we'd forgotten to charge the battery on my chair so we decided that we'd subway down and walk back - if the battery was holding out OK. So we made our way over to the Bloor subway stop and hopped on the train. It was busy, being the holidays, but we were surprised to be able to get on without any problem. Often we have to wait a train or two to before there's enough space for me to get on with the chair.
I got on and swung round backing into place. Joe sat on the chair next to me and the train left. Two stops south, near the College stop, the train began to slow. A fellow got up and headed over towards us. He announces, quite loudly, that I can't get off at College because it's not accessible. Now, I know that. But he wasn't really telling me, he was letting everyone know that he knew about which stops were accessible and which were not.
Then, he leaned past me to be able to talk to Joe and said, "I know because I've got five of these myself." When saying this he had his hand over my head pointing down at me. "Five! I've got five wheelchairs" he continued, "so I know."
I turned to Joe and said, "And you only have one."
My remark struck me, alone, as really funny, and I started to laugh. The train was now stopped and he got off looking a bit discombobulated at my laughter. It was so absurd as to be ridiculously funny.
Everyone on the train around me looked mightily uncomfortable on our ride to the next stop where we disembarked. I don't know if they were uncomfortable because of what he said, because of what I said, or because I was kind of giggling for that part of the ride.
Just before we got off, Joe, who had been shell shocked by the weirdness of the interchange, had gathered himself enough for a response.
"I may only have one, but I'm betting mine's bigger." I had to stop, once off and dry my face.
Sometimes laughter is the only response possible.