On our way home from the Art Gallery of Ontario, where we poured images and ideas into our minds through our eyes, we decided to stop at the big Canadian Tire store a few blocks away. We needed to get a bicycle pump so that we could fill the tires of the power chair, when necessary, without having to go to the garage. We found the bike pumps and were immediately stumped. The clerk, a young guy who seemed to be relieved to be talking about something other than bikes, came along and we explained we didn't want to buy without trying and the way they were all packaged we couldn't.
He zipped out a knife, opened a package, and was down on his knees beside my chair, chatting about how poorly designed the wheel was in the placement of the valves. He couldn't get the pump to grip the valve, but he wasn't deterred. We went and looked at every kind of pump and none of them would work. He recommended that we check and electric version down on aisle 60. We headed off to see what was there.
We found a bunch of them, in a wide range of prices, but all of them operated out of a cigarette lighter thingy in the car. I wondered if they had a thingy that you could plug the thingy into that would then plug into the wall. We took this question to two other young men working over in automobile supplies. They listened carefully to my description of the thingy into the thingy into the wall thing. I explained that I wanted to be able to have my tires inflated at home rather than the garage.
They found me a thingy for the thingy for the thingy to go into. "This should work," the taller of the two said, handing it to me. "You want me to explain how it works?" The picture showed a thingy receptacle at one end of the cord and a plug at the other end, I said I was good. We headed off to purchase the items.
We left the store with what we needed.
We left the store pretty impressed. I was there talking about my wheelchair with three different people, talking about how to make it such that care for the chair was a little easier, and it was just a normal, typical, interaction. I could have been talking about a bike or a car or any other means of getting around. It never got weird. We all know how easily that happens. It never got uncomfortable. We all know how disability stuff freaks some folks out. The whole time it was just about pumps and about 'adaptors' (that's what they called it, a wonderfully useful term).
I guess I'm glad that they had adaptors for the pump but they didn't need adaptation to serve me. I was just a guy with a wheel that needed pumps and they were just people who sold pumps.
I don't get 'ordinary' very often.