Gather round, children, and hear the tale of a grizzly gradient, an incline of the infernals. Repent, for you face:





(two things of note before I go on.. It has come to my attention that not everyone is familiar with the term "biped". This refers to any creature that walks on two legs. I, and several others I know in wheelchairs, use this term as a slur against people who can walk. Freaks. Also, I should note that despite the way in which this was written, the whole story is 100% true.)

The sun shone with deceptive hope, but ill omen began to rise soon enough. First, my wife reminded me that we had a dentist appointment that day. Shortly after, she bashed her toe on the stairs. (we would later find out it was indeed broken.)

The dentistís office was only a few blocks away, and we had planned to walk. (well, I had planned to roll. Walking would have been quite a trick.) But given my wifeís fresh new injury, she would drive. I would still roll myself there, since she usually sticks my chair in the trunk, and didnít feel like doing that for obvious reasons. Besides, the weather was ideal.

I had a considerable head start, and arrived first. From the parking lot I arrived through, it was about two or three feet up to the level of the dentistís entrance.

Handily enough, there was what all wheelers look for in such a situation- A RAMP! HUZZAH!



But alas, the devil wears a pretty face, for as I aligned myself for the approach, a terrible visage greeted me. The ramp was far far steeper than anything Iíd conquered before, at least alone.

I had met this foe before, but I had my wife backing me up. Did I await her arrival? NAY! For I am brave, and stupid!



I launched myself toward my foe, and almost immediately learned that it planned to put me on my back. Yet I was not so easily felled! The railings, (which Iím sure the evil ramp had placed only to make the trap more inviting) actually proved to be a vital savior. Once secure, going back did not seem like as wise an option versus pulling myself up the rest of the ramp.

With visions of mountaineers, and that cheesy yodeling from the mountain climbing game from Ďprice is rightí in my head, I began to haul myself up, bit by bit.

It was then that a biped woman happened by. ďDo you need a hand?Ē She asked. I thought it looked obvious that I did, but itís also irritating to me to get help by surprise.



ďNah,Ē I said with the same overconfidence that had landed me on my back twice in recent months, ďI like a little challenge now and then.Ē I nodded towards the ramp.. ďBut.. accessible my ass, huh?Ē

She giggled, and empathized, saying that she had been in a chair for a short time a year or so ago.


THIS, is courage. I was engaged in not-so-mortal struggle with a ramp devised by Lucifer himself, and still able to chat with a biped casually. I think she was kinda dawdling to make sure I was going to win.


Much to our mutual surprise, I did win. It was about then my wife arrived, and we went inside to have people play and poke at our teeth. (By the way. Dentist chairs are the most comfortable places Iíve been since my spinal injury. Throw wheels on one, and Iíll buy one! And never fit through a door ever again.)


On our way out, my wife departed to get in the car, and I was facing the ramp once again.


Bah, down should be easy. All I have to do is hold onto the rails, and control the steep decent.


Or not.


It seems that it was steep enough that even though my upper half was secure, the chair wanted to go forward, NOW.

As a result, all I was controlling was my fall. A casual kind of fall. Just a sort of ďHey, I think Iíll lie down and put my feet upĒ kind of fall.


The brave, manly yelp that escaped me attracted two allies. My wife, and another kindly biped lady. With a short consideration of our options, since I was still in the chair mostly, I just locked my wheels, and the three of us pulled me and the chair upright again.


I thanked both of them, and got my bearings at the bottom of the ramp. No harm done, except for that stinging reminder of my vulnerabilities. And the ramp was sneering at me.


It was around that time that we noticed that 25í off to the side, was another ramp, hiding in plain sight, disguised only by a parked car between us, and itís relative remoteness compared to the demon ramp right in front of the dentist. The nice ramp would have been fairly easy to find, if the demon ramp was not there, smiling at me, saying ďhi! Iím the ramp! You gotta use me! Donít look around more, IíM the ramp!Ē


In a couple weeks I have to go back to the dentist. Iíll be testing the friendly ramp. Iím in the middle of trying to contact the strata manager, and advise he block the demon ramp with a potted plant or something, before someone takes a really nasty fall, and sues.


Or maybe Iíll just sprinkle some holy water on it.