My good friend and fellow blogger, Bun, mentioned that I hadn’t been paying much attention to Charlie recently and wondered if he was ok. Charlie, for those of you who have not yet been introduced, is my electric-powered wheelchair and best friend. I thought I’d let you into the as yet undisclosed fact that I have been beavering away for weeks, secretly bringing Charlie into the 21st century.
The basic model I had in mind will have wing mirrors, kerb-crawling wheels, and a twin-exhaust, turbocharged engine. He needs a few extra parts added too before he is anywhere near complete so I’m going to build in reversing lights and beeps to warn those pedestrians who I appreciate, don’t have eyes in the back of their heads and cannot tell when I’m about to back out unless I holler, “Oy … out the way … wheelchair reversing … warning”, which is a bit long-winded and usually too late when the individual in question’s toes have already been flattened.
Then, there are the all-essential indicators, (front and rear), which will flash left and right indicating whether I’m about to grab that last loaf of Hovis in the reduced section in Tesco’s (left), or whether I’m going for the special offer on Heinz Spaghetti Hoops in aisle ten, (on my right). Oh! Did I forget to mention the speedometer; essential, of course, when one is traveling at turbo-speed with my go-faster stripes on the side, up the M8 motorway to Glasgow. Obviously, the weather is a little inclement up there and, therefore, an enclosed shatterproof glass bubble complete with wipers will need to be included.
A buggy board would be handy for the children; a slight improvement on the first design which incorporated a pair of roller skates and a piece of string tied to the back. Also, please do give me an air horn to warn the more able citizens of my town that I am at great risk of running them over if they don’t leap out of my way on the cycle path. This will, in future, be marked with a cycle and a wheelchair icon, indicating that yes, I do indeed have wheels instead of legs, therefore I am entitled to travel in the cycle lane.
Naturally, Charlie will be solar powered thereby eliminating any need for electricity, or the exorbitantly priced fuel they charge these days at the gas/petrol stations. There are a couple of improvements left that could be made to make Charlie the real star of the show and a class A1 model. He needs to be able to travel over water so that he can keep up with the twin-engine boats that shoot across the sea when on holiday, (or at least, withstand a sudden rainstorm at Brighton in mid-summer). I thought perhaps a hovercraft skirt would look rather fetching (albeit a little feminine for Charlie).
Finally, I’ve just got to be able to trust my six-wheeled friend to get me all from England to Australia to visit my sister on Christmas Day. I thought some wings, carefully fashioned from flexible fibreglass and in the model of the late Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (pictured below), would just add that finishing touch.