Like most of us, there are an awful lot of things that I would banish to Room 101 given the chance. There are, of course, the obvious niggles in life that deserve to be sentenced to doom – Hand-dryers in public facilities, for example, which are always positioned too high so that anyone under 6 ft finds themselves standing with their arms raised as if in praise while water trickles down their sleeves. And what about spam emails?! Seriously, I’m sick of being offered miracle Viagra and hot sex with Kirsty on a daily basis, who even is Kirsty? And who wouldn’t chuck tailgaters in? (unless you are a tailgater yourself, in which case you may need me to give you a push).
There are so many things that I would like to put into Room 101, but I’d be pretty darn stupid not to place MS somewhere at the tip of the top. I gather that the chances of banishing MS, or indeed any chronic illness or disease, is pretty slim, so perhaps I should start by getting rid of the things that make living with MS a bigger pain in the bum than it already is…
Wonky Walkways – all pavements are designed with drainage in mind. The downside (excuse the pun) is that the resulting camber of the path makes it very difficult to negotiate when you are attempting to self-propel yourself along in a wheelchair. It is equally tiresome to walk with sticks along such paths because they force you to walk at a tilt, putting more strain on one side, which invites unwanted back and neck problems.
Public buildings that require you to seek out a magic key before you can enter the sanctuary of an accessible toilet – a total disaster for anyone in possession of an overactive bladder with a mind of its own, and something that defeats the whole point of accessibility. Just use the flippin’ RADAR Key system, that’s what it’s there for!
Standing-height counters – If you ever want to feel like a hobbit visit my dental surgery, or indeed my GP Surgery. Both have a reception counter that is so tall I can barely see over the top of it when I’m standing, unfortunately these surgeries are not alone in designing their desks and counters in such a way, it is the most inaccessible and unfriendly way to welcome anyone who uses a wheelchair.
Chair-less shops – The cause of many a dusty bottom. That is to say, I have been forced to sit on the grimy floor of countless stores thanks to the distinct lack of seating.
Abuse of disabled parking bays – that includes all the vans I see parked across them, all the skips that are plonked on them, and all the people who use them as ‘waiting’ bays.
In yer go!
Can anyone think of any other worthy candidates to confine to the Orwellian depths of Room 101?