22 September, 2010

Canes are cool

While to Miami fans this could mean the 'Canes (as in Hurricanes), I am actually referring to that traditional device that is often used to assist people who are walkingly challenged. What makes it a cane of course is that hook like structure on the top. That's what makes it especially cool too.

There I was working at the computer, as I am now, in my space in our home which loosely defined you could call an office. My computer is on a stand that is tightly wedged between my roll-less roll top desk and boxes of stuff that I will inevitably sort through, probably the same year I am elected President of the United States. Several feet in front of me I see my foot massager sitting there, plugged in and ready to go, but there is no way I can reach it less enduring the pain of having to move a bunch of crap out of the way.

Ah, but suddenly, in one corner of my alleged office, and within reach, I spy my dad's cane that he had in college. It bears the simple inscription "Pitt '31". Perhaps back in that day it was a tradition for men to have a cane, even if they were not walkingly challenged. Today, of course, a cane would likely be considered a deadly weapon, and you would have to be certified as a qualified bearer of such to pass through any security checkpoint.

So, there I am, thinking how great a foot massage will feel as I grab that cane and push it under the computer stand toward the massager thingy, and then successfully grap hold of the device with the cane's hook and pull it toward me. Though I could have used the pointy part of the cane to push a button, if necessary, this particular machine can be activated simply by resting your foot, or feet, on it.

As I am enjoying a soothing massage, I look all around me and think of two things: how few devices we have that enable us to reach out and grab something like we can with a cane. I'm also reminded of an episode of the King of Queens where a temporarily physically impaired Doug enjoys using a mechanical grabbing device. And now, as my mind continues to wander, I remember when shopkeepers in markets would fill orders for customers, and use such a device to reach products stacked on a high shelf. Today, of course, the only thing they grab for is your money.

Funny I didn't think of this much sooner, while talking about foot massage. I remember a time when I was experiencing excruciating back pain, and how I used this very same cane of my dad's to massage the bottom of my foot, as I lied in bed. This gave me enough relief to make it possible to fall asleep. Without that hook it would have been impossible to do this while lying stretched out. (I am always so proud of myself when I think of ways, often quite unusual, to "git sumpin' dun".).

Just as House (as in TV's Dr. Gregory House) would not be the same without his cane, no house should be without one either ... or a whole bunch of them. Yep, canes really are cool. I might even try walking with one someday.

~PITTSBURGH starts with PITT!~

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