Sunday, May 25, 2008

Le Scooter Ne Marche Plus

For the first time ever at Walt Disney World, we rented an ECV. These are those little scooters that you see advertised for older folks who can't get around much on their own anymore. Designed for locomotion and not so much for long term care like wheelchairs, scooters are really nice for people like my mother... over sixty, chronic pain, long-time smoker, poor walker. At first, Mom was just going to try to walk the parks, but before we even started our first full day at Epcot, she admitted she wanted to go ahead and get the scooter.

I'd love to show you a picture of her on it. I have a great one. But mom is not a fan of having her picture taken and asked me not to post it, so there you go. We used the scooter each day, and by our third day, Mom was a pro. Well, except she seemed to think she could use her feet to brake, which really doesn't work so well, and I fussed at her the whole time to keep her feet up so she wouldn't break her ankle. It was a nice role-reversal.

So anyway, back to the third day... the only rain we saw during the daytime on our trip fell on Monday. Fortunately, due to my awesome Disney planning skillz, all three downpours fell in rapid succession during the ninety minutes we were enjoying Croque Monsieurs at Chefs de France in Epcot on Monday. Unfortunately, they didn't have a covered area for mom to stash the scooter, so although we didn't get wet, the scooter did.

We lifted a stack of paper towels from the restaurant, dried it off the best we could, then mom decided to sort of wheel it out of the spot where she had expertly parallel parked. It didn't start. At all. Nothing. nada. *sigh*

Unfortunately, the number printed on the key to call for help is merely an extension. In this day of cell phones, I wonder why they don't just give you a full number, but anyway... we were right there at the restaurant, so we went in and spoke to the manager. Apparently, their phone is not on the WDW system, so the extension meant nothing to her either. However, in true Disney customer service fashion, she began making phone calls to try to figure out who she needed to call.

Fifteen minutes later, she got someone from the International Gateway to come. Ten minutes after that, he actually arrived in a way-cool "tow-scooter" to take the dead carcass away and trade us the shiney new one on the back.

Mom tried to start it with the tow-scooter guy still there. Nothing. Then he said, "Ma'am... it won't start unless you are sitting on it."

We looked at each other. "Oh," we said. "Well, um... then the other one may work after all." No one told us this little rule when we got the scooter. Sure, it makes perfect sense, but, duh... we aren't thinking or anything... we're on vacation.

He was very nice... waved, and let us go on our way with the new scooter... probably returning to the International Gateway to laugh at us with his coworkers.

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