Thursday, July 19, 2007

Not So Free Wheelin'

I will admit it - I am easily amused. As we were walking into Hobby Lobby this afternoon, the following caught my attention. And then, it made me laugh.

How often does one see a sign that says "NO SHOES WITH WHEELS" when entering a public place. The sign is referring to Heelys, a shoe with a wheel in the heel that creates a skate. These shoes have gained much attention recently, most of it negative. Doctors have warned about the dangers of such shoes saying that the unnatural position necessary to maneuver on the wheel in the heel causes children to fall backwards resulting in head injuries. The likelihood of this is augmented by the fact that most who wear Heelys do not wear protective gear.

But is it really necessary to post such a sign at Hobby Lobby? I will admit that the aisles of this store are lined with glass items for home decor. Even a slight bump into one display tower would create a huge mess. But why focus on the shoes with wheels? Almost anything with wheels in this environment could result in the same disaster.

Have you ever been behind a toddler pushing his own stroller through a store? That is definitely a recipe for disaster, but I do not see a sign forbidding that. Then there are those pushing their carts, paying attention, and still running into people and things. Why do we not ban shopping carts? Then there are those who just flat aren't paying attention to what they are doing, no wheels involved, who run into people and things. What should be done about them? Should all "space cases" be banned from public places? This is showing some promise!

I also had to laugh at the juxtaposition of the no shoes with wheels sign right above the handicapped accessibility sign. I am not sure what makes Hobby Lobby handicapped accessible. They do not have automatic doors. The layout is similar to that that a lab rat must endure. It is just as likely that a person in, or one who is pushing, a wheelchair will run into something as it is that the kid in roller shoes will. In fact, it is probably more likely because there are more people in wheelchairs shopping at Hobby Lobby than there are kids on wheels.

I suspect that the ban on Heelys is the result of an accident, possibly even a lawsuit, at some store. So as is the American way, we ban the problem item rather than learning how to deal with it properly.

The rebel in me wants to roll right back to the yarn aisle!