Life With Mabel: Part Thirty-One

This is the thirty-first part of a fiction serial, in 778 words.

Managing life with Reg gave Mabel so much to do. They had to go to the bank to arrange for her to get a power of attorney, so she could pay the bills and draw money from his account. Getting into and out of taxis was a mission, and the smallest journey started to wear her out. The disability shop was a godsend though. After a couple of phone calls and one trip to the shop, they had soon sorted out so much. There were rails around the house and next to the toilet, a ramp at the front to cover the two steps, and a new recliner chair for Reg that was electrically operated.

Later on, they got a commode chair to leave in his room so he didn’t have to keep going along the corridor to the toilet, and then had the bathroom converted into a shower-only wet room with a seat and rails for Reg. Then a grab bar was fixed to the ceiling over his bed, so Mabel didn’t have to keep hauling him in and out. It all came at a price of course, and it was lucky that Reg had got a rather large lump sum on top of his monthly pension. Money wasn’t a worry, even though everything else was. The best thing they suggested in the shop was a device that Reg could use to talk. As soon as Mabel saw that demonstrated, she bought one.

Reg could type into the small machine, using his left hand. When he had typed what he wanted to say, he pressed a button, and the machine spoke to Mabel. It had a voice a bit like a serious robot, but having it made such a difference. Using that device, he told her to sell his car, learn to drive, and get something smaller that would suit her. He recommended a Honda for reliability. First things first, she had to apply for a driving licence by visiting the Post Office. When that came, she contacted one of the local driving schools. It had never entered her head to learn to drive, but the alternative was relying on taxis all the time.

Meanwhile, her relationship with Elsie was going downhill fast. She couldn’t leave Reg on his own for too long, and Elsie felt uncomfortable about doing anything with Reg in the house. Elsie was her usual tough self. “We can keep in touch by phone, but let me know when you think you can go on some trips, or stop over at my place”.

Ricky was the driving instructor assigned to teach her. But after six lessons in his Ford Focus, it was very obvious that Mabel would never understand how to use a manual gearbox, and keep her eyes on the road at the same time. He recommended she went for an automatic-only licence, and he also recommended a different instructor. It was much better with Elaine. She was very patient, and Mabel soon got used to the automatic car. “It’s like a bumper car at the funfair”, she told an unconvinced Elaine. After failing her test twice for the approach to roundabouts, Elaine took her out for a two-hour lesson before her third test, and spent almost all of it going around roundabouts.

She was as pleased as punch when she passed, though she didn’t confide her lack of confidence to Elaine, or Reg. He was delighted though, and used his machine to tell her to contact the Honda dealer. They brought a car to the house, and agreed to take Reg’s two year-old Mercedes in part-exchange. It was too big for her, even though it was automatic. Reg did most of the deal using his machine, and because the Mercedes was worth a lot of money, they didn’t have much more to pay. Reg paid for it, and typed into his machine. ‘A present for you, Mabel love’. Three days later, a brand new Honda Jazz automatic arrived, in a nice shade of metallic blue.

Not long after that, Reg typed that she should contact a company he knew, and get an automatic garage door to replace the old one. It would make life easier for Mabel, and it wasn’t as if they couldn’t afford it.

Mabel’s first trip in the new car was to the Doctor, to collect Reg’s prescription from the pharmacy. While she was out, she went to see Elsie. But Elsie wasn’t interested in the new car. She whispered to Mabel in the kitchen.

“Let’s go to my room. It’s been a long while”. Terry was watching television.

37 thoughts on “Life With Mabel: Part Thirty-One

  1. (1) I know Reginald worked for the railway. But putting rails around his house is a bit much!
    (2) Overheard:
    Mabel: Do you have some kind of a talking device for Reg?”
    Disability shop assistant: “Yes. In fact, we have two models: Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd.”
    (3) The first time Reginald pressed the machine’s button, it waved its arms frantically and began shouting, “Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!” Upon hearing this, Mabel shook her head and told Reg, “That does not compute!”
    (4) Mabel was more interested in buying a Lincoln Mark VII LSC. Why settle for just a driver’s license when you could also get a license to kill? Mabel was sure that she and that car would bond.
    (5) Mabel and Elsie’s relationship was going downhill fast. Overheard on a steep mountain road:
    Elsie: “Slow down! You’re driving too fast!”
    Mabel: “See that black Rolls-Royce Phantom III coming up behind us? It’s being drive by one of Blofeld’s assassins!”
    (6) Mabel got her driver’s license in a roundabout way.
    (7) I would have gone for the Honda Rockabilly.
    (8) Elsie: “Let’s go to my bedroom, hon. There’s not enough legroom in the back of your Honda.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Elsie has a one-track mind and she is very self-centred. Maybe Mabel likes the new needy Reg. A lot of adjustments. That machine that talks is a wonder. I wish we had had one for my aunt!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a drastic life change for Mabel! Good thing money isn’t an issue and she can afford the things to make it a little easier. Too bad Elsie turned out to be a “fair-weather” friend.

    Liked by 1 person

All comments welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.