I have a new Best Friend Forever. Named Tom. It's a good name, Tom, don't you reckon? Think Thomas the Tank Engine and Tom, Tom the piper’s son. Okay, forget the piper’s son - I've just sung the nursery rhyme
through to myself ( under my breath, because Mr B is slumbering, uncomfortably, in his wheelchair) and that Tom stole a pig. My Tom would never, ever do anything so, well, criminal…
Tom (as in my new BFF, not the Tank Engine Tom or the piper’s son) works for a company called The Ramp People. Which sells ramps. As regular readers know, I do like a company which does what it says on the tin. Or, in this case,
on the website. I didn't know Tom worked there to start with; I simply sent an email saying I was interested in possibly - just possibly - purchasing a portable ramp which would enable me to push Mr B and wheelchair out of the front door. At the moment, we
go through a regular pantomime performance getting Man and Wheelchair out of the house which involves transfer from wheelchair onto a perching stool on the front door step, whisking the wheelchair out of the side door and round to the front, then transfer
from perching stool into wheelchair.
I didn't explain all this in my email, you understand. There is such a thing as too much information, wouldn't you agree?
But I did say that I wasn't the strongest of pushers so I would probably not be able to manage anything too steep.
Within minutes, back came Tom. He was sure he
would be able to help, he said encouragingly, and could I send him some photographs and measurements so that he could properly assess what would be best for me? What service, I thought.
Armed with the Us-Pad, set to camera function, I set to taking photographs of door steps and what I understand to be called thresholds. After which I had an initially fruitless search for a tape measure until I remembered it was in
my knitting bag all along. Mr B eyed my efforts at both photography and measuring askance - what on earth was I doing, he wanted to know. The inference being that I had finally taken leave of my senses. It was Only A Matter Of Time, he clearly reckoned.
I told him all about Tom and how very helpful he was being. Mr B reminded me that Tom was a salesman so of course he would be helpful. He also reiterated his firm belief
that there was no way I would be able to propel his wheelchair up and over a ramp and down the other side. So there you have it - my Tale of Two Toms: Tom the Helpful Ramp Person on the one hand and Doubting Thomas (in the shape of Mr B) on the other, with
Yours Truly firmly in the middle.
I sent the photos and measurements to Tom anyway. Back he came with a solution to my problem - a threshold ramp for indoors plus
a four foot long ramp for outside. Both were super lightweight and both would give me a “gentle incline” he promised - he would send me some videos with which to persuade my Doubting Thomas. I said I would ring him the following day with
Doubting Thomas was still far from convinced today - but nevertheless I rang Tom. I rather wanted to know what he would sound like. Would he speak
with a broad accent, perhaps? Would he turn me off by coming over all pushy, trying to Seal The Deal, like the salesman Mr B believes him to be? I spoke to two other Ramp People before I finally managed to reach My Man. I'm sure the other two would have been
just as helpful but I felt I needed to speak to Tom. I'm sure you know what I mean. Tom reassured me that I could have the ramps on a fourteen day trial so if they don't suit I can send them back. He would put my order through immediately and my ramps would
be delivered, free of charge, on Monday.
There you have it. Come Monday, Mr B may well be proved right, Doubting Thomas that he is - but for the moment I
have utmost faith in Tom and his gentle inclines.
I will be sure to let you know…