Austin Powerchair rides again

Austin Powerchair rides again

By Rod Myers, Naturalist

November 30th was Austin Powers Night at the Rockford Lightning basketball game, and that meant a MetroCentre visit by impersonator Airwaves Dave as Austin Powers, that international man of intrigue. His visit inspired a visit by yours truly as Austin Powerchair, that in-your-county man of inaccessibleness. Austin Powerchair took the head off his look-alike ventriloquist dummy and put a sign on its cheek that read, “Mini Me.” Then Austin Pc drew up a psychedelic poster that emblazoned his name.

When A. Powerchair arrived at the MetroCentre, Austin P. was working the lines of fans waiting for the inner doors to open. I cut in line to get at A.P., who was at the moment ad-libbing. “Hey, Austin,” I said. “Look at Mini Me,” as I waved the dummy head around. Some of the people laughed; others stared with saucer eyes. Airwaves Dave smiled for an instant, then he proclaimed in a British accent, “Look, he’s beside himself.” Many laughed at his remark while some of the saucer eyes turned into mother ships.

Then I handed A.P. my poster with tape and made him secure it to the back of my wheelchair. After that, I asked him to read what the poster said aloud. “Austin Powerchoir,” he said.

“No, no,” I said. “That’s Powerchair, you Brittiot.” (A Brittiot is a British idiot.) I asked the fans if the spelling was clear, and they agreed it clearly spelled “Powerchair”; old A.P. was playing his game.

My turn—“Hey, Mr. Powers, where’s your old girlfriend Felicity?” (i.e., Phallicity) I asked. He quickly replied, “She’s out on an assignment.”

I shot back, “Is there any accessibility to Phallicity’s sexuality?” “Oh, move on, baby!” laughed A.P.

It wasn’t long before we were all courtside. I was near the basket on the east end of the building. Austin Powers was all over the place. He wasn’t hard to spot with that mod outfit on. He looked remarkably like the genuine article, which is basically just a nerd that’s way too happy and hung up on himself.

Airwaves Dave was hooked up to the house speaker system so everyone could hear, “Yeah, Baby” whenever he wished. He also had a psychedelic megaphone so he could work small areas of the stands ad-libbing and asking Austin Powers trivia questions.

Austin had to walk by me to get to the other side of the court, which he did often, and that’s when I hit him with the wheel wit.

A. Pc: “Hey, Austin!”

A.P.: “Yeah, baby.”

A. Pc: “You’ve been to Japan. Have you ever met my disabled Japanese cousin? His name is U Kin Help Mee.”

A.P.: Oh, be-have, baby!”

Next time he passed by:

A. Pc: “Hey, Austin, did you ever meet my other disabled Japanese cousin? Her name is U Kin Pray For Mee.”

Austin Powers was having a rough time with some Guilford students, though they were well versed in A.P. trivia. One student walked down the aisle and smacked Austin’s rear end. That’s when I went over to A.P. “Look,” I said. “I’m a Guilford grad, and there’s one thing Guilford students hate to be called, and that’s guppies.”

So A.P. called them a bunch of grooveless, anti-shag guppies. Instantly, the students applauded and cheered. Boy, Guilford students are a bit different these days.

A.P. quickly hit them with another trivia question. “What is Austin Powers’ favorite movie?” Instantly, a Guilford student yelled, “In Like Flint!”

“Right on, baby!” said A.P.

The next time A.P. walked by, I asked him to guess what Austin Powerchair’s favorite movie is. “No, tell me,” he said.

“Inaccessible Like Flint, Michigan,” I said.

Rod Myers is a local resident with an interest in the environment and disability issues. He has an associate’s degree in science and a bachelor’s in fine arts. Rod is a member of the Audubon Society, the Wild Ones Natural Landscapers and Rockford Amateur Astronomers, Inc.

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