Raising cane
Thursday December 14th 2023, 11:22 pm
Filed under: Life

It finally happened.

With my no-balance I’d dropped it too many times. I have two similar canes, one in the car, one in the house, and the car one split in a crack just where the tips of my fingers go with a sharpness that could draw blood.

Which means I spent far too much time today looking for a replacement, and frankly, after 23 years it was time for an upgrade anyway.

You can get anything. A raw stick, an intricately carved outright obscenity (I thought the truck-mudflap-girl ones were bad till I saw–never mind.) And you can get works of downright art.

But, but… Yo, people, a dragon for the top is fun but you put spikes all over the top of its head–and its snout, too? You do know people put their hand on that part? Or even lean their upper-body weight? I mean, what?

You could buy a coiling snake from Africa, mamba or cobra your choice, with its little tongue flicking out at whoever you’re talking to. Because what little kid wouldn’t want to be eye level with that. You could make, literally, an off-the-cuff statement on your religion or gleeful lack thereof. You can have hidden tiny wine glasses and pretend you’re a famous French artist of a hundred years ago who was into that.

Now back when I was new at this, the local medical supply place had one that was made from a vine that had grown around a branch and the two (or was it three) twisting layers and varying textures had been stained different colors and it was absolutely gorgeous. And priced accordingly. By the time I decided I was going to be using this long enough to justify that as part of my permanent, daily wardrobe, it was long gone and I never saw anything quite like it and now the shop is gone, too.

But what I have learned, is: the short derby handle I once bought? (Styled like a horizontal question mark.) No. It fell all the time. I had to have a hand on it all the time, I couldn’t ever let it go, it owned me. It was designed to be comfortable to the hand that would rest on it but but but despite my best efforts at tucking it safely for just a moment between me and the register, I don’t like throwing large objects at random people around me. The idea of a tool making me more dependent on other people because I can do less for myself because of it just didn’t work for me.

A friend surprised me with one she’d bought at the gift shop at one of the Smithsonian Museums in DC. It was great fun. It had a giraffe and zebras and what-all-else with an Ankh symbol at the top but man, it weighed a ton on a difficult shoulder.

The lower zebra broke its back legs off.

I found this pair of shepherd’s crooks. They didn’t have combinations of woods but they had a bit of twist to them and the length was a bit crooked, too. I liked them. The shipping cost slightly more than they did. You can throw the crook over your arm when you need to and it stays there and it’s become just part of what I do with my body now without thinking: the canes are an extension of me.

It’s really hard to find a shepherd’s crook type out there.

I found one. I found it on Etsy and I found it on Amazon, and the difference was $14 and a willingness to cut to fit–but also, Amazon is easier to return it to if there’s a problem.

But man. There was this one that was three different colors of wood twisting around each other and I would have yelled, SOLD! at the sight of it. It’s gorgeous.

But it has a derby handle, although at least a longer one. They painted one of those three woods to look like a snake and made sure to point out in the listing that that’s what it was. Even if it didn’t have a tongue flicking out at anyone.

$129 isn’t bad at all for all that work but it won’t be that one. I’ll keep my eye on what they put out there next. Meantime, for the basics, Amazon says Saturday.

3 Comments so far
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Some of them certainly do seem more decorative than useful! I hope this one works the way you want it to.

Comment by ccr in MA 12.15.23 @ 7:07 am

Any Ukrainian ones out there? Just a thought. Might be horrendous shipping cost and perhaps you can’t wait that long?
Good luck

Comment by Chris+S+in+Canada 12.15.23 @ 7:27 am

If you need a cane, I’m picturing you with a Panama hat, maybe doing a dance routine.

Comment by LauraN 12.15.23 @ 10:29 pm

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