Sunday, November 06, 2011

Hanged by his own Petard

Mr. Chu was caught half-in and half-out of someone else's room after his latest theft. The poles on his wheelchair got stuck, and the staff left him there for at least an hour. There was much merriment in the nursing home, even among those whose life's work is helping others. It was like watching a beetle on its back without righting it. I murmured, "Crime does not pay" as I walked by, and he ignored me. A little schadenfreude, anyone?


Pam said...

You had me running for my German/English dictionary for this unknown word - malicious glee- ha ha!! It's the naughty corner for you Mr. Chu! I'm sure the caring staff you mentioned kept their eye on him.

e said...

Does he even realise he does this stuff?

TechnoBabe said...

I have the same question as e. Does Mr Chu knowingly steal for attention or the commotion it causes, or does he not compute right from wrong? Is it possible for the staff to restrict him to a certain area?

Taradharma said...

busted! Film at 11.

mischief said...

Oh Mr. Chu, I do hope you've learned your lesson. I wonder why there's a part of me that thinks not... Glad you got some entertainment.

Paula said...

What are those poles on his chair actually for?

seventh sister said...

I doubt that any kind of behavioral intervention would help much. He may not have the capacity to remember that he is rewarded for not taking things or that any thing he doesn't like is a consequence of his behavior.

It's something that the staff can't do a lot about and they could most likely get into trouble for leaving him stuck in the door. I hope you aren't using his real name.

Taradharma said...

I believe the polls are to exclude chair users from going into bedrooms, and to stay in main areas. I know that often in these situations, residents try to wheel themselves out the front door and the poles may prevent that as well.

nick said...

Hilarious! What goes around comes around....

Tanya Brown said...

If only this was the end of his hijinks. Something tells me that he'll soon be wheeling back in Flip's room, unrepentantly ripping off whatever isn't nailed down.

secret agent woman said...

That's funny - are those poles tall enough to keep him out of Flip's room, or only rooms with the bars up?

You know, even though you know it's not entirely in Mr. Chu's control - it's hard not to giggle about him get himself trapped.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Isn't it a wonderful word and concept? Taking joy in another's misfortune. I fear we all do that occasionally, even when we mean better.


I've asked the staff the same question. They seem to think he does realize what he's doing and doesn't care.


Not possible. The home is small, with limited space. He is like a rat on a treadmill.


Oh, yes!


Today it was back to business for Mr. Chu. The social worker told me that he had tried to get him a special wheelchair that doesn't back up so he'd be trapped in a room he invaded, but it was ruled unsafe because of Marvin. (Marvin may be the subject of another Spoon River post when I know more about him besides the fact that he is a large, brutish piece of meat.)


Ostensibly, to keep him out of other people's rooms. Clearly they are not altogether successful.


I have never mentioned the name of the facility. I had assumed he was operating under an uncontrollable obsession, but the nursing staff seems to think he does know right from wrong. He just doesn't care.


You are right on all counts. Obviously, the poles need to be taller.


Doesn't it, though? :) Karma bites.


Yes, he was at it again when I was there today.


I confess I didn't even try not to laugh. You don't often see justice like that. He got frustrated and had a tantrum while stuck yesterday, but it wasn't my job to free him. I don't work there.

The bars only slow him down, really, and Flip is too tall to put them in his doorway. I asked if we could devise something padded on the sides of the door jamb wide enough to keep a wheelchair out. They won't do it but I may improvise something myself. Flip is very thin so it won't present a problem for him. It's really not fair that we should have to deal with this situation incessantly.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

You know... Sus, there's a spy shop down near the wharf that has countless fantastic odds and ends... maybe there's something in that shop that would assist with deterring this wild wheeled criminal.


Scarlett & Viaggiatore

PeterAtLarge said...

How about a little behavioral therapy, like leaving a bait that explodes with dye like the bundles of bank notes in a bank heist? "Caught red-handed" would have some real meaning then.

Laura Lee said...

OMG I laught so many times during this post. Purloined alone gave such rich guffaws. Thank you for this, it's been a long day and I enjoy a good foiling! pics and all!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


If only it were up to me to restrain Mr. Chu. But it isn't. Nor should it be, of course, But wouldn't it be splendid if it were?


He also steals any money he finds, so maybe I could plant something along the lines you suggest. Caught red-handed indeed! I doubt it would make any difference, though. I'd feel sorry for him if he were not such a huge pain. Still, I really love your idea.

Laura Lee,

Today, he was trying repeatedly to get into Flip's room but I was on the job. Two of the aides almost got into a fight because each was pushing him away from the room she was protecting and toward the other, like a saluggi game. Or maybe we should call it Chu Begone.

Anonymous said...

I like that you got a shot of him and a perfect shot it is: him from behind, sitting still, but I am sure, plotting his next move.

Anonymous said...

His predicament no doubt gave Mr. Chu something to chew on. And use schadenfreude whenever you can. I know I do, and it is so apt here. How intolerable, however that the residents must put up with this sort of shit.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


He was sitting still because one of his poles was stuck on the other side of the doorway. It was sweet.


He had an impressive tantrum while in wheelchair limbo. And today he again stole Flip's CD boombox and prescription Ray Bans plus a $50 bill from someone else. He is incorrigible -- he cannot be corridged.:)