Caring For Your Cane


          This discussion  took place  many years ago  before the  internet
          really got started.   The below  messages were posted  on a  chat
          group called Blink Talk which was, for those of you who remember,
          on a network called the Fido Net.



          By: Phil Scovell
          To: All
          Re: Big Problem

          I  was wondering if  someone could  help me  with this  problem I
          have.  Any comments will be appreciated.

          I came home with my faithful white cane today.  After pulling off
          my coat, I stood my cane up behind the door as I always do and it
          fell down.   That's never happened before.   I stood him  back up
          but it fell again.  It really concerns me because I trust in  him
          so  much.   I think  it's a  him but  I guess  I've  never really
          checked.   Anyway, I picked  the cane up  and led it to  water to
          drink but  quickly learned  you can't  make a  horse do the  back
          stroke if he  doesn't want to.   Anyhow, my cane refused  to take
          water.   I tried  holding the  tip over  the water  but it  still
          refused to drink.   I stroked and talked softly to it for several
          minutes; holding it on my lap and trying to discover the problem.
          Nothing seemed to help.  I tried once again to stand it up in the
          corner behind the door but it fell  with a clatter to the floor. 
          Up ending  the poor  thing, I carefully  felt the  tip to  see if
          perhaps it had  worn down.  I  was relieved to discover  that was
          not the problem.  After trying several more times to get the cane
          to stand  up by himself/herself, I gave up  and lay the cane down
          gently along side my bed.  I hope it'll be all right.  Has anyone
          ever had this problem?  Should I return it to  the school where I
          got it?  Is there a doctor in the house? Please help!

          By: Doug Coyle
          To: Phil Scovell

          I believe what  we have here  is one of  two conditions.   If the
          cane  in question has  a crook then  it is probably  some type of
          psychotrauma which  happened on  that  bender thing  in the  shop
          where it  was made.  I  mean, what if  someone put you on  one of
          those things.   You've  got to  put yourself  in the poor  cane's
          place.

          If it  doesn't have a crook then it's  definitely a case of crook
          envy. You went by another blind person whose cane had a crook and
          your cane sensed this and it  hasn't been the same since.   Since
          it can't talk  it's behavior of falling on the  ground behind the
          door is it's  own feeble way of  trying to communicate with  you.
          You better take care of this or your centered hand will be moving
          to the right soon.

          I  had a  cane whose  name was  Tipper  Gore.   I named  her that
          because of  certain actions  she would have  to strangers  on the
          street.  It just sort of came to mind.  Also, she would fall down
          like that especially when  I would put certain records  on the cd
          player.

          Shucks,  had to get rid  of ol' tipper.   Last I heard someone in
          Tennessee was using her.
          ===
          By: Walter Siren
          To: Phil Scovell

          It probably will happen again, but you should be  glad it did.  I
          stood my cane up by a door one time, and I forgot where I put it,
          and I stood it up so well, I could not find it for a year.  If it
          had fallen down, I would have found it.

          By: Phil Scovell
          To: Doug Coyle

          Doug,

          Your insight to my cane problem was  very helpful.  It is in fact
          a  straight cane.   My, I never  considered the  problem could be
          it's  because it's  a straight cane.   You  really think  a crook
          change  would help?   I'm not sure  if I'm ready  for that myself
          personally but I'd  do anything to help  the situation.   I never
          once thought of putting myself in its place.  It probably feels I
          don't  care or  something and,  of  course, that  certainly isn't
          true.  Until  I can afford the  crook change, do you think  I cut
          wire up a chain or something to the top in order to make it  feel
          a part of  the rest of the cane community?   I feel just terrible
          about this whole thing.   Are there any foundations whereby I can
          try and obtain a grant for the  crook change?  I'm sure they  are
          expensive.  I certainly don't want to let my cane know I might be
          considering the purchase of another cane to take its place.

          By: Phil Scovell
          To: Walter Siren

          Walter,

          Maybe,  then,  I'm  being overly  concerned?    Perhaps  there is
          nothing wrong with my cane?  Boy, that would be wonderful.   I've
          been very upset with it for days.   I've even considered tieing a
          rope on  to it and forcing it to stand up in the corner but I was
          afraid that might be cruel and someone might turn me in for it.

          By: Karen Friedman
          To: Phil Scovell

          Phil,

            That was  sorrowful.   I hope  you've been able  to solve  this
          malady  for your cane.  I stuck my cane in a drawer and have been
          using  a Lead/ Dog for some years now.  Ranger has many quirks of
          his own too!  But at least I get licked after I stroke him!

          By: Ron Denis
          To: Phil Scovell

          Phil,
               Your  trusty cane  is experiencing  what  we call  anaclitic
          depression.  It has

          discovered  that it  is, in  the end,  mortal.   White  canes are
          initially  endowed   with "original  delusion"  which makes  them
          believe  they are  immortal.    This   permits  them to  function
          bravely in the  most dangerous situation without   flinching.  It
          is this  belief which  keeps  them from  consuming their  masters
          when trapped together on desert islands.  
               Occasionally, the  cane's original training  lapses, visions
          of  mortality    infiltrate,  and  the  cane,  experiencing  deep
          depression, needs something to lean 
          on, the floor for example.  
               Treatment requires  viewing  the problem  from  a  different
          perspective.   The  cane believed itself  to be of divine origin.
          The trick is  to once again fool   the cane into  believing it is
          divine.  We use the ing-rod treatment around here.

               Take a  second slender staff,  temporarily attach it  to the
          cane above the  midpoint at an angle.  Hold the cane above a bowl
          of water with the top of the  cane in one hand and the top of the
          stafflet in the  other.  Holding everything   with your palms  up
          works best.  The tip will descend toward the water, the cane 
          will  again experience  itself as  divine,  and full  functioning
          should return  within
          the hour.  
               Hope this helps. 
               
          By: Carol Ashland
          To: Phil Scovell

          Sounds like your  cane is tipsy.   Try a cold shower,  I've heard
          that works.  Or if he's hollow, pour  hot coffee in him.  I think
          time will heal the problem, however.  You might  also try getting
          a hook  to hang him on, as he may feel he needs more stability in
          his life.

          By: Lorne Bock
          To: Phil Scovell

          Hi Phil,

          Liked your message re the problem with your cane.

          You  are not the  first to  have this problem.    My  problem was
          solved when after much talking  and coaxing my cane told  me that
          it's  tip was tired of continually having  to support the rest of
          the cane.

          The problem was then  solved by  telling the tip how important it
          was and  giving it a  piece of carpet  rather than just  the hard
          floor surface .

          By: Doug Coyle
          To: Phil Scovell

          PS>My, I never considered the problem could be it's
          PS>because it's a straight cane.  You really think a crook change
          PS>would help?  I'm not sure if I'm ready for that myself
          PS>personally but I'd do anything to help the situation.  I never
          PS>once  thought of  putting myself  in its  place.   It probably
          feels PS>I don't care or something and, of course, that certainly
          isn't PS>true.

          Well, I guess you're a lot like  me, sort of conservative and not
          too politically correct;  but I've mended my ways  and always try
          to  put  myself  in  anyone's  place  and  to  be  sensitive  and
          understanding.  After all,  your cane  can't help  it; it  has no
          crook.  It's just a victim.

          A  crook change is  a very serious  option, and  requires about a
          year of pre=operation  therapy.  You  Have to do things  like buy
          tapes of  sounds which occur in metal shops  to get the cane used
          to what will happen to it, and then show it pictures of different
          crooks. You'll have to spend a lot of time traveling with it too,
          and take it to  rehab agencies where other blind people  hang out
          so it  can see  if life  with a  crook is what  it really  wants.
          Heck, maybe you'll  get lucky and the cane  will change it's mind
          and learn to like itself and you can avoid the whole thing.

          PS>I feel  just terrible  about this whole  thing. Are  there any
          foundations PS>whereby I can try and obtain a grant for the crook
          change?  I'm PS>sure they are expensive.  I certainly  don't want
          to let  my cane PS>know  I might be  considering the purchase  of
          another cane to
          PS>take its place.

          Oh, no,  don't do that because the cane  will probably file an e.
          e. o.  complaint against  you for crook  discrimination.   Let me
          tell you, bubba, if the  cane doesn't learn to accept  itself the
          way it is, you have no choice but  to have the crook change done,
          and I don't know  what to do about the  money, but I'm sure  it's
          cheaper than legal  fees. Hey, just a  minute.  I got  an idea!!!
          This  just may  be the ticket.  flex therapy?  I don't  know much
          about it but you have to go to a flex therapist they get the cane
          in the  office and do  certain bending exercises and  other stuff
          with it.   You know how  when sometimes you get to going too fast
          down the street and  go across one of those storm  drains and you
          make it across but your cane  doesn't and gets the heck bent  out
          of  it? Then you have to stand  there for 5 minutes trying to get
          it straightened out enough so you can get home to your trusty ol'
          hammer? Well, flex therapy is something like that where they bend
          the canes and straighten them  again. This gives them more of  an
          appreciation for their flexuality.

          You have  to sort of  look underground for flex  therapists since
          the   techniques  are  not  apa  approved  (that's  the  american
          parapatological association. ===
           * By: Kit Thomas
          To: Phil Scovell

          Carol Ashland wrote in a message to Phil Scovell:

           PS> I was wondering if someone could help me with this problem I
          have.   PS> Any comments will be appreciated. 
           PS>  I came  home  with my  faithful  white cane  today.   After
          pulling off my  PS> coat, I stood my cane up behind the door as I
          always do  and it fell  PS> down.   That's never happened before.
          I  stood him back up but it fell   PS> again.  It really concerns
          me because I trust in him so much.  I think

          Methinks  your problem  is lack  of attention.   Just  think, you
          trust him to guide  you around all life's  obstacles, but do  you
          ever hug him.   Do you praise  him or do special  things for him?
          Perhaps he is reading this echo and is getting jealous of all the
          attention bestowed on the dogs.   I would suggest you try to  get
          to know your cane better and spend some time with him.  Play with
          him,  let him sleep  next to  your bed for  a while.   Maybe even
          fancy him up a bit with a ribbon or something.

          What you need to do is revive that 'old "Cain-do" spirit!

          By: Peter Scanlon
          To: Phil Scovell

          Hi Phil,
          Maybe your cane needs some female companionship.  If he  is going
          to meet some lady canes, make sure he has his rubber tip.   Maybe
          he is stressed out.  Loosen his elastic.  (Grin, chuckle!!)

          By: Phil Scovell
          To: Peter Scanlon

          Peter,

          Barbara Akin suggested the same thing  so I'm making arrangements
          to see if such will  solve his problem.  I don't know though, I'm
          not up to a shot gun wedding.

          End Of Discussion.

          Unless, of course, you wish to add your 2 cents.