Babies, puppies and crutches.
Carry one of these things under your arms and you're guaranteed to grab the attention of people around you quicker than Dennis Rodman in a nursing home.
Which is why I tried my hardest to hobble around without crutches for two days this past weekend after hurting one of my big toes to the point that I could no longer move it. I didn't want people staring at me before eventually asking the most unavoidable question in the world: ""What happened?""
""Weekend shenanigans,"" I say. ""College happens.""
But I couldn't stand it any longer. I needed crutches like Pauly D needs his hair gel.
So Monday morning I crutched it seven-tenths of a mile to McClelland Hall, embarrassed by everyone who walked by. It wasn't so much that I felt like a three-legged beast; it could have had something to do with the fact that I was using children's crutches. The armpit rests went just above my belly button. It was more awkward than I imagine Tiger Woods would be in a strip club.
Clearly I wasn't made for crutches.
About 100 yards away from McClelland Hall, a man pulled up beside me in a golf cart and asked if I needed a ride.
Maybe he thinks I'm a UA athlete, I thought, looking down at the Wildcat polo I was wearing. Injured athletes on campus get cart rides all the time. But my toe was throbbing and my kid crutches were wobbly, so I took him up on his offer.
On our 20-second ride he explained to me that he was a driver for the Parking and Transportation Services Daytime Disability Cart Service, which I didn't know existed.
""What'd you do to your toe, anyway?"" he asked as I stepped off the cart.
""Weekend shenanigans,"" I answered. ""College happens.""
After class I took a quick trip to UA Campus Health, thanks to a courtesy ride from the Disability Cart Service, which has to be the program that makes the best use of UA's student services fees, hands down. It was a comfortable ride, and pure entertainment when the driver honked the cart's horn and literally yelled her affection for Black History Month near the UA Mall.
People were staring, but at least it had nothing to do with crutches.
I had my toe X-rayed and my foot placed in a boot on Tuesday.
""What happened?"" the nurse asked.
""Weekend shenanigans,"" I said. ""College happens.""
I was picked up three times by the free Daytime Disability Cart Service to take me to and from classes later in the day. The drivers were always right on time and extremely nice. And it didn't matter that I wasn't a UA athlete.
The best part was that they didn't ask why I was in a boot. They just provided one of the most practical services on campus.
And for that, I don't mind the attention.
— Lance Madden is a journalism senior. He can be reached at email@example.com.