A Plan B for those walking, wheelchair-bound family members

Q: I wish you would please address a terrible problem I’m encountering regarding a new Walkman. Its exterior is made of simple plastic, plastic allover. The speakers are on its topmost shelf. These speakers work, but when I want to play music, I always need to get off my wheelchair and get into the house to fetch the Walkman. The remote comes out of the wooden frame behind the phone but that bottom part of the frame is made of glass. If I’m climbing in and out of the home, as I often do, the Walkman gets ruined by a shattering glass. I have to lift and move a heavy broomstick just to open the phone and plug it in, so if I do that, my Walkman will then become lost in the other part of the home. If I hang up, then I have to climb up to the top of the telephone pole to find another phone. I have to carry a lot of things around but when the Walkman is in my van, it’s sometimes difficult to move from the front seat when I need to move an item or fix something. Please note that I try to keep the Walkman in my arms, right now, whenever I leave my home. However, the handles are so heavy that they are hard to lift. I should also add that the Walkman’s rating on the tag on the box says this product “truly works.” I have tried various microwave-like solutions and none are successful. — Martha M., Baltimore

A: Sound familiar? Let me suggest you try the Invisible Walkman. I’ve had a lot of fun with this.

The product has three really good elements in common with Martha’s Walkman. These sound like necessities to me:


It has a rubberized grip, so that your Walkman won’t break when you dip your glove into the floor with your cellphone lying on it.

Its noise-canceling features prevent the conversation in your home or office from drowning out music by limiting the volume to a reduced level.

Its excellent waterproofing, so that you can submerge it in water without a problem.

I took the Invisible Walkman into one particularly troublesome situation. After having it for a week, my Walkman was beginning to crack and burn up from heat and sweat. When I spilled tea or coffee on the Walkman I got the surface rashes and dribbles. I tried adding more toothpaste, but when I gave it another run the itch was gone. Finally, I put it in a room-temperature tub.

The next morning, I opened the door, turned on the Walkman, and an odor came up. I wondered how this was possible. It felt as if I were taking a trip to a bathtub. It was clear that a nice soft-scrubbed surface was needed. We found it on a Sunday morning.

“Who am I to throw my Walkman in the tub?” I thought.


The Bathmat phone solution was the spot on my wall. When I unplugged the Walkman, there it was. This took all of 10 minutes!

Q:I’m also a nice person who enjoys recycling. But my roommate, when he has the cookware in, drops it on the floor when he is changing the water. If he were more selfish, he would dump it in the trash. But he doesn’t.

I want him to recycle this stuff, but not always. This means we have to grab the dishwasher, about 15 feet away, every time. It’s a chore that he does reluctantly. Even though the dishwasher is elevated, it can sometimes damage the dishware if you lean it over. That would really upset me. I could turn the dishwasher on with just a blowtorch, but that would be quite aggressive. What can I do about this? — W.S., Houston


A: You can’t really do much about this. He is your roommate, not your bud. Let’s get this out of the way first: You do not have to let him empty the dishwasher every time. Also, no blowtorch is going to create a problem where it isn’t needed.

* For veteran readers, this column has been turned upside down and inside out. Please make that switch.

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