Repair Time


By: Connor Lenahan

The picture above is from last September. I was coming back home one night from the gym at Boston University only to have my chair break down on me. The front right wheel had literally become detached from the rest of the chair. To call this bizarre was an understatement. I had thankfully arrived home previously when the wheel finally disconnected. It would have been terrible if the wheel came off while I was coming back from the gym. To this day I have no idea how I drove over a mile on a broken wheel without it detaching, only for it to finally pop off once I was safely inside Warren Towers. It’s a real oddity.

I thankfully got the chair fixed within a few days and didn’t have to think anything of it. My chair held up well for the next few months. I even got a brand new one to use down Commonwealth Ave. Everything was all in its right place.

Then the snow started coming. The snow itself wasn’t what caused my chair trouble, it was the salt. The salt on the ground started to eat away at the bearings of my chair’s front wheels. It was awful. The wheelchair I had been using for all of three months broke down after a week of heavy snow due to the front wheel being rusted out. When I came home for winter break and got that chair fixed I was told that the front wheels were entirely shot. They replaced all of the pieces and the chair ran good as new.

Almost immediately upon returning to Boston my chair began having troubles. I came back in early January to begin my second semester and by mid-February I sent the chair home to be repaired yet again. Frustrated, I returned to the original chair, the one that I had driven on the broken wheel months earlier.

I remembered how durable that chair was. I decided to nickname it The Gallant Old Engine after the Thomas the Tank Engine story. Like Rheneas, my chair fought through mechanical troubles to get it’s passenger home safely. I fully acknowledge how goofy this nickname is, but seeing as Thomas the Tank Engine is quite literally my entire childhood I don’t care.

The chair held up well for just about a week. Then this morning the same front right wheel that had given me trouble in September broke on me. It stayed attached to the chair, but it began rubbing against the metal that supported the wheel, making it tough to drive. I’ve been able to drive relatively well around campus all day on it; I haven’t gotten hurt at all. Tomorrow though I will need to have the chair repaired yet again. The Gallant Old Engine needs a tune up.

Here’s my question: Why does Commonwealth Ave hate me? I show it nothing but love.  Yet it feels the need to destroy every one of my wheelchairs. It’s getting old. Seriously, maybe the first time was funny. It made for a good story. The second one was annoying, but understandable. The third time was just prickish. Now you’ve got to go for a fourth demolition? What the hell? This is out of control. I can’t keep burning through functioning wheelchairs at the same clip I inhale Altoids. It’s not fun anymore. I just want to be able to safely venture out to get Panda Express but no you just have to break my chair. You’re a douche Comm Ave. Stop breaking my stuff. I’m telling mom.

And yes, I did just yell at a road. Haters gonna hate, alligators gonna alligate, potatoes gonna potate.

Stop breaking my chairs though. Seriously. Please.

Connor Lenahan (@ConnorLenahan) is a freshman at Boston University, majoring in journalism. He can be contacted at