wheelchair cowboy

The only thing I remember about Red Dragon (one of the Silence of the Lambs movies) is the scene where Phillip Seymour Hoffman gets superglued to a wheelchair, set on fire, and goes careening down the street in a burst of flames. It was not supposed to be funny, but for some reason, it really made me laugh, and now, whenever I see someone speeding by in a wheelchair, which is pretty much every day living in South Florida, I think of that scene, and it cracks me up.

There’s this old guy who lives in one of the condos who is always speeding around in his wheelchair. He’s missing part of his leg, but that doesn’t stop him from go go go’ing in his Hoveround. He eats breakfast every morning at Panera (which is about a quarter mile from the condo), so I always see him coming or going. Sometimes he wears a big white hat, and I’ve nicknamed him “The Wheelchair Cowboy.”

Turns out, it’s a pretty good nickname; I recently learned that he owned Bauer Firearms, a gun manufacturing company in Michigan. The company made a twenty five caliber automatic, which, according to one review, “did very much suck. It was a reliable single shot but jammed on its guts thereafter.” (Which leads me to suspect that he possibly shot off his leg while trying to unjam his weapon.)

Further research unearthed the fact that a Bauer .25 Automatic was used by Tobey Maguire as James Leer in one of my all-time favorite movies, Wonder Boys. I think that’s pretty cool. Here’s a picture of it.

But I digress, and am not really sure what my point is anyway. All I know is whenever I see Mr. Bauer tooling around the parking lot in his chair, I don’t just see him. I see Phillip Seymour Hoffman, riding by in flames, and it cracks me up. Here is a picture of him in action. (Pretend he’s on fire; it’s funnier that way.)

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