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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Able-bodied? Ever park in a handicapped spot?

There is a special place in the afterlife for able-bodied people who park in handicapped spots, and it isn’t a good one. Those of you who’ve done it know who you are, and SHAME on the lot of you! I don’t care what your excuse is. “I was only going to be a minute.” Sure, and in that minute a handicapped person got there and couldn’t use the spot. “I’ve never seen anyone park there.” So you’ve been there 24-7 since the place was built, huh? “I left my wife/husband/kids in the car so it doesn’t count.” Oh, yes, it does, and the fine is upwards of a hundred dollars. “I didn’t park in the space, just the cross-hatched area between spaces. That’s just wasted space anyway.” Not if you’re trying to deal with a wheelchair, it’s not. “Most people who use them aren’t REALLY handicapped. They sure don’t look handicapped. Why do they need the best spots?”

Many reasons. I doubt you’d argue with someone in a wheelchair or using a walker, would you? Just realize that a lot of mobility impairments are invisible. Someone with crippling arthritis wouldn’t be immediately recognizable. Someone with an artificial limb might not be able to walk far without pain. Someone with a heart condition might just be able to shop, but if they had to walk farther from their car, might not be able to manage.

At any rate, the judgement isn’t yours to make. Laziness isn’t a handicap, neither is being in a hurry. Park somewhere else, and look on the extra steps as exercise. I’ve seen some of you schmucks, and you need it.

Ignorance is not not knowin' - ignorance is knowin' what ain't so.
--Mark Twain