Monday, February 25, 2019

Parking the car

One of our prominent work areas looks out on the carpool and disabled parking spots. And so I have much cause and opportunity to look up and gaze with horror upon my fellow humans. The carpool spots are filled mainly by textbook revolting American stereotypes. Emerging alone from their obese vehicles, they save themselves 40 steps as they walk to the slightly nearer front doors of the library from their stolen parking spots after spending the morning in Church praying to their grotesque, insane President.

I don't wish them well. Though I know enough of some of these people, from helping them in the library, to understand that they are in a constant cycle of both perpetuating and paying for their sins. And I try to keep in mind, to temper my rancor, that there are worse sins than parking in a carpool spot illegally...

Like, for instance, parking in the Handicapped spots illegally.

Unlike the carpool spots which are used by two clearly identifiable populations, planet hating miscreants (solo patrons), and welcome users (non solo patrons), the Disabled spots are used by people on a vast, murky ethical scale. You tell me: who, if either of these, are in the wrong: The retired firefighter with a ruined right leg and two replaced hips, who, though she has no handicapped tag, limps in agonizing slowness to our front doors, or the middle aged business executive who has a legal handicap tag but in every way seems perfectly spry, able, and unpained by his quick journey to our relatively nearby front doors.

While I cannot see whether or not any people using the disabled parking places have the required handicapped permissions, I can say that most of the people I see emerge from those cars seem well and able enough. Certainly I cannot judge hidden conditions. But because the majority of people who use the Disabled spaces who seem reasonably able is so vast I am compelled to conclude that a huge number of disabled parkers are up to at least some measure of ethical malfeasance. 

A couple of hours ago I looked out the window at an old car that had just parked in a handicapped spot. An older woman slowly emerged from the car pulling out a walker with her. She had only one leg and maneuvered and kept her balance in the snow using the walker. She worked her way to the back door of her Dodge Dart. With struggle she got it open. She pulled out a folded up wheelchair and awkwardly got it set up properly in the snow. She folded up the walker and shoved it into the car while gingerly getting herself situated in the wheelchair.

"Now that's what I'm talking about!" I exclaimed with admiring satisfaction.

Then I felt a little funny about it.


  1. Ahh, those parking spaces. Usually I park at the north end of the lot, in order to get more steps on my Fitbit. This month, however, I've at least tried to get one of the "fuel efficient" spots for my Prius. They are seldom available, and the cars in them often look fuel UNefficient.

    As for the handicapped spots and apparently able-bodied people using them--I suspect that some of those users are operating with someone else's license or hang tag. In my mother's last years, she had a handicapped hang tag. If one of my sisters or I were taking Mom somewhere, one step was always "Make sure you have the handicapped sign." If she wasn't with us, we didn't use the tag.

    Trickier if it's a license plate. Then you just have to wish that people would take a regular spot unless they really were transporting someone who needed the shorter trip to the library door. (Or wherever)

    As for the woman using the walker to get to her wheelchair...sainthood, maybe?

    1. Hey, I had a fitbit for awhile. Now I just walk thanklessly, with no rewards whatsoever!

      Yeah, I didn't even include the wildly abused fuel efficient spots which regularly draws people hopped up on Fox News Steroids who park there in a state of delusional hostility (trust me, I've talked to them).

      Yes, I have some experience with "family" tag use and the opportunities for abuse, but in that case I would say not giving the tag would have been a greater kindness and health benefit to the person who had it. The extra steps, though difficult, would have exactly the sort of thing to improve her conditions.

      Whether the one-legged woman was a saint or not I cannot say, but certainly her resilience was admirable, and legal parking is always to be admired.


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