I currently am living with a disability. I can't walk more than a few feet without the assistance of a cane and haven't been able to work for three months as a direct result of this (hopefully temporary!!) disability. Because of this, I have a temporary handicapped decal. For me, walking more than 100 meters[i] is like asking a fit person to do the West Coast Trail, just to go to the grocery store. And I have a disability that still enables me to stand on my own volition or have complete control over my limbs. Can you imagine how difficult it is for people who are forever bound to a wheelchair? How difficult it is for people who can’t even operate the wheelchair on their own?
When I see people who park in a designated handicap parking spot who do not have a decal, I get angry; even before I had need of a decal myself. What on earth gave you such an inflated sense of entitlement that you feel that it is your right to take away the parking spot that has been specifically designated for people who have a physical disability that makes it difficult (or even impossible) for them to walk more than 100 meters? Oh you only need to pop in and out of the bank? So what??! Maybe I need to pop in and out of the bank, too, you jack-ass!
Yesterday I had to go to a physio appointment and I was running a teeny bit late. I wasn’t too terribly concerned about it because kitty corner from the clinic is a metered handicap parking spot. I got there, and there was this red 2006 BMW M3 parked in the spot. After my split second appreciation of such a fine machine (it’s one of my favourite cars), I realized that the turdnozzle[ii] didn’t have a decal! So here I am, forced to have to search for another parking spot further away, causing me to have to walk further to get to my appointment. As I mentioned at the top of this post, I can’t walk without a cane and have difficulty[iii] walking more than 100 meters. If I walk up or down a slope, this makes matters worse.
Now, in fairness to this person, they didn’t know that I have this disability, but that’s not the point of the matter. Because of his[iv] (assumed) inflated sense of self worth, he felt as though he were more entitled to the spot than I or someone else with a disability. Because he felt as though his convenience was of greater importance than my (or someone else’s) disability, I was in greater pain than I was throughout the entire day because I had to walk that much further and up a hill.
Again, in fairness, it is safe to assume that had he not stolen that spot, someone else who was entitled to that spot would have taken it before I would get a chance to so I would have been in the same situation as I was in, but then I wouldn’t have burned with the feeling of social indignation and I wouldn’t have felt inspired (yet) to write this post and more poor readers would have suffered too! (Now who has the inflated sense of self-importance?)
Even before my injury, I hated seeing this and I would often call either the towing company that managed the private lot, or I would call the city’s parking enforcement department (if I was in Vancouver). Since I’ve established precedent of doing this when perfectly abled, you’d better damn well believe I’m going to call now that I’m not. It turns out the jerkburger is a diplomat or consulate employee. A-ha! We have discovered where he got his sense of self-importance. The laws and rules don’t apply to diplomats.[v]
Well, since this snotnose not only parked in a designated handicap parking spot without a decal and let his meter expire (it was expired before my appointment), he got towed (at least that was what I was led to believe). Ha! The city may not be able to make the parking violations stick, but he still will have to deal with the inconvenience of going to the impound lot to pick up his car. That’ll teach him.
So be warned: If I see you parked in a handicap decal, be prepared to pay! I more than likely will call a towing company or the city[vi] and you will have to pay. If you’re lucky, all I’ll do is call you an asshole.
[ii] I may be immature using less than kind words about this person, but I don’t think this calls for civility. I don’t intend to curse at someone for doing this, but I certainly won’t be kind.
[iii] Difficulty = Can’t! Not without lots of pain and lots of pain meds afterwards.
[iv] I’m going to be using masculine pronouns from now on as shorthand.
[v] A bunch of hogwash, if you ask me!
[vi] If you live in the City of Vancouver (in Canada), and you want to get a hold of parking enforcement, call 311 and ask for that department.