One of the things in this world of wonder and curiosity is why able-bodied people insist on using parking spaces that have signs posted that say “handicapped parking”. (the blue ones) If you are reading this, you probably have the legal right to avail yourself of said spaces. But if you are one who doesn’t, read on.

If you illegally use parking places designated for disabled people, I have a question to ask. Is it such an inconvenience to walk a few extra feet to get where you are going? Do you think it’s no big deal? Do you think it’s not fair that people who can’t get around so well get special treatment? Are you rebelling against “the man”? Maybe you feel like you and your car are special and deserve to break the rules. Are you just an idiot? Maybe it isn’t a big deal if it is just a few seconds. (or 15 minutes). Maybe you think occupying a handicap spot isn’t really “parking” if you are just sitting there idling while someone inside is shopping. Is it because the weather is bad?

These are some of the lame excuses I have run into over the last few years. If you are one of those people that answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are an ignorant jackass. Why? Read on.

While being close to the door I am about to enter is convenient, it (for me) isn’t the main benefit. You see, when you have a bad leg, some people need to open their car door all the way to get in or out of their vehicle. A regular parking spot is not wide enough to allow for this. So, in other words, it protects the able-bodied vehicle owner from damage like door-dings. (or bruises from people who are more capable to deliver them and are less tolerant than me) If you do need wheelchair access this takes it to a whole new level. Does this explain the enough? Or does it need more clarification?

So what is a hemiplegic to do? How do you combat these situations? I have found a few ways to sort of put people in their place. 

The easiest thing to do (if the driver is sitting there) is to walk by and stop at the offending vehicle. Look at the driver, then the handicap sign and repeat several times, then shake my head and walk away. Then, to punctuate, do it one more time. This is no more than shaming but it feels good.

Another way I like to do it is to snap a picture of the car and (making sure the license plate is visible) and post the picture on Facebook with the location. (see the Strokeliving FB page for examples) If they ask why you took the picture just say you love their car.

Here’s another way to do it. If you are in a confrontational mood and the situation is right, well, now let me tell you a little story.

One beautiful sunny day in a small Texas town, an unsuspecting hemiplegic named Bill went to a convenience store to buy a Coke, chips, and a scratch-off lottery ticket. He was denied a handicap parking space by an able-bodied driver. He was a teen-aged lad named Jack Ass. (who was obviously driving mommy or daddy’s car) Seeing this, Bill decided to teach Jack Ass a lesson by parking his car in a way that Jack Ass would not be able to leave.

When Jack Ass came out of the store he told Bill to move his car, to which Bill said: “you can leave when I talk to one of your parents”. Jack Ass again demanded that Bill move his car. Bill then said: “I am not moving until I speak to your parents or the police give you a ticket, and according to that blue sign it is a $200 fine.” Jack Ass’s eyes got wide in astonishment when he realized that Bill wasn’t joking.

A call was made and Bill explained the situation Mrs. Ass and handed the phone back to Jack Ass. An unhappy mother had words with Jack Ass, to which he said “wait… but… I just… aww… yes ma’am”. Bill then smiled and said: “have a nice day!” He then allowed Jack Ass to leave.

The End

What is the moral of the story? Don’t jack with a pissed off hemiplegic named Bill. What do you think Bill should have done?

699 thoughts on “Parking

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