Sunday, August 19, 2018

My friend wears handicap blinders
My slightly disabled friend kindly gives me rides sometimes, so I hesitate being a backseat driver, but recently I noticed a pattern he employs that bugs me when it comes to his handicap parking.

My buddy has a disability permit. His first doctor said he was well enough and that he should walk more. The doc would not recommend a special parking placard. So what did my friend do? He drove to the next town for a second opinion.

I don’t believe he told the second doctor what the first thought. Perhaps my friend exaggerated his agony, trying to gain quick empathy. Another thing that bothers me is when my friend sometimes aims to park in a designated spot; a regular parking spot is also open mere steps away. What if someone with a more difficult disability needed the spot my friend just snagged? Someone blind who’s experienced a horrific crash or a quadriplegic needing room for his wheelchair?

Mt friend doesn’t see it this way. For him it’s “First come, first serve!” When I see attitudes like this I’m reminded of the nine UCLA football players who counterfeited handicapped placards back in 1999*. Here was a case of our most able-bodied men caught being parking cheats.

My friend makes the argument that he needs the closest spot in the event of an icy pathway. Well, maybe so, but some desired spots are icier because they’re closer to the building shade! I would hope for snow my friend would don proper shoes or use lightweight cleats. And call on me to guide him to the door.

 Meanwhile, if my friend would consider nicer courtesy toward those with less fortunate ambulatory capabilities, it would be a nice turn of a walk for him to take.

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