Friday, December 17, 2004

Shoehorn parking

Last week when I went to the office, I had to try and find a spot in the parking lot - being self-employed, I have some flexibility with regards to the hours I keep. For some reason, after 10 a.m. on Tuesdays the parking lot seems fuller than on other days at a similar time. On this particular day, I managed to find a spot second from the end; however, the car (a late-model BMW) in the third spot from the end was encroaching into the vacant spot by at least a tire-width. Two thoughts immediately came to mind: 1) The Beemer's lousy parking job was no doubt the reason why no one else had bothered to park there, and 2) You'd think that anyone who could afford a Beemer could certainly afford parking lessons. After a few seconds' deliberation, I decided to go for it. Sure, I might crowd the car in the first spot (a Volvo, if I remember correctly), but then again that driver had the end spot, so he had plenty of room. As for the Beemer - well, I left just enough room for him to squeeze in. I figured he'd probably be able to make it without a shoehorn, unless, of course, he happened to be a portly type. But I didn't really think that he had much to complain about - after all, he was the one who was responsible for the lousy parking job.

Well, when it was time to go home, I came out to my car, and found a nice little note from one of the drivers (at least, I assume it was one of the drivers) on my windshield, castigating me for failure to provide ample access to his car. (I have no idea whether or not it was the Beemer, but I have my suspicions.) The writer of the note (apparently in an attempt to induce guilt) saw fit to mention that he was on crutches. Now, I know that it's no fun being on crutches, and it is not my intention to disparage anyone in whatever affliction they may find themselves. However, there were a few questions running through my mind, at this point:

1) Was it indeed the driver who was the party on crutches? It seems to me that it's illegal (in my state, at any rate) to operate a motor vehicle if you're on crutches.

2) Was it a passenger in one of the cars? Why on earth didn't the driver drop him off and pick him up at the doors, then, for cryin' out loud?

3) Assuming the crutches were the result of a temporary condition, why didn't the driver (or whoever) secure a doctor's note, enabling him to get a temporary handicapped card? It shouldn't be that hard to get, and then he could park in a handicapped spot and have all the berth he desires.

4) If the crutches were not the result of a temporary condition (e.g. polio), then he certainly would have qualified for handicapped plates.

(For the record, I don't recall seeing any such handicapped plate/card.)

So now, there is some guy out there who's no doubt convinced that I am an inconsiderate whatever. I guess there are some people who are convinced that others are to blame for their difficulties. But you'd think a halfway decent driver would know to check his mirrors every once in a while. Maybe if this guy did that, he'd be able to see someone who is at least partially to blame for his trials and tribulations.

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