The Parking Pet Peeve That Drives Me Crazy

Everyone has those events in life that trigger our anger, or disgust; those things that people in society do that simply piss us off. Some of mine are when drivers wait for the last possible second to merge lanes even though there were signs for the previous five miles that stated: 'Construction Lane Closed Ahead'. Another is when that incredibly arrogant asshole parks his car diagonally across two spots in a crowded parking a lot. And the idea that Keanu Reeves still insists on making movies really drives me crazy.

But my all-time winner is when someone parks in a handicapped parking spot who is obviously not handicapped. They might have the placard hanging from their rear view mirror, but they probably just kept it from when grandma passed away or from a long-ago injury that has healed. My sister Diane, who has a handicapped son, will confront the perceived offenders. On those occasions, when her children were younger, they would often dive into the back seat and feign ignorance of the crazy woman that was about to get beaten to death with a cane.

On my first day of vacation in Belmar, N.J., I unloaded my car and then headed up to the beach. I got to the boardwalk and decided to take a walk. Cars are parked all along the boardwalk and as I neared a silver van in a handicapped spot I noticed what appeared to be a hand-written note under the driver's side windshield wiper. My first thought was that the driver of that car was not handicapped and that angered a passerby (was my sister in town?) who left them a note calling them out on their transgression.

I was too lazy to leave the boardwalk and find out, so that assumption would go unproven, but not for very long. In the very next handicapped spot, about a block from the first, I saw a silver SUV. Two of the doors were open and I could see it packed with beach chairs, coolers, and towels. Standing just to the side of the car were three suitcase-leather-skinned adults in their 60s. Two men and a woman and none of them appeared handicapped. Okay, my first thought would have been that perhaps one, or even all of them, had emphysema and therefore could not walk great distances without feeling distressed. That would have been the thought except for the fact that all three of them were smoking cigarettes. One by one they finished their smokes and one by one they walked over and disposed of the butts in the garbage (thank God for small favors).

There are dozens upon dozens of handicapped spots all along the boardwalk and every single one of them was filled on that Saturday afternoon. Yet, when I looked along the beach and boardwalk there were very few people in wheelchairs or people who had difficulty moving about. My anger turned to disgust when I realized that someone like my sister who required handicap parking would have to park blocks away just so some fat, tanned asshole doesn't have to walk a few extra feet.

It was the next occupied handicap spot that left me scratching my head. It was a blue two-door sports coup with two racing bikes strapped to the back. Whatever handicap that guy had I wanted it, and I wanted it now.

Maybe it's me; maybe this is what comes with age. Instead of letting things roll off your back you let it get to you; you then rant about it on Facebook or write a semi-serious entry to post to your blog.

All I know is that when I was younger I always had dogs or cats as a pet. Now that I'm older I find that all my pets are peeves.


(The above is from those who need handicapped parking to those who abuse the privilege.)

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