Thursday, November 29, 2012


The Disease has definitely made a new home for itself in the Stay In Bed phase. This is the first not-just-listening activity that I've done all day... Got up for whatever reson at 5:30AM, took my thyroid pill, went back to sleep until 10AM. Stayed in bed until 1:30, and here it is, 5:00, and I'm finally doing something besides just sitting and listening with my eyes closed.

Sure is a good thing that I'm not in the working world... I wouldn't survive just being in it, much less trying to work in it.

Yesterday, I drove myself to one of my favorite Taiwanese lunch/tea places. Brought said lunch home, and fortunately finished it just before I fell asleeep. Fortunate indeed, because the empty bowl and chopsticks hit the floor, and although I sort-of heard the noise as they hit the ground, they didn't make enough noise to really wake me up, and I didn't see them on the floor until about an hour later.

Meanwhile, another story... and a conundrum, too.

While at said tea/lunch place, my usual "handicapped parking" spot was full. Driving around the lot to find another parking space of any kind, I saw three people around a silver Mercedes, engaged in conversation. There may have been a baby carriage at the side of the car; it may have been schlepping something other than a child, but it was a baby-esque carriage.

What I also saw: No handicap placard. No handicap plate.

I've seen this very car parked in handicap spots before. Same luxurious silver Mercedes, not easy to mistake for another vehicle. Never a placard. No plate. Basically, no state-issued permission to park in such places. At least that I could see, and those things are easy to spot, especially for those of us who have them.

So, here's the conundrum... Is there any point to saying to these people—politely, humanely, no point in raising hackles in your initial communication with people you've never met—that "they can't park there?"

The "handicap-ness" of these spots is very clearly marked. Clear blue lines, clear square wheelchair symbols on the surface of the lot and on abundantly visible signs in front of the very spot that these people were absconding with. There's no getting around what kind of spots they are being profoundly clearly posted. These people just didn't care.

Now, I know that there are sometimes issues with people from other countries having different relationships with/to "authority" than U.S. citizens do... Teachers with students from foreign countries run into this a lot, because in other countries, the teacher is a Tool of the State and good neighbors come together to Put Down The Man so of course they cheat and help each other cheat on tests (and everything else) because that's what good neighbors do, they come together to Put Down The Man. And I do not know what these people's relationships to The Man is, in their home countries, but all I know is they have a Very Expensive Car and I've seen them park several times in this very lot, always Anywhere They Like. And in fairness to our non-native bretheren, this is something that seems to infect Los Angelean drivers, the perception that right-of-way and other laws vary in their application depending on cost of car, as do answers to the question "Don't you know who I am?" It's about privilege, not rule of law; or so it seems, here in L.A.

But to the question: These people have repeatedly shown that They Just Don't Care whether they're "allowed" to park somewhere or not. Is there, any reason to tell them "you're not supposed to park there"? Even phrased specifically to appeal to self-interest—"Dude, that's a three-hundred-plus-dollar ticket if a bored cop wanders through this parking lot. You really don't want to park there."

Or I could call the local constabulary and ask them to send said bored cop through the parking lot to ticket them. Satisfying on paper, I suppose, but I don't know if I'm quite "in that sort of place" yet. Although I may be, if they take the only available handicap spot from me again. I certainly don't mind other disabled people getting to spots before I do, but people taking those spots because they don't feel like "walking that far," or don't feel like parking in "narrow spaces" with their Wonderful Car... that's different. I'm sorry, but that's different.

Then again, having to "walk" (walk-ER) a little further is exercise. So... I should thank them, perhaps?

The Good Book says that rain falls upon the just and the unjust alike. As may be; nonetheless, it doesn't mean that I like having to walk through more of the rain because someone thinks parking spaces should be assigned by cost of car.

The Good Book also says, "Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord: I will repay." Well, if that's what's waiting for them... I don't think their luxurous Mercedes is going to make much difference.

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