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Watch where you’re parking

December 6, 2008
Adirondack Daily Enterprise

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks-you know the rest of the story. It's the holiday season and it's busy.

People you think don't want to give you the time of day stop by and give you a little gift. You get Christmas cards from people you could have sworn were dead. Now what? You're out of Christmas cards and you've used up all your "just in case" gifts. It's terrible manners not to reciprocate. Your parents taught you better than that! Wait, you do have a few minutes before you have to go see the school play, decorate your office, help out at church, cook dinner, make sure you child's dress shoes still fit, make cookies for the class party and wrap a Secret Santa gift.

Quickly, you jump in your car and head to the nearest store. At this point, you're sure you can find an appropriate gift at a mini-mart. Zoom, zoom, the traffic is slow and the pedestrians are even slower. Your mind is screaming "Enough with the meet and greet in the crosswalk, just cross already, will you!" Finally, the warm glow of the mini-mart sign is within sight. Ah, you just want to run in, grab anything and run out. Just stick a bow on it and it looks like a present.

There is a perfect parking spot. It's so perfect you can almost select something before you even get out of the car. Another car is circling the parking lot; you're out of luck now.

Oh wait, no, they pass it by. Turn your blinker on, you're in. Why is this parking place so choice? Why did that other car park elsewhere? Who knows? Who cares? You're in a hurry.

At the other end of town, someone who has just as much on their plate as you have, suddenly realizes they need to have a whirlwind shopping excursion at that same mini-mart. They have forgotten to get a gift for the newspaper boy and he's due to deliver the newspaper any minute. Zoom, zoom, they rush to the mini-mart silently screaming at the same slow moving traffic that you had to deal with.

The sense of relief when they see the mini-mart sign shining in the distance is just like you felt. They circle the parking lot looking for a place to park. They will only be a minute. Suddenly, without warning, they drive away. They've missed the newspaper boy by now and hope he will understand even when they themselves have a hard time understanding what just took place.

You see, you parked, for just a minute, in the space designated for people with disabilities. You left your car running as some unspoken symbol that you wouldn't be long.

Two hours, two minutes or two seconds-it really doesn't matter because you can run in. You didn't need a curb cut to get into the store. You didn't need an access lane to lower a wheelchair out of your vehicle. This designation is not a suggestion or merely a courtesy, it's a law. You can't really think it was worth it, can you?

Your parents taught you better than that.

 
 

 

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