JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Uh, are you handicapped?

So today is the first day of school for my kids. All the standard rituals went as expected: My daughter, entering fourth grade, barely slept last night. My son popped out of bed excited and filled with anticipation. The dog had to pee, the morning humidity felt like a blanket, we ate breakfast, I drove the kids up to school, walked my son to his first-grade class …

Able-bodied people parked in the five available handicapped spaces.

Wait.

Stop.

Hold on.

I’ll write that again: Able-bodied people parked in the five available handicapped spaces. It happens all the time at this school and, I’m assuming, schools across the nation. In a rush to deposit their children (or, perhaps, just too damn lazy and inconsiderate), a group of entitled, wrongheaded parents use the spaces designated for handicapped people. To say this INFURIATES me is the greatest of understatements. It drives me to the brink of violence, and makes me want to scream and kick and, mostly, shame the offenders. Publicly shame them.

Alas, I do nothing.

This year, however, I’m making this my cause—and I ask (beg) you to join me. I’m not going to be mean or rude, but I will, from this day forward, politely ask those (unjustly) parked in the handicapped spaces to move their cars. I feel like, too often, we meekly walk past such situations which, in a sense, is a subtle form of approval … an “it must be OK, because no one’s saying anything.” At this school, however, there are—factually—kids with physical disabilities, as well as parents with physical disabilities. They don’t just deserve the spots—they need them.

Oh, and my favorite folks are the in-and-out violators; those who pull in for two minutes, thinking it’s no big deal. These offenders are lined up by the mile, which turns two minutes into 10 minutes into 20 minutes into, well, zero available spots.

Anyhow, I sound I sound like a whiney do-gooder I aspire to be. But, in absence of a great local cause, I’m taking this as mine for 2012-13.

Join me!