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The Madison Record

Lazy, rude and mean

By By Thomas Tingle
Record Managing Editor
I know I'm not the only person who has gotten upset when they've seen a person drive his car into a handicapped parking space at a shopping center, pull out a handicapped parking decal that attaches to the rearview mirror, get out of the car and, without any sign or indication of having a handicap, walk into the shopping center – or for that matter, run toward the door if it's raining.
My wife and I recently witnessed such an event at a local shopping center. It wasn't the first time nor will it be the last we'll see this.
We were fortunate enough to be able to find a parking space designated for people with a small child and happily pulled into that space when we saw it.
As we were getting our baby out of her car seat, a couple pulled into a handicapped parking space next to us. I watched as the couple extinguished their cigarettes on the parking lot from the rolled down windows, pull out the handicapped parking decal from who knows where inside the car, attach the decal to the rearview mirror, open the doors to their car, get out and quickly walk across the parking lot to go inside the shopping center. They quickly walked to avoid being hit by a car getting ready to turn down the row of parking spaces. It just so happened that the windows of that car were rolled down to offer everyone within a mile radius the chance to hear the noise and thumping sounds coming from the radio inside.
I looked over at my wife and said to her, I guess they are in a hurry to buy some more cigarettes and they needed to get as close to the front door as possible so they wouldn't go into a nicotine withdraw between light-ups. Since the windows of the car were never rolled up, it wasn't hard to smell the strong odor of smoked cigarettes from inside. That is why I made the comment.
I was furious. Of course, I didn't dare say a word to the couple for fear of getting my head blown off, but this couple – I forgot to mention the fact that they were younger than me, perhaps in their early 20s or so, had no problem with taking advantage of a situation they had no business taking advantage of in the first place.
Perhaps this couple had a family member who required a handicapped decal to use when he or she ventured out. However, it was clearly obvious that this particular couple did not have any physical disabilities that required them to have to use a handicapped parking space. They simply abused a privilege offered to someone else and were too lazy to find another parking space somewhere further down the line.
I don't know if there is anything that can be done about this. I've seen countless numbers of people take advantage of using a handicapped parking space when they know they shouldn't.
If this young couple had a person in the car with them that needed to be as close to the door of the shopping center as possible, I wouldn't have thought a thing about it. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case at all.
Once we got inside the shopping center, we saw the couple several times walking around. Since the shopping center doesn't allow smoking, I took back the comment back that I had made earlier that they had to get as close to the front door as possible to buy more cigarettes to avoid nicotine withdraws.
It was pure laziness and meanness.
I feel sorry for the person who really needed that parking space and had to find one that wasn't designated for him further away from the door.

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