Stupid Human Behaviour # 54

Alex Harrold
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"Idle hands are the devil's playthings."
You're on your own to interpret that in any way you want to, whether you believe in the devil or not. Without a devil, the phrase is largely useless.
I am plagued by bigger questions. For example, if idle hands are the devil's playthings, what would you call an idle life? As a guy finding myself quite often with way too much time on my hands and a decided lack of creativity and ingenuity, I often observe things that cause me great consternation, especially when I realize that, in the great cosmos of things to care about, my observations don't amount to very much.

There have been a number of columns that have come about because of my time spent sitting in a car in a parking lot. Because my wife has to load and unload my scooter when we go out and about, I make the choice to sit in the car and listen to music, rather than subject her to unnecessary loading and unloading of the scooter. This is especially true when she is only going to be five or 10 minutes, a segment of time that usually stretches to 40 minutes. That's not a complaint. I couldn't begin to learn what I do about stupid human behaviour in the parking lot if I didn't have at least 30 or 40 minutes.

Some of my columns have dealt with the use of handicap parking spaces. In fact, my very first column in this newspaper came about because of a request of me to write about the topic of a handicap awareness day or some such thing. But that is a waste of precious column space, seeing as all of my dedicated readers remember that very first column back in 1994.

My most recent observations about the use of those spaces causes me a great deal of discomfort when I realize that the spaces are very often misused by people with bonafide handicap placards. On one occasion, I watched a man get out of his vehicle from within a handicap parking spot whose placard's "good until" date was conveniently obscured by some dark material placed over the date. He must've known I was watching him when he skipped his fingers lightly across the hood as he walked in front of his vehicle in an effort to appear casual. I also probably made him fairly nervous by following him around Costco for 30 minutes in my scooter before going outside and writing down his licence number in order to report his vehicle to the DMV as someone with a suspected expired handicap placard.

I have to explain that last paragraph. We cannot make assumptions about the level of somebody's disability. Logically speaking, the reserved spaces are likely there for people with mobility issues.

On the spectrum of people with "disabilities" there are other issues people have that may not be mobility related. Logic does not prevent us from making reasonable assumptions however. This is especially true when one can easily deduce that a handicap placard is being misused by someone who doesn't particularly need it.

We don't use the space if I don't intend to actually get out of the vehicle and go into the business where we are. This hasn't stopped a number of people that I have observed from using the spaces for themselves when they have no intention of getting out of the vehicle, whether they are the driver or the passenger for whom the placard applies. Some disabled folks are our worst enemy.

Other people using the handicapped access parking spots are also the worst offenders at leaving their shopping carts in the parking spot. This drives me particularly crazy because handicapped people ought to know that leaving their cart in a handicapped spot is going to most negatively affect another handicapped person.

Granted, the level of their mobility issue may prevent them from taking the cart to a suitable drop off point, unless their disability didn't prevent them from going around the store for half an hour with the cart in the first place. It's one of my greatest "duh" moments.

What was the purpose of this column? Simply to prove to you that I have way too much time on my hands. So much time, it's taken over my life. I could write a book.

Actually, I did write a book but only 24 of you bought one. We're done here.

Organizations: Costco

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