Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hugeness Hardly a Handicap

I don't know what it is about me and parking spots.


I mean, I've always seen myself as trying to be compassionate toward others but there's something about that first moment when I pull into the parking lot at Giant Eagle that depresses me because the closest parking spot is at least two football fields from the entrance.


That's when my mind starts focusing on those precious few roomy handicapped spots. I know I'm not entitled to use them but for some reason I covet them.

 That  sky blue paint with white and yellow trim on pavement. Beautiful.   So spacious.  It beckons. Park on me, baby.


I think it's because they represent  what all men crave. The chance to get in, get what I need, and get out.


For women,   shopping is more about the  experience. For  men it's  about obtaining the objective quickly and efficiently and moving on to the next strategic challenge.

 Which brings me to the real reason for this column.


I  find myself occasionally pausing to see if the person with a handicapped sticker is actually handicapped.

 It's not right for able-bodied relatives to park in those awesome extended van accommodating  spots just because they're driving grandma's car or perhaps even worse driving their own car borrowing grandma's blue-and-white placard.


Here's the one that really bugs me. I occasionally observe that the placard user is morbidly obese.


Perhaps they've obtained the blue-and-white placard because they have a hard time breathing or they're diabetic.  But aren't those just symptoms caused by their obesity?


Let me be more blunt.

 I harbor an irrational resentment against people who seem to feel that they're entitled to privileged close up parking because they're fat.


Aren't these the very people who need the exercise gained from a longer walk to the Twinkie shelves?


I've been trying to trim down lately so my wife has me purposely choosing long-distance parking.


But as I'm passing by those gorgeously emblazoned golden trimmed  blue rectangles marked with the international symbol of a wheelchair, something snaps when the rotund roll out of their seats and jiggle their way into the store.


Let me put this a different way. Wouldn't the blimps be less blimpie if they weren't entitled to special parking extra close to  Blimpie's?

 I wish God's blessings and good health to all people, especially those whose infirmity cries out for the compassion of special parking to shorten that difficult walk into the store of their choice.


However, there is something inherently wrong with the idea that people can eat their way into this special privilege.


I suppose these thoughts are unreasonable but for those of us who suffer from parking spot envy, it eats away at us.


So listen up,  fatties. If your blubber is the result of your own appetites, discard the blue card and join my new long-distance parking fitness program.


You can save me from having to give you a dirty look. And you'll feel better about yourself as well.

Have a nice day.


  1. You are a BULLY. Bullies like to mock and ridicule others in the name of "fun". I see your last name is LYNCH- was that the family occupation? Maybe your wife wants you to park your car further from the store, not because she wants you to get exercise but because there is a greater chance of you getting hit by a car.

  2. Mr. Lynch,

    Here are a few more descriptive words to add to mean. Ignorant applies. Rude applies. Condescending applies. You are certainly entitled to your opinion.

    Here is my opinion. I think the public should listen to your radio show one time. During that time the public should make a list of any sponsors of your show. The public should then contact all of your sponsors and inform them that due to your printed diatribe, they the public will now BOYCOTT any and all of your sponsors.

  3. Dear Mr. Lynch;

    I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you just blog whatever you feel like without giving it any thought (other than skimming the top of your own narrow mind).

    This is one of the most condescending pieces I have ever seen published in the News Herald. It's crap like this that warrants their disclaimer, and also makes me wonder about their editorial staff. That's a separate issue.

    Let's address your post, shall we?

    Let's suppose for a moment that you might be...oh, I don't know, stereotyping? Discriminating? Ridiculing without grounds?

    How about medical conditions that lead to obesity, rather than your blanket theory that obesity leads to medical conditions?

    How about COPD, CHF, spinal injuries, thyroid disease, renal failure, arthritis, scoliosis, or other mobility issues that preclude people from maintaining a physical condition on a par with your own admittedly sub-standard one?

    Maybe you're not familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Basically, what that says is; it's none of your darn business. It's between the person with the disability, their doctor, and the BMV.

    For you to assume because someone is overweight or morbidly obese simply due to a lack of willpower and self-respect is arrogant beyond belief.

    For you to single out these people and target them in a blog-post is irresponsible and akin (in my mind) to making fun of polio-victims.

    I haven't read any of your other posts on your blog, I'm not interested at this point. My visceral reaction to reading this post was to start a blog called "Lynch Mob" so people could respond in kind.

    I'll forgo this impulse for now, unless negative comments are removed or moderated. I have a feeling you are going to regret this post, and rightly so.

    Shame on you. The only dirty looks you should be giving are in front of a mirror.