Monday, November 06, 2006

What you see isn't always what you get

Especially when it comes to handicapped parking.

This is sort of a beef of mine, since before transplant (my senior year in college, actually), I applied for a state handicapped parking permit from the state, and was granted one. Now, to most people, by just looking at me, you wouldn't think I needed on. I could walk fairly quickly, for short distance, but it didn't last very long. And I still looked "normal," so you know, most people thought I had stolen grandma's parking pass or something. I was actually never on oxygen before transplant, so most people would have never known.

Now most people never said anything outright. I might get some odd looks, but most people just went with it. It wasn't until after my transplant (about two months after), that I got questioned. And it was at work.

I get a parking pass to park in the underground parking garage, so I do. One day it was kind of crowded, so I decided to use the handicapped placard I have. So I did. Morning, no problem. All good. The problem came in the evening.

I was walking to my car, and I get stopped by the state trooper that guards the parking garage entrances.

"Is this your car?"

(I"m thinking, "duh, I'm getting into it.") "Yes."

"U,, why do you have a placard?"

I was a little floored. "Excuse me?"

"Why do you have a placard? What's your handicap?"

I could not believe this kind of interrogation from a cop of all people. So I looked at him and got a wee bit saucy.

"I just had a lung transplant two months ago," I said.

His mouth dropped, as I knew it would, and I went on my way.

The point? Don't embarass yourself by asking dumb questions because someone doesn't "Look" handicapped. Because most likely you're just going to look stupid. And end up irritating someone pretty good.

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