Friday, July 13, 2012

My fitness and my social skills apparently both need work

So last night I went out for a run, my first in over a year. Of course I have many excuses as to why I haven't been running: too hot recently, an injury, massive overtime at work before that, waiting for a new running leg to be made and fitted before that...sigh. Hard to believe that I was doing ten-mile runs just a couple of years ago. But I've been sitting a lot since then..and eating well, too. Now I'm out of fighting trim, to say the least. And with the possibility of a second Obama term on the horizon, I can't afford to be out of fighting trim because we may well end up fighting for our freedoms and very survival if he keeps getting his way.

So I ran. And it wasn't an easy run, or a particularly fast run. But at least I hit my target distance and finished my run without having to stop or slow to a walk. It's a start.

Then I went to 7-11 to get gas and some bottled water. I pull into the parking lot and park, and I notice a Mercedes SUV sitting in the store's only "handicapped" slot. Out of habit, I look to see it it has a handicapped tag or a placard on the mirror. It has neither. Now this is a pet peeve of mine, since I well remember when I needed that spot, and since I still know people who legitimately do need it. I'm still looking at it when I see it's lights flash as if someone just deactivated it's alarm. Sure enough, a large blonde woman walks out of the store, head glued to a cell phone. She's walking just fine.

I shouldn't say anything, but right then I'm tired, and I'm hot, and I'm still wearing my running foot--the one that's just a fiber and steel "J" where a foot and ankle would normally be. So I feel like saying something.

"Excuse me," I say. "I can't help but notice that you don't have a handicapped placard displayed."

"Hang on a minute," she says to whoever is on the phone. Then she turns to me. "I'm actually in the process of getting one right now," she says. "Do you want to see a note from my doctor?"

"No," I reply. "That's between you and your conscience. You know whether or not you're supposed to be parked there, taking the spot from anyone who really needs it." I walk on into the store.

Now about a minute later, she comes barging into the store, just about the time that I get to the check-out counter. "I'll have you know that I have a concrete ankle," she exclaims. I have to walk about a thousand steps a day and.." I raise my hand to cut her off. I'm not really interested in talking to her any more or giving her a soap box to get up on. "We're done," I tell her. "If you're supposed to park there, then you're fine. If you're not, that's on you."

But she's not going to let it go. "It's not your job to police the world," she says indignantly. Oh, so now I'm the bad guy for pointing out her bad behavior. Well maybe I will play a bit now.

"Actually it is my job. It's every citizen's job to say something when people do wrong."

"I have a condition!" she exclaimed loudly, drawing the attention of everyone in the store.

I just looked at her, standing there on two feet yelling at the one-legged guy about a "condition". "There ain't nothing wrong with you that a little diet and exercise won't cure," I said.

"WHAT?!" she yelled back. "What did you say?"

"I'm just saying that maybe if you dropped ten or seventy pounds, maybe you'd be able to walk the extra couple dozen feet from the regular parking spaces."

This elicited applause from a guy over by the beer cooler and a string of profanity from the woman.

"You kiss your momma with that mouth?" I asked.

She cursed me again, then stormed out. She even tried to slam the door, but the door had one of those self-closing mechanisms and it wouldn't slam.

The store manager behind the counter just looked at me. "I thought you weren't going to do that here any more," she said. (OK, this wasn't the first time. Or the second. but in my defense, it has been a while.) I just shrugged. What can I say? I gotta be me.


  1. Keep doing it. That is a pet peeve of mine also. My first step-mom had one of those long slow cancers and it took a long time for her to pass. In the interim, she had one of those handicapped tags and she could not get parking because of all the able-bodied people usually young and female that had the entitlement mentality and would park in all the handicapped spots. I kinda wish the cops would zero on them. It is a $400 fine if caught.

  2. So you ran. Had it been a race between you and a dozen Olympic runners, would you have won? No. There would have been a first place medal handed out to the fastest person, the person that won.

    And the guy that came in 8th? He might have his feelings hurt because he didn't get a medal. We don't want that, do we? Can't hurt any feeeeeelings.

    So everyone gets a participation medal. Congratulations. You ALL are winners!


    Same with handicapped stickers. I have a paper cut. I deserve to park in the wheelchair spot otherwise my feeeeelings would be hurt because I would be asked to try. Can't be asked to exert any effort.

    Lets hand out passes to anyone that has the slightest of ailments.

    Congratulations. We ALL are disabled!

  3. That's funny, I snap at times myself. Keep up the good work my friend.

  4. She does have conditions, both glandular problems. Her appetitary gland works overtime, causing her to overeat, and her sedentary gland is also in overdrive, causing her to lay around all day instead of getting out for some exercise.

    You done tole her real good, though.


  5. You are one brazen Mofo. Lots of times I feel that way and would LOVE to just haul off and say something like that, but never have the guts. Way to go on speaking out for all of us who are too timid.
    Good grief, to be a fly on the wall at that moment...priceless.

    I must be ignorant though because I have never heard the term concrete ankle. Sounds to me like some mafia hit thing..;-)

  6. Anonymous11:58 AM

    Keep a goin'!
    I'm told I could qualify for a plate or placard, but there are many more deserving folk than I.
    I just don't have your brass ones...

  7. You done good! I hate when people who shouldn't park in the handicap spots. As a medical professional I've never heard of a "concrete ankle".

    Keep it up and yes, it's all of our jobs.

  8. Glad you got in her face. A niece, county deputy, writes a ticket on everyone she sees (and she is a sergeant).

  9. Sic em... I HATE people that take that space without a handicap...

  10. Anonymous7:30 PM

    Well, this girl in rural Indiana has the same issues...Sigh!

  11. Anonymous7:43 PM

    I have a handicapped placard.
    But I try not to park in the handicapped spots.It P/O's me to see a able bodied person park there.

  12. Excellent. I hate seein folks with no tags or plates, parkin in handicapped spots, while some guy with a walker or in a wheelchair has to cross the parkinglot. Personally, I've got two legs, they work (usually), so I usually park a bit further out. I don't mind taking the occasional front spot, especially if I'm in a hurry, but I leave those to those who need them.

  13. While I sympathize for those REALLY disabled (as in broke back, basket cases, blind and deaf, etc...

    Most people are not that 'disabled' and can do alot IF THEY HAVE TO.

    Sadly they don't and it's an easy out to play the disabled game.

    And yes, a heck of a lot of people can loose 20 to 80 pounds!

  14. Love it. Nicely done.

  15. I HATE it when people park in the Handicapped spots just because they're too lazy.

  16. Anonymous7:18 PM

    Dude! I've been meaning to ask you, what's your take on the guy running in the Olympics with two blades? I would LOVE to read your review of:

    1)what he's got

    2)how he's going to run.

    I've know two other guys to lose legs, neither of whom I kept up on; one had an I-beam crush his lower left leg, the other lost it after a really hideous car crash.

    I always knew, working roofing and construction, I could lose a limb at any time; and tried to figure ahead about what I would do.

    Anyway, what do you think about the runner? Your review?

  17. Keep doing it. And what the heck is a concrete ankle? The joints of my feet and ankles are all eaten up by arthritis but, jeesh, stuff like that's just the price of living.