Entitlement Parking

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I guess I just don’t live right or something. Unlike some of my fellow citizens, I’m not entitled to use the best parking spots in the shopping malls. In case you haven’t been paying attention, take a look the next time you wind up driving around and around through the parking structure searching for a vacant space at the mall. You’ll notice that every spot is taken … with the exception of a certain bunch of “entitlement parking spaces.” Many of these spots are open, but unless you are one of the politically correct chosen ones, you’re not allowed to park there.

The most common “entitlement spots” are the ones that are reserved for drivers with either a “Handicapped” license plate or a “Handicapped” plastic thing-a-ma-bob that hangs on the rearview mirror in the car. People who have these special passes range from the truly disabled to some young wise guy driving an $85,000 BMW who conned his doctor into writing a prescription for a handicapped plate. Since I don’t fall into either of these categories (or anything in-between), I can’t park there.

Then we have the special space designated for “Electric Cars Only.” I don’t happen to own an electric car, I don’t want an electric car (especially the GM Volt flop), and therefore I can’t park in the electric car spots. Okay, fair enough. I don’t have any problem with malls providing special spots for the tree hugger/environ-mental-cases among us to park and plug in their silly electric cars. But there’s the thing, why are these spots up front, close to the entrance? Last time I checked, the environmentalists aren’t handicapped (at least not so you’d notice). If anything, they should be parking at the far end of the structure, that way they can walk a little bit, you know, to bring down their carbon footprints.

Not to be outdone by the electric cars and handicapped, we now add “Expectant Mothers” to the list of entitlement parking spaces. Now does “expectant mothers” mean pregnant women only, or does that apply to any woman who EXPECTS to be pregnant at some time in the future? Okay, I’m being a bit facetious here, I know it means pregnant women, but at what point in the pregnancy? The first month? The first week? The first day?

Correct me if I’m wrong (and I know you will, dear readers) but aren’t women who are in the early stages of pregnancy still going to work, still exercising, still doing just about any physical activity that they did before they became pregnant? Why do they need a special close spot near the entrance to the mall? Hey, if they are so unable to walk a little bit why are they going shopping to begin with? And here’s another thing, once they enter the mall don’t they have to walk? Or do they have special motorized golf carts for the expectant mothers to drive around in? I never saw those.

The newest entitlement space is, I kid you not, the ones marked for “Mothers with Children.” That’s right, all mommies and kiddies get to park closest to the mall entrance now. Remember the old rule of the sea, that if the ship is going down it is women and children first into the lifeboats? Well, the same goes for the shopping mall. All you idiot men drive up to the top level of the parking structure and walk. There are no stores for you in the mall anyway so what are you doing here? Go home.

And how come fathers with children don’t rate a close spot to park? We keep hearing that there are many stay-at-home dads these days and many moms are the primary breadwinners, so why don’t Fathers with Children get the same parking privileges as Mothers with Children? What happened to equal rights? Oh, I guess its only equal rights for certain people. That makes sense.

How come old people don’t get the close parking spots? Why should an eighty-year-old have to park further away then a twenty-two-year-old who is in her first month of pregnancy? And how come fat people don’t get to park closer; isn’t it more difficult for them to walk and breathe than skinny people?

If I really put my mind to it, I can probably think of a lot of other groups of people that should be included in entitlement parking. Eventually we could include almost everybody, but then the entire parking structure would be entitlement parking and entitlement parking for all means entitlement parking for none. Hmmm. Just like it was in the good old days.

To recap, I do not drive an electric car; I am not handicapped nor am I a cheater who pretends to be; and I am not an expectant mother or a mother with children either. So I park far, far, away – up on the highest level of the parking structure, the level that is exposed to the hot, direct sunlight. My dashboard gets cracked and faded and I have to walk a little further to get to the shopping mall. Life isn’t fair for those of us who are among the unentitled.

But I would rather be unentitled than a pregnant woman with children driving an electric car any day.

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Crosby’s Corner

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