Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Fundamental Right to Rock Star Parking

Local wise guy (literally, not cosa nostra-ly) Midtown Miscreant recently went on a bit of a rant about some asshat that made a living filing lawsuits against businesses that weren't in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Not to pick a fight about the merits or flaws of that guy, but the rant and proceeding comments were reflective of a certain mindset.

See, the American people are far more advanced than your average Constitutional Law professor. Those poofs can fret about penumbras and such, but a majority of the American people know that they enjoy a fundamental right to "do whatever the fuck I want as long as no one gets hurt and/or I don't get caught." That's how serious this is -- your average guy says "and/or," like a jailhouse lawyer. An even more broadly recognized right is --the Fundamental Right to Rock Star Parking.

MM is pissed that he has to walk so damn far to the door of the store, and he blames handicap parking spots. It's not just him, it's his commentors. And it's not just them, it's about everybody I know. Barstool Pundit and I have this ongoing, well, not really a dispute, as much as a conversation. We go somewhere, he's driving, I laugh as he spends an extra five minutes driving around the parking lot ensuring he gets as close as possible to the front door of our destination. It doesn't matter that we have nothing heavy to carry. It doesn't matter that we're both able bodied. To him, it's a GADDAM AMERICAN DUTY to park as close to the door as possible.

I don't get it. And I really don't get how it boils over into resentment over handicapped parking spots as demonstrated in MM's post and the responses to it. You've got an entire country zoned around parking. You can't build a business without promising to have sufficient parking. We've got acres of parking, so that you don't even have the disruption of streets or pedestrians trying to do something other than what you're trying to do -- get into that damn store. But still, we have angst. And better than that, angst that fails to recognize its own asshat nature. I'm sorry, Mr. Miscreant. Love the blog, love you -- but... really:

It's guys like Molski that ensure you will have to walk a quarter mile across Walmart's parking lot, because all of the non-handicap parking spots are in the nosebleed section. Ever see anyone wheeling around Walmart in a wheelchair, other than a greeter? I didn't think so. Oh sure you see the occasional fat lady in pink stretch pants, careening down the middle of the potato chip aisle at a blistering 2.5 Mph. Chances are she isn't crippled anyway, just lazy, or maybe she just likes driving that stretched out rascal with a grocery cart stuck on the front.

Yes! It's not the 100 hundred other people who showed up to shop at the same time as you that kept you from the rock star parking! It's that one row of handicapped parking! Never mind that if we took away all that handicapped parking tomorrow, your odds of getting that front door spot are about as realistic as Joe the Plumber's fear that he'll have to pay the top tax rate on income from that business he doesn't own that's never netted enough to qualify for the top tax rate. It's still possible! And if it's possible, you've got a fundamental right to your resentment. And laugh at other people for being fucking lazy as you bitch about having to walk 1/4 mile to the store. It's like the mother fucking Trail of Tears to WalMart!!!

I suppose in some perfect and just world built around parking lot equity we would have spots for the handicapped, spots for the nurses who just got off 12 hour shifts working on their feet, spots for parents who have to get 2 kids in and out the door, spots for people who just had a shitty day, pretty much spots for everyone who has a decent excuse to not want to walk too far to the door. But in that perfect parking equity world, not everyone gets to park in the first fucking row. So get over yourselves. If you show up at the store by yourself after spending a day sitting at your fucking desk-- park away from the front! I know, it's revolutionary. But maybe, just maybe, parking really close to the door isn't a fundamental human right. Maybe, just maybe, a more honest assessment of your needs will lead to you parking 1/4 mile away from the door and being ok with it.

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