Handicapped License Plates
First let me say, I understand the need for these in certain situations. Someone confined to a wheelchair will need more space to get into and out of a vehicle so providing a parking space that is larger than most is a good thing. Also, someone who needs supplementation from an oxygen tank isn’t going to want to drag it any further than necessary. Requiring a handicapped license plate or other indicator in order to use such a parking space is reasonable. It keeps the unhandicapped from using a space that they do not need to use and thereby denying the convenience to the truly handicapped.
But … just the other day while idling at a traffic signal, I looked over at the motorcycle that pulled up next to me. It had some space in front of it and so the rider moved a bit forward allowing me to see his license plate. It was a handicapped plate. Seriously folks, in my book if you are fit enough (and mind you, you had better be or you shouldn’t even get on that bike) to be riding a motorcycle you shouldn’t require a handicapped license plate.
It was an Arizona plate (well, I do live in Arizona) and while I’ve always considered our Motor Vehicle Division to be practical and rational (it’s true; to save money and resources Arizona only requires a license plate on the back of your vehicle), it would appear that I’ve a bone to pick with them after all. There is no need for permission to park in a larger space with a motorcycle. You get off of it and you walk away. Even a small space for a car provides plenty of room for a motorcycle. If you are well enough to ride (I’ve owned and ridden my own motorcycle and I know how much work it can be), you are presumably well enough to walk from your parking space to the business you are visiting. You’ve no need to park closer than other vehicles. So frankly, I just don’t get it.
Aside from the obvious, that being that it is simply not safe to tailgate another vehicle, there is something I don’t understand about it. In Arizona, at least where I live in Arizona, we have a lot of old folks. More so, I believe, than I was accustomed to encountering on a daily basis when we once lived in Southern California (don’t ask me why I always feel compelled to capitalize the southern). Warning: I am going to generalize here and I make no excuses for it.
It seems to me that old folks follow one of two options when it comes to driving: (1) always go much faster than the posted speed limit, or (2) always go much slower than the posted speed limit. Warning: I am going to generalize some more.
Further, it seems that old men choose option number one most often and old women choose option number two most often. Why this should be I don’t have a clue. But I get tailgated by so many old men (I personally choose the a third option of doing my best to drive at or just below the posted speed limit) that it gets me hot under the collar.
One, no one has any business tailgating another vehicle. And two, if anyone should not be doing it, it is the elderly. It is an absolute fact that our reflexes slow down as we get older and experience can only compensate for slower reflexes to a small extent. Believe me, I know.
But what gets me worrying even more than seeing an old man tailgating me in my rear view mirror is seeing and old man tailgating me while talking on his cell phone. Lord, I wish there were some way to get that kind of stupidity off the road regardless of age (and yes we have legislation on the books about it but it doesn’t stop people). And if that old man (more generalization) is wearing a hat, I feel like getting off the road entirely.
Okay, so aside from the recklessness of tailgating, what don’t I understand about it? Just this, these men are retired for the most part and have lots of time on their hands. So why the heck are they in such a big hurry?
At the most basic level, I understand sugar. You take a plant with its chlorophyll and you add some water, carbon dioxide and sunlight and you get oxygen and sugar … well carbohydrate (“carbo” from carbon and hydrate from water, the sunlight provides the energy, the CO2 is the raw material, the chlorophyll is the catalyst, throw in a few trace minerals and voila!) and sugars are carbohydrates. It runs all the plants functions. It runs a lot of the functions of the human body as well.
I like sugar. It’s sweet and enjoyable for the most part, and a necessary part of life. Our brains run exclusively on glucose for goodness sake. So why is it so bad for us? And why if it is necessary for a human’s continued existence is it bad for us? Seems totally contradictory, kind of like …
No one can argue that you need this to survive and yet it is responsible for the oxidative processes that break down tissues and causes all sorts of other damage including rust and forest fires, etc. So to counteract all the bad things that the totally necessary oxygen does to our bodies, we are told to consume large amounts of antioxidant foods and supplements. This seems so completely silly to me that I can’t really express it properly. The very thing you need the most is the very thing that is destroying you. Argh!
How did such a system ever evolve? And if you subscribe to the other theory, why was it designed this way? And don’t try to tell me that all things have to end and that if we didn’t break down and die there would be no end to us because you know what I will ask in response to that. It’s a fact that I’ve carried the “terrible twos” with me much longer than is really socially acceptable.
Hey, do you suppose that having the mental outlook of the average two year old would qualify me for one of those fancy handicapped license plates? Upon reflection, maybe that’s a bad idea all around and I should really just lay off the sugar.