Badge Of Status.

I’ve noticed that over the past couple of years or so it has become a status symbol in these parts to have a handicapped emblem hanging from your rear-view mirror. I somewhat understand the concept of the handicapped sticker. You have difficulty navigating from a normal parking space somewhere in the back 40 behind Wal*mart to their front door, so you get a sticker to get a parking space reserved for those with special needs. These spaces are strategically placed near said Wal*mart, usually parallel parked between the two greeters. So you go to the local city, village or town clerk, usually named Lola or Marilyn. She has glasses with lenses the size of the window over your kitchen sink. She snaps her gum, you show her your “ailment”, and voila, instant handicapped sticker.

The problem I have with these stickers is that it seems like they are appearing on everything and anything that resembles a vehicle. For example, today I saw a woman bound out of an SUV in seemingly workout attire (orange sweat top, pink sweat pants). Her Hummer II was huge, her hair was huge, her attitude was huge and she sprinted to the front door of the Wal*mart like some knock-off suburban superhero. The only ailment I could detect was the possible asphyxiation from really cheap perfume.

I hate to pry but I can’t help but wonder why in the world this woman has a handicapped sticker. Is she going to go postal and whip out a recently purchased pistol? Is she like Sybil and could change personalities at any given moment, causing her to abandon Wal*mart and head to Target? Did she sprain her ankle trying to jump out of her ridiculously sized vehicle?

I understand that there are folks out there that don’t move like they used to and really do need a handicapped sticker or license plate. They need to utilize a cane to walk. Their passenger uses a wheelchair. And they deserve the respect of a handicapped sticker because they’re out there living life to their fullest.

But to be stuck behind a Volkswagen, that is being towed by a boat, which has a jet ski mounted to the roof, which is being towed by a 30-foot Winnebago all punctuated with a set of handicapped plates is just plain wrong.