- Disabilities & the Disabled
Handicapped or Lazy?
Recently, my doctor had listed me with the state as a “Disabled Person” due to my advanced arthritis in my knees, elbows, hands and wrists. He supplied me with the paperwork to get a Handicapped Person’s placard for my car. I don’t use it all of the time, just when I have a flare up. It comes in handy at work where my employer requires the employees to park what seems like ½ a mile from the store, and even then I still don’t park in the handicapped spaces, but I park up front where it is closer for me to walk. I have on a few occasions utilized the electric motorized shopping carts in Wal Mart and other stores when it is too hard for me to walk.
But being in the grocery business allows me to observe the wide variety of people that come through my meat department. There are many customers that use the electric carts, some of them rightfully so, like the elderly and the genuinely disabled. But what irritates me to no end are the slovenly and grossly morbidly obese people that I know for a fact parked in a non-handicapped area, walked into the store under their own power and plop their big butts down in a motorized cart. If anyone needs to walk, it is these people. Not only are they being lazy, they are depriving the use of a cart to a genuinely disabled individual that desperately needs to use it.
What brought this blog on with such ferocity? A recent trip to Wal-Mart. There are two Wal-Marts within 20 miles of my home here in Lulawissie, one to the north and one to the south and both of them currently have more handicapped carts out of order than ones that work. Of the ones that work, there is ALWAYS an associate sitting in one of them eating his lunch and playing with his cell phone. I went in to the north store the other day, desperately needing relief from walking, and found 4 carts out of order, one being used by a woman in a cast, and the other was being driven around by a bunch of kids taking turns. I sat on the bench up front while Sammie shopped.
Today, we went to the same store. Sammie and I walked in (she walked, I limped) as another woman that parked farther out in the parking lot was also walking in, gained on me and passed me at the entrance. This woman was young, about 32 years old, and was so fat that I doubt that she could remember the last time that she saw her toenails. She waddled (like a duck running for food) past me and claimed the last motorized cart for herself (just about 3 steps ahead of me), and looked at me as if I had just slapped her grandmother. I said “Excuse me, but I was going to use that.”
“I got here first. Go find another one.”
“There is no other one, and I am actually disabled. That’s my car over there in the blue spot. You parked way out there.” I said as I pointed out to the parking lot. “I am in pain when I walk. You are just…(I wanted to say “fat”)….too lazy to walk. She glared at me again and drove off in the little cart.
Sammie stepped back inside the entrance lobby and caught the tail end of the conversation. She was going to say something, but I told her not to worry about it. I just grabbed a regular shopping cart and leaned against it. After about 20 minutes in the store, I saw the woman again, this time with her basket filled to near capacity with cakes, cookies, sodas, pork chops, breads…it was like looking at a heart attack waiting to happen. I smiled at her, perhaps in silent vindication, knowing that her bounty was her imminent demise. It was kind of a demented form of Schadenfreude. She looked the other way.
I guess my point is this: I agree with all of the newscasts and documentaries that say that America is too fat, too obese. I can honestly say that I need to lose weight, and I am doing so to relieve the pressure from my knees. I have lost 25lbs in the last 2 months. I try to shop smart and eat right. But it proves the point of an overweight America when I see 350 or 450 pound people every day riding around in a cart that was not designed to carry that much weight. And it gripes me to no end to know that these people don’t care about themselves because they continue to shop and eat in a way that will kill them, all the while depriving someone of a shopping chair that desperately needs one.
Perhaps when you get that heavy, it really does become a disability, but at least it is one that can be cured and reversed. Broken legs will heal, arthritis can be relieved, but the weakness of old age, cerebral palsy and the like as well as serious and permanent injuries take precedence over all. The last on the list to deserve special treatment is a fat and sweaty mouth breather that won’t help his or her self.
Maybe I’m too judgmental, but people need to start taking responsibility for their own health.
As always, do good deeds for people you don’t know, work hard, give thanks to the Good Lord for everything and stay well.
©2011 by Del Banks