The Car & Car Park
I drive a manual car and, to date, that hasn’t been a problem – just can be awkward on occasions getting in and out of the vehicle (having to lift and ‘swing’ my legs). I have plans, however, that the next car will be an automatic, simply because I can’t predict the future. My left leg has more weakness than the right so I figure no clutch might prove a bonus.
Another thing that could affect driving is the diminished concentration. In the past I have always driven with audio entertainment – music, sport or chat. On a recent trip I enjoyed listening to Richard Fidler’s ‘Conversations’ on ABC. His guest was actor, Jack Thompson. At the end of the enjoyable one hour conversation I realised that I had been driving on ‘remote’. I could remember the conversation just fine, but not a thing about the physical journey.
In the past I used to glimpse envyingly at empty disabled car spaces occupying prime position. And it was with some trepidation that I asked Dr Jim if I was eligible for a ‘cripple sticker’. And if I wasn’t eligible for one, I wouldn’t have dared call what I now have on my dashboard a ‘cripple sticker’ – but that’s what we call it at home and I found it a useful term to alleviate the embarrassment my daughter showed when we used it for the first time. While it is a ‘disabled’ sticker, I don’t like the term ‘disabled’ and, making fun of me and the sticker seemed to work. And I reckon she’ll be damn pleased when Christmas shopping time rolls around again!
I only use disabled spaces sometimes. If I’m having a day with good mobility, I park a distance from the shops on purpose, so I can get a bit of exercise. You start to get to know what your body is capable of, distance-wise. Some days I am mighty thankful to be able to access a shorter walk.
I have, however, become a ‘sticker watcher’ and am amazed at how many people without disabilities use these spaces for convenience. Rather than have parking inspectors patrol and check on this, I think legislation should be passed to allow anyone (abled, disabled and any age) who sees a car using a space without a sticker to let down the tyres on the car without penalty. What fun for the kiddies! I reckon the embarrassment and inconvenience would stop these selfish bastards quick time!!
I also recently signed up for ‘roadside assistance’ (RACQ – $33 joining fee and $74 for the year) – this is just an ‘insurance’ thing, mainly in case of the need to change a tyre. The last time I had to do that it was a very clumsy exercise!
BTW – I keep my driver’s licence in my wallet, along with a few credit/debit cards, health cards and cash. The other day I dropped my wallet in a car park and I thought… “Do I really need that?”
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