Most people have some long range goals: build up a retirement nest egg, get their children through college, pay off the house, etc. But they also have more immediate, daily goals. It's hard to take seriously a society where the number one goal, the goal just about everyone is striving for on a daily basis, is parking as closely as possible to whatever business or workplace is one's destination. Seriously, that's a major factor in people's lives, to walk a minimum distance from the parked Prius to the front door of the super market. In fact, I've been thinking about starting a franchise that provides valet parking service for health clubs. Most already have ample parking lots but there might be others where the concept would go over.
We hear constantly about the national epidemic of obesity, that Americans are over-fed slobs that need more exercise. Parking near the front door of the big box store isn't helping the collective figure. But there's another dimension to this issue, handicapped parking. Every business is required to set aside space near the front door to allow parking for people with handicaps, or at least handicapped plates or stickers on their cars. Non-cripples can be fined $250 for ignoring the sign and scrambling in to the bodega for a pack of smokes. But what about this: Don't handicapped people need exercise, too? In fact, isn't the handicap of a great portion of them actually flagrant obesity? For their own good, shouldn't they be forced to actually park in a special distant section of the lot and maybe go through a kind of obstacle course to get to the groceries? Why are we humoring these people by literally subsidizing their affliction? Tell me that if some 5'2", 250 lb. bearer of a handicapped sticker walked a few hundred extra yards every day it wouldn't do them some good.