Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Selfishness, It's Not Just For Dinner Anymore

Today I drove from Tampa to Wellington, Florida. Along the way I stopped at one of those great monuments to urinary relief and consumer excess: the Turnpike Rest Stop. It was raining, and as usual I was enjoying watching people act as if hydrochloric acid were falling from the sky. I put on my jacket and hat and sallied forth into the downpour, anxious to create a downpour of my own, when I witnessed an act so unbelievably asinine as to set me to thinking. A young, healthy man in a car with Virginia plates parked in the handicapped spot closest the doors, leapt out of his still running car, and ran inside; acting for all the world as if tiny razor blades were falling instead of raindrops. I stopped, making sure that my assumptions were founded, for there were no tags or stickers announcing his right to park there. This is a particular pet peeve of mine. And while visions of tire slashing, or paint-job keying played across the movie screen of my mind, I had an epiphany. RFID's.

Radio Frequency Identification tags are a boon to store security managers, and a bane to privacy advocates, but these innocuous little devices could finally bring down the massive horde of handicapped parking spot invaders. An RFID is a tiny device that, when put close to the proper transciever, emits radio signals containing whatever information is needed. In an ideal world, you could fill your shopping cart with RFID equipped groceries, walk through a special scanner tunnel, and have your amount tallied and deducted from your account without ever having to wait for a check-out person to call for a bag boy to find out how much your jar of Vasline and extra strength Trojans cost. And they can be very tiny. There is even talk of putting them in passports to speed up the customs process. (not a good idea, in my opinion, but that's a story for another day) So here's my proposal. All handicapped parking spaces would be equipped with a mechanism that tags any vehicle that parks there with an RFID that tells the time, date, and location of the parking event. Police officers would routinely scan vehicles to see if they had any of these tags on them. If they did, and they had not the right to use said space, voila! Ticket. Not quite as satisfying as doing major damage to the asshole's car, but justice would be served.

Thank you.

Marius the Semi-Drugged

8 comments:

C.L. Jahn said...

I'm hip. But how about something more...pro-active....
The miscreant parks in the handicap spot, the sensor in the spot reads the chip, and a RETURN signal activates the car alarm OR turns the stereo up full blast screeching MOVE THE CAR, ASSHOLE!

Marius said...

Actually, while playing Scrabble with my wife and mother-in-law last night I refined the idea. All handicapped parking tags should be equipped with RFID chips, and sensors in the parking spaces would summon the local constabulary should a non-equipped car park in the space. Fewer moving parts, and much less expensive equipment.

pikaresque said...

Two words...grenade launcher.

keith the pacifist said...

Your solution is too tame. I say we have a sensor that when it judges that this car is not registered as handicapped, an explosive device rips one leg off the offending person thus rendering them ACTUALLY impaired so now they can use the the parking space with impunity. That way they won't feel guilty. Just trying to help...

Marius said...

Ooh, Keith, I like that one a lot!

Anonymous said...

This is nothing about your post, although i did enjoy it. My question is: What is wrong with the Save our LC website? I haven't been able to access it in 2 or 3 weeks. Do you know anything about it? Has it moved? Thanks--I am having withdrawal symptoms from lack of access!

Marius said...

Apparantly someone got into the server that SOLC was on and deleted the entire site. The admins aren't sure when, or if they'll be able to recover it.

Heather said...

It's not the folks without a handicapped permit using the spots that bothers me. It's the non-handicapped people that take advantage of the permit that really irks me.

I see it here all the time. The obviously healthy adult driving Mom's or Grandma's car pulls into the handicapped space for no other reason than the vehicle having a permit. You can't go postal on the car - someone actually needs the permit. You can't call the police because if the car has a permit, it can be parked in the handicapped spot. Oh, the suckage.

On another note, don't get me started on those damn power chairs...