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Thursday, December 18, 2014



I just read an article about cities no longer offering free parking to cars with Handicap Tags.  Portland, Oregon recently ended the policy of free parking to the handicapped and they note a decrease of 70%  in parked cars with handicap tags.

City officials point to this 70 percent decrease as proof that many people were scamming the system with fake tags.  Advocates for the handicap counter that the drop is because the handicap have other expenses related to their disability and they are unable to pay for parking.

I empathise with the handicap drivers, they have enough difficulties; free parking was a nice perk.  My thought is, however, don’t blame city officials, blame the greedy scam artists that will fake a disability simply to obtain free parking.  There always seems to be scumbags that will take advantage of the system for their own personal gain to the ultimate loss for deserving people.

What interested me in this story related to my recent trip to Disney World.

Disney has long had a policy of allowing people in wheelchairs to go to the head of the line for their attractions.  Some lines in Disney can have 90 minute or more wait times.  Moving to the head of the line was a nice gesture for the handicapped.

I remember a friend who broke his leg just before he went on a Disney World vacation.  Instead of his trip being ruined he at least “Got to move to the front of every line.”  It was a nice gesture by Disney, and after all, there weren’t that many people touring the park in a wheelchair.

Then the electric “Little Rascal” scooter was invented.  It irked me no end on my trips to Disney to see these “scooter people” move to the front of the line simply because (no offense but) most of them were too damn fat to walk.  In my opinion they should be walking to maybe lose a bit of that fried food scarfing, soda swilling, Lazy-boy loafing fat from their huge bodies. 

Well Disney changed their rules this year, and scooter people do not get to go to the head of the line.  Surprise, surprise, I noted a similar 70% decrease in scooter people at Disney.  Way to go you lazy-ass fat scooter people, you managed to deprive genuinely deserving people, especially handicapped children from some small benefit to their unfortunate situation.

Who are these people that have so little compassion for the handicapped that they will scam a system until a benefit has to be discontinued?  Are these people who will fake a disability just to get free parking or to move to the head of the line the same people who will fake unemployment, work off the books, fake disabilities, and try any number of scams to go on the Government dole?  If 70% of handicapped parkers or Disney scooter people are fake, are 70% of people accepting welfare of any kind also fake?

Are these scammers going to bankrupt the system and deprive needy, deserving people a little dignity and a needed hand up? 

I know they think they are being smart. 

I don’t know how they live with themselves.

Conor McCadden, a fine young man; a gifted young man, forever a teammate of my son. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Despite TV indoctrination by the likes of a dumb dinosaur and his “Magic Words” song, children today often do not use any of the “Please, Thank You, You’re Welcome” trio.  I try to get the Crankettes to use these words, and when reminded or prodded they use them correctly, but it has yet to become automatic.
Silly, isn’t it that these words are so important in our culture.  I don’t think they are used or have an equivalent in some cultures.  I may be wrong of course, but in my experience our Mid-eastern Arab friends do not use these words.
What is my experience you ask?  Well there is not a gas station in New Jersey that is not owned and run by our Arab friends.  The attendants at these stations never use any of the trio.  I know this.  I do not expect any traditional politeness, and yet when I pay and offer my “Thank You” for an attendant having done his job and put gas in my tank and accepted money from me, I still get an empty feeling when I do not get a return “You’re Welcome.”
Look, I understand you don’t speak perfect English.  I have learned that when I order gas and you spit out an almost unintelligible, “CHACH O CHACH” that you are asking “Cash or charge?”  I don’t expect you to learn how to pronounce two friggin words, or even ask nicely, “chach o chach sir?” I know that when I ask in return, “Excuse me?” you will spit out even louder and more intimidating, “CHACH O CHACHCHACH O CHACH.  I’m OK with that, but do not leave me hanging for my “You’re Welcome.”
In this country we are all ingrained with the polite trio of words.  If we do not get a “Please” for even the most simple request we feel used.  If we do not get a “Thank You” in return for a simple deed, we feel used.  If we say thank you and do not get a “You’re Welcome” you might as well declare war.
In all of New Jersey, I know of one gas station attendant with a single eye-brow and a strap-on beard who always says, “Thank You,” “Please,” and “You’re Welcome.”  Mrs. Cranky calls him the nice attendant.  When we pull into his station and he is not on duty she says, “Damn, we don’t get the nice attendant.”
I don’t get it.  It really is not hard, it’s not like we want you to change your religion or your way of dressing, or to even take a shower, just learn three friggin words and when to use them.  Actually, make that five words if you count cash and charge.  If they could just learn five words, that would go a long way to bringing peace and harmony to our diverse cultures.
Well, that and stop chopping off heads.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


This July I was stoppped by a cop after I pulled away from a stop sign.  Mrs. Cranky had been pulled over at this same sign months earlier for making a “rolling stop.”  I was therefore aware that this stop sign was often a target for police looking to give out a ticket.  It is just that kind of a sign that lends itself to a quick, slow down and almost stop, check both ways and then go, rolling stop.  It is a known traffic ticket trap.  Because of this knowledge, I was sure I had made a complete, jerk to a halt stop.

As the cop walked toward my car I thought, “What the fuck does this asshole want.  I stopped, and I wasn’t speeding? Am I about to get a bull shit ticket just to fill his quota?”

I pulled out my driver’s license.    As he approached I rolled down my window.   My registration and insurance card were in my glove compartment.  I left them there as I have heard cops do not like to approach a car and have the driver duck down and reach for something that they cannot see.  I put both of my hands on my steering wheel where the officer could see them when he approached.

When the officer leaned by my window I responded,   “My registration and insurance card is in the glove compartment if you need them,” as I thought, “What did I do, and what does this prick want from me.”

“No need for that sir, I pulled you over for an expired inspection sticker, but I see that what I thought was a five is really an eight.  You are good to go, sorry for the inconvenience.  You have a nice day now.”

“No problem officer, you have a nice day too.”

My skin color had nothing to do with this traffic stop.  My skin color had nothing to do with the officer’s demeanor.  If I was black, I think I would have thought otherwise.