Cripple: A person who is unable to walk or move properly through disability or because of injury to their back or legs. (Oxford English Dictionary).
The disabled persons parking pass has always been known in our rigorously politically incorrect home as a 'cripple pass'. It took me years to convince my wife that her Intermittent Claudication, that sometimes limited her from walking briskly without experiencing pain or discomfort merited one.It was excessively hazardous when walking across a vast skating rink-like parking lot, which is what many of our parking lots are in winter. I was particularly aggravated when, during my ' people watching' I found that many emerging from the parked vehicle displaying the so-called Accessible Parking Permit pass, were a good deal more spry than my eighty - something year old corpus allows me to be. Because we come a good deal closer to fitting the above definition than many of the persons I have observed abusing the demarcated spots, we have taken some pride in using this pass only for my wife who qualifies. I do not regard myself as sufficiently crippled to merit such a privilege.
To my horror, many Canadians have no such reluctance. Horrified, I watch teen-agers screech into a designated accessible parking spot, sporting Grandma's 'cripple pass', laughing their way into Loblaws and knowing full well that as long as they display that pass, no-one is going to bother to check it. I'm eighty three, a quintuple bypass patient, fibrillating and with degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine and osteoarthritis of the right hip. I don't have a 'cripple pass', because despite my disorders and the difficulties I have to cope with, I can manage. Unlike many of the folks I observe in the parking lots, abusing a 'cripple pass', I don't intend to apply for one until I fit into the Oxford English Dictionary definition that heads this article. I will continue to ask my wife, during the harsh arctic conditions that prevail in Canada's winter,
"Hey honey, got the cripple pass?' knowing full well that when we get there, most of the spots will be taken by folks who are far from cripples!!
The decline continues.