This is Shawn McClendon’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:
WARNING: This article is intended for entertainment purposes only. The views expressed in this piece are by no means intended to represent Chris Pirillo or any other individual involved in the writing or publishing of this article. Following the ‘advice’ given in this piece could result in physical injury, legal fines, or even in some extreme cases, jail time. Now, let’s get on with the show.
I don’t know about you, but it seems like almost every time I look around, there are more and more cripples wandering about in public, instead of keeping themselves in hospitals, institutions and being the respectable shut-ins we have come to expect. Now, I’m aware that aggravating these people may not be the utmost in political correctness, but at the very least, watching them go into a complete and utter meltdown, can be good for quite a few laughs. The question is though, how to go about getting these usually docile, sometimes even timid people, to put on a show for you when you need a little cheering up. That, right there, is where my advice and I can help. Give my article a read, and you’ll be dancing in the aisles in no time at all.
Now, before we can begin getting under the skin of your friendly neighborhood disabled folk, we have to locate them. As it turns out, finding them is often the easiest part of this entire endeavor.
Everywhere you go, in every parking lot, be it at the grocery store, or the movies, or even a restaurant, you will see these little blue and white signs marking all the prime parking spaces. These serve to tell the handicapped where they should park. Often they even give the disabled the mistaken impression that they are actually welcomed at your favorite establishments. After all, these people often have money to spend as well. The good thing is, that those signs I mentioned earlier, can also be used as one of the first and easiest ways to irritate our often wheelchair bound friends. After all, why should they get all the cherry parking spots? Just pull your car, van, or even station wagon into these conveniently marked spaces, and be certain to take your time enjoying your new, and easier shopping experience, while those rightfully entitled to the special spots spend their time and energy fuming over your inconsiderate attitude.
Be warned though, that police officers and security guards very rarely share the same sense of humor as your average working Joe. This means if your caught parking in these reserved parking spots. You could be fined as much as $500.00. If you would rather not get fined or hassled by the cops however, there is another option that can be just as effective without being as likely to lead to legal problems on your part. Simply find one of those designated parking spots we were talking about, preferably one that is already occupied, then park your vehicle as close to the driver’s side door as you are able. It should be quite interesting to watch the owner of the other car contort themselves into the small space afforded between the two automobiles. I recommend however that you be prepared to spend money to have your car freshly detailed when the owner of the car you have boxed in dings your paint with the edge of his door, but then there are risks to every plan.
Now, I think we should move on to something new and different. Keep an eye out for the blind individuals in your area. You can usually recognize these gentle folk by their white canes, or the dogs they have walking beside them strapped into leather harnesses. Folks with guide dogs are particularly fine targets for our next prank. You simply stroll up close to them, with your pockets full of poorly printed and blurry PETA literature that you produced using your trusty dot matrix printer before leaving the house. Now, take a fist full of leaflets from your pocket, and wave them about erratically, demanding that they stop and read this information which you have so thoughtfully provided. Be certain to adopt a loud and commanding voice. After all, we have established that these people can’t see. Are we simply meant to assume that they can hear properly?
Now you need to be aware that just as with our previous little enterprise, this idea is not without its pitfalls and dangers. Be observant of those around you. If the blind person you choose to approach happens to be accompanied by friends or family, you might find yourself restrained or even attacked. Also, if the service animal is of questionable temperament you could even find that it will leap to the defense of its owner. Barring all of this of course there is always the slim but very real chance that the blind individual in question is more than capable of their own protection.
This last segment is directed toward our friends in the retail and service industries.
As you kind folks have chosen to operate stores and restaurants and the like for the rest of us, you will no doubt be confronted with the occasional customer with special needs. Should you wish to make their experience with you more interesting, there are a few simple tricks you can use. Take a glance around your sales floor, and notice all that empty space just begging to be filled. You can take advantage of these wide open spaces, and fill them with what are often called portable sales racks. These are display units that can be filled with excess merchandise, and impulse items. If you like you can even take the chance to design a maze, or obstacle course out of these movable units. Next we should pay special attention to your facilities. See those nice, wide doorways that the Americans with Disabilities Act requires that you build in to your rest rooms? Try stacking them full of mops and buckets, or safety cones. I’ve even seen the odd manager make the area narrower by filling the gaps with cases of hand soap or paper towels. Again, there is always the risk that your customers will not see the humor in these situations, thus leading to loss of revenue or even legal action, so consider carefully as you act.
Now, these are only a very few of the things you can do to make life more interesting for those disabled members of your community. Each is different, and may have its appeal, but as I have tried diligently to point out they also present various problems. I recommend you consider very carefully before you choose to implement any of the advice put forward in this little writing, after all, satire and sarcasm can be difficult for the best of us, can’t they?
And, just In case you were wondering, I (myself) am blind -and- in a wheelchair. The bits from the article are taken from the things that irritate me the most when I go out.