The Dim-Post

June 29, 2010

Living the dream

Filed under: personal — danylmc @ 9:14 am

I was excited by this Manawatu Standard story on Stuff which unfolds with the clarity of a nightmare and reads like a Curb Your Enthusiasm episode:

A wheelchair-bound Palmerston North man on a crusade to stop the abuse of disability car parks was involved in an altercation he claims ended in him being tipped out.

The fracas happened on Saturday evening when Nicolas Steenhout confronted a woman after she pulled into a disability park at Melody’s New World on Broadway Ave.

She did not have an orange mobility card, which permits the use of disability car parks.

The Manawatu Standard understands Mr Steenhout reached into the car and grabbed the steering wheel.

The woman warned him to let go, before reversing slowly out of the park but Mr Steenhout clung to the wheel before being thrown out of his wheelchair.

When I lived in Karori I walked past the car parks at the supermarket every day and I took great delight in confronting people parking in the disabled spot. These exchanges always went something like this:

Me: Excuse me. Did you know this is a disabled spot?

Them: Oh I’m just in a hurry.

Me: They’re not for people in a hurry. They’re for people that are disabled. (Now shouting as the person scurries away through the crowd, their face burning with shame) Just so you know in future you’re not supposed to park there unless you’re disabled.

I stopped doing this after a big scary looking guy threatened to beat me up but they were good times. Contrary to the claim in the article I don’t think I ever saw an elderly person abusing the space – they were almost always well dressed men and woman in their forties and fifties driving late model cars: our vast middle management class, most of whom seem think they’re just a little bit more special than anyone else so none of the rules apply to them.

Anyway, I sometimes fantasize about lifting weights and learning to box so I could harass people in disabled car parks with impunity but being in a wheelchair would be even better.


  1. Over summer I was having a coffee at a Cafe in New Plymouth and I watched a middle aged man in a convertible BMW pull into a disabled park. As he hopped out I went over and politely told him he was in a disabled park and that there were normal parks about 35 meters away. He told me to get f**cked and went into whatever store.

    I then went and [redacted].

    Sitting back, sipping my mochachino with a large grin on my face, I waited the guys return.

    Somethings are priceless.

    [Slightly altered to protect the guilty – Danyl]

    Comment by Jackson James Wood — June 29, 2010 @ 9:30 am

  2. I, after a suitable wait, followed a guy who with his very able mate, had pulled into a disabled spot and grabbing his bag walked into the gym. I confronted him in the weights room telling him in strong voice that he had parked in a disabled park and could he please move it. He did.

    Comment by Chris — June 29, 2010 @ 9:43 am

  3. I’ve always wanted to just pull up right behind the able-bodied offenders car and wait for them to come back from their oh-so-important shopping and ask me to move to which I would smugly reply “No sorry, I’m just waiting the tow truck to come and tow this car”, just to see what they would do.

    Comment by Exclamation Mark — June 29, 2010 @ 9:48 am

  4. Walking into my Indoor Netball centre once I passed a group of hurried giggling teenage girls who blithely parked in the disabled space before running inside. Turns out they were my opposition for the game, which gave me the opportunity to say in the post match handshake “good game, you play pretty well for a handicapped person”. She said “eh?”, so I said “well you parked in the disabled space, so I just made an assumption” before moving on to the next person before she could reply.
    Knowing people who actually have to use these spaces I have little tolerance for those who abuse them.

    Comment by samm — June 29, 2010 @ 10:04 am

  5. I was at an ATM by the disabled parks in the Plaza in Palmy once when a lowered boy racer-style car pulled in and parked. I looked at the driver and he was a young guy with his hat on backwards and a fag in his mouth. As he opened the car door I began to berate him for parking in a disabled zone, getting into it and calling him all kinds of names. Imagine my surprise when he finally emerged fully form the car and only had one leg. Still, at least I could outrun him.

    Comment by Bearhunter — June 29, 2010 @ 10:06 am

  6. Bearhunter – hah! YOur story made me laugh and laugh. A very heartwarming discussion all round. ,

    Comment by Carol — June 29, 2010 @ 10:27 am

  7. In a just and proper world it would be legal to vandalise cars parked in disability spaces without the disability card visible.

    Comment by JD — June 29, 2010 @ 10:32 am

  8. Thanks Danyl. I think this way it is actually funnier 😀

    Comment by Jackson James Wood — June 29, 2010 @ 10:33 am

  9. Public Service Announcement: Curb Your Enthusiam finally gets a decent time slot in NZ. Comedy Central starting 6 July.

    Comment by Pat — June 29, 2010 @ 11:55 am

  10. I never knew there were so many frustrated parking wardens out there. And obviously some really tough guys as well.

    Comment by La Grand Fromage — June 29, 2010 @ 12:02 pm

  11. …dropped an old golf ball into his petrol tank, knowing that it would slowly degrade and release small bits of rubber tubing which, individually, would block his fuel line and stop the car. Again. And again, and again.

    I have actually heard of this being done – but not to a car in a disability park. It’s as mean a trick as you can get.

    Comment by Neil — June 29, 2010 @ 12:33 pm

  12. Sorry, previous entry was from the redacted 9.30 comment, as imagined by me. Couldn’t control myself.

    Comment by Neil — June 29, 2010 @ 12:35 pm

  13. I sometimes fantasize about lifting weights and learning to box brazillian ju jitsu so I could harass people in disabled car parks with impunity but being in a wheelchair would be even better.

    FIFY, Brazillian Ju Jitsu is much better for street fighting..

    Comment by andy (the other one) — June 29, 2010 @ 1:12 pm

  14. only thing worse than able-bodied in a disabled spot is when there is a full carpark and 5+ empty disabled spots. highly inefficient resource allocation…

    Comment by ben — June 29, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

  15. sorry, *genocide* is obviously worse than 5+ free disabled spots in an otherwise full carpark, but i’m sure you know what i mean.

    Comment by ben — June 29, 2010 @ 1:30 pm

  16. Stick with boxing for your street fighting – BJJ is better for grappling at ground level on gym mats and will result only in massive skin loss if you try it with someone on a supermarket asphalt.

    Comment by Exclamation Mark — June 29, 2010 @ 1:33 pm

  17. I don’t actually want to fight anyone. I just want to not be intimidated when the people I’m bullying stand up to me.

    Comment by danylmc — June 29, 2010 @ 1:35 pm

  18. Hmmm ok…. How about carrying a fake pistol then? If someone gets all rambunctious, you just whip out your pretend gat.

    Comment by Exclamation Mark — June 29, 2010 @ 1:41 pm

  19. @Exclamation Mark

    I would respectfully disagree, most street fights get to grappling and often go to ground. Boxing gives you a mean punch only.

    Boxing is an offensive sport that relys on a set of rules being adhered to, boxers are notoriously bad at blocking a kick to the nuts or getting out of a headlock.

    It would also be super awesome to chocke out or pop an excruciating arm bar on a “well dressed men and woman in their forties and fifties driving late model cars: our vast middle management class” for taking a disabled car park.

    Comment by andy (the other one) — June 29, 2010 @ 1:42 pm

  20. I struggle a bit with the concept of “well dressed men and woman in their forties and fifties driving late model cars” because I know what Danyl’s getting at but most of these people seem to genuinely believe that dressing like a 17 year old from 1987 means they are “well-dressed”.

    Comment by JD — June 29, 2010 @ 1:48 pm

  21. “well dressed men and woman in their forties and fifties driving late model cars: our vast middle management class, most of whom seem think they’re just a little bit more special than anyone else so none of the rules apply to them.”

    As we have precious little industry left in Wellington, they are either government workers (perhaps not: well dressed you say) or real estate agents.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — June 29, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

  22. I know of a wonderful little story which goes like this…

    A school had some of it’s administrative buildings renovated, and at the same time the staff car parking slots were rearranged.

    Due to an architectural planning error, the four allotted disabled slots were incorrectly placed, at the end of the car park away from the buildings.

    Those staff and visitors who were genuinely disabled would always park in the designated spots and struggle their way into the school, even when the carpark was near empty.

    Comment by Phil — June 29, 2010 @ 2:07 pm

  23. “Ever notice how you come across somebody once in a while you shouldnt have fucked with? Thats me.”
    Clint Eastwood- Gran Torino

    Comment by Grant — June 29, 2010 @ 2:10 pm

  24. Well maybe the drivers without orange mobility cards
    are disabled.
    They cannot comprehend signage (i.e. cannot read).

    Comment by peterlepaysan — June 29, 2010 @ 8:18 pm

  25. You have left Karori! ? I thought you had just moved to the well-heeled “Dipton” end from the “Edgeler-ravaged” and “key-scraped-car” poor end?

    Comment by Mr February — July 1, 2010 @ 10:29 pm

  26. Campbell Live’s story about this –

    Comment by Sacha — July 3, 2010 @ 12:34 pm

  27. I thought it was despicable how to wheelchair-bound man was treated. Can’t people see that he was just trying to protect his right? This is becoming a common attitude in New Zealand – nobody cares about the rights of others and only care about themselves.

    I was working in a poultry farm a while back and had a similar situation. I turned up every day, did my work, and was friendly and polite to everyone, but North Canterbury is a small community and pretty soon they found out that I was bisexual.

    From then on, it was sheer hell. I was told that they “don’t want gay guys”, we had a couple of lunch times where the owner shouted us all fish and chips and the former Production Minister cracked a few jokes about that it was a familiar feeling for me when I bit into my hotdog. It was all so horrible and humiliating and embarassing.

    Comment by Daniel — July 13, 2010 @ 2:05 pm

  28. You just want to have your sausage and eat it too.
    I’ll get me coat.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — July 13, 2010 @ 6:36 pm

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