Sunday, 8 March 2009

parking permits galore

Due to my muscle problems, I have been on the hunt for one of those disabled driver stickers without which almost every driver in this neck of the woods, whether disabled or not,wouldn't dream of taking to the road. At first, I made the usual mistake of thinking that this must be straightforward. A note from the doctor, and for good measure a declaration from the cops, and Jack's your uncle - or so I thought.First off - try finding the relevant phone number to ring. Under Disabled perhaps ? No way.Turn to the HSE for a clue - forget it. Eventually the doctor's receptionist took pity on me and tracked the thing down. An hour after the start of the search, I was on to the right person, hidden away in the wastes of Mayo. The woman seemed almost pleased to hear from me. Perhaps I was the only caller of the day who had actually managed to make contact.I gave her my details and was surprised to hear that she wanted a brief medical run-down on why I needed a sticker.I was surprised. I'd have thought the doctor's word would be enough. However, not so, my claim would wither on the bough unless I wrote a brief note outlining my disabaility. I was surprised to learn that the reason for this is that the Disabled Drivers association can " create a paper trail". Is it any wonder the country is up the proverbial without a paddle, when a jumped up mob can demand medical details from an unqualified person to satisfy their appetite for a paper trail? Supposing I had listed my many neurosis, failing eyesight, tendency to road rage and periodic inattention to other road users, as well as lousy muscles, would they have turned me down or sent me permits for every condition outlined? However life is much too short so I did as I was told and set off in search of some passport photos.Since the last time I did something similar not only has the hair on my head grown but also the beard on my double chin is looking pretty lustrous. The overall effect is not just a picture of a fairly benign example of care in the community, but the slightly manic gleam in the eye, no doubt the result of jousting with the Disabled mob, is just a bit worrying.But the business is done and the application form, complete with cheque, dispatched.Now all that remains is to settle into a deep Zen like trance and wait to see what happens. In the meantime I will concentrate on the newest regime of self-improvement that opens before me. Goaded by my once baby sister, I am about to take to the water. A friend, of proportions almost as generous as my own, asked how I entended to get into the pool. I hadn't thought of this. But on reflection, visions of seals slithering into the waves sprang reassuringly to mind. The only remining problem is how to get out.It may be necessary to install a small crane to hoist me from the depths. I could perhaps open the event to the public - all donations to charity- would red nose day be interested I wonder? Perhaps a quick phone call- so long as they are not as hard to track down as the disabled sticker mob and their paper trail.

ps. an informant tells me that the reason for the paper trail is to eliminate the flourishing blackmarket in fake parking permits. A bit more enterprise like that and we'd solve our financial crises.

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