All of my vehicles — cars, SUVs and even motorcycles — have one thing in common — a handicapped license plate.
That, however, does not prevent confrontations with others who question my right to park my Harley Davidsons in a handicapped spot.
Invariably, someone will walk — or more often run — up to me as I’m parking and say “you can’t park that motorcycle there!”
I will ask “why not?”
They will say “because that space is only for handicapped people. I point out that the bike has a handicapped plate and the answer is often something like “that plate is not real.”
According to the Division of Motor Vehicles, each plate on each of my vehicles, is real and legal. Because of various injuries over the years, I qualify for handicapped plates.
Some folks, however, do not believe that anyone who rides a motorcycle can be considered handicapped.
I get questions like “may I inquire as to your particular handicap?” or “What is you specific handicap.”
Sometimes I get sarcastic and say something like “I’m psychotic. I just got out of jail for beating up the last person who questioned me about my handicaps.”
That response to one lady at Food Lion in Floyd a few years ago resulted in a phone call to Sheriff Shannon Zeman. She said I threatened her and she also wanted to know if there really was a handicapped license plate for motorcycles.
She also felt that it was her business to know what my handicap might be.
Usually, my answer to such a question is “my handicaps are matters between my doctors and myself and the Commonwealth of Virginia, which determined my limitations qualified me for a handicapped plate.
Those who think a disability of anyone else if their business should remember that such limitations can be physical, mental or both.
And questioning someone with a mental defect can be both stupid and dangerous.