Badge of Dishonour


I never saw myself as a member of the Blue Badge Brigade but here I am, literally with the scars to prove it.

It’s a necessity and a right I’ve earned just as much as anyone else ‘in the club’. You can’t acquire one easily, there’s a rigorous check to make sure you really are entitled to join up.

Fortunately we don’t have to wear the badges on a lanyard round our necks for all to see yet some days I feel like I should.

The last couple of days on the school run (now there’s a fucking laugh, I couldn’t run to the toilet even if I was on the brink of following through) I’ve had some people of a certain age shoot me looks of disgust, disapproval, mouth off and yell ‘it’s a disabled space’ and one even went so far as to ‘advise’ me on where I could park, right down to the line spacing. These old bastards are unbelievable!

I have the right to park there just as much as they do. They don’t know my story and I don’t know theirs, but I didn’t question their right to park in a disabled space like they did. Scrutinising my every move to see just how disabled I really was, waiting to see if I deserved my blue badge of honour. She probably thought I’d got it on the Blue Badge Black Market (yes, there really is such a thing).

Generally speaking I like old people, I even have a certificate from Help The Aged when I did a bring and buy stall and donated all the money to them. I was like seven, but it counts right? However, being elderly doesn’t mean you qualify for a badge simply down to date of birth. Yet some act like it does. I know the age-old adage (no pun intended) that “Old age doesn’t come alone’. I get that and respect that, but when you’ve had chronic pain for over thirty years yourself it’s not a joy to feel like you need to justify yourself to some geriatric who in my opinion should know better. Clearly ‘wisdom doesn’t come with age’ either.

Maybe if they didn’t all drive like snails on smack they’d get to these coveted golden squares a bit quicker. I swear I witnessed an old dear in a Nissan Micra drive along the road with her rear driver side door fully open. She was oblivious! Clearly, she’s never heard of mirrors or a blind spot, most likely she was as close to blind as she could get away with. I wouldn’t put it passed these OAP’s.

It’s a sad day when disabled people are fighting over spaces like holidaymakers fight over sunbeds. When disabled people discriminate against their own to see which end of the spectrum they’re on. Surely being anywhere on it is bad enough, isn’t that enough?

It brings up a lot of feels, so many feelings. Which is why on one such occasion after being shot a dirty look as I left a disabled space – just a little later than she’d have liked. I followed this dithering driver to another car park and watched her quest in action. I flashed my lights like a maniac and shoved my badge up high on the front windscreen window for her to see. Did she see it? Did she fuck! Unfortunately, and frustratingly she was just as blindly ignorant as the rest of them.

I’ll be back doing school ‘runs’ next week, so watch this space…

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