July 09, 2003

The Rich Enjoy a Good Whine

Raise your hand if you want to be rich! I’ll just keep on typing, thanks. Wanting a fat wallet is hard when it apparently costs so much in common sense.

A bill introduced into the State Senate by Rep. Jerry Luke LeBlanc invalidates tickets for any student who illegally parks at school facilities after hours. Why? Well, it seems nine students at St. Thomas More High School in Lafayette—one of them apparently LeBlanc’s own kid—didn’t want to pay well-deserved parking tickets. To be fair, I should note that Lafayette and Comeaux high schools also put in their two cents. That is two cents more than any of the STM students paid on their tickets. The bill passed, but the miserly nine will still have to pay their tickets like normal people.

The only thing more irritating than parking is people who complain about parking. Just for kicks, I checked out the STM parking lot for myself. It’s immaculate in its pavement, with nice yellow rich-people partitions and handicapped spots designated by glossy rich-people signs and blue rich-people lines. A rather massive pothole greets visitors at the turn, presumably so students can show off the suspension skillz of their bling-bling automobiles.

Expansive though the parking lot might be, even the farthest spaces are close enough to various destinations for an able-bodied rich kid to walk there in no time. Let me put it this way: STM does not need a shuttle bus. For this reason alone, this flap about the students’ constitutional right to park wherever pavement exists is moot.

But there are so many other reasons to never make exceptions. For one thing, handicapped people park in handicapped spaces because, well, they’re handicapped. This means they have some kind of hamper on their physical abilities—be it age, a medical problem or any combination thereof. This definition in no way includes broken nails, being compassion-challenged or driving anything built before 1998.

Elected representatives looking to cut costs for the most elite? Just where on earth did they get that idea?

Perhaps Blair Hornstine inspired them. Hornstine recently graduated from the posh Moorestown High School in New Jersey. Not satisfied with a stratospheric SAT score, an A++ average, an attractive resume and a slot at Harvard, she sued her school district. Why? Because she had to SHARE valedictorian honors with another student! Awww.

On top of everything else, she also wrote for the local newspaper. To save valuable time, she blatantly plagiarized Bill Clinton and others in her articles. In her defense, she said she didn’t know how to attribute them. “There was no place for footnotes or endnotes,” Newsweek quoted her as writing. Right. As a newspaper person myself, Blair, “I feel your pain.”*

I am by no means jealous; in fact, my high school didn’t even have a valedictorian. I wasn’t in the upper echelon anyway; I graduated 188th in my class (though I must stress that this was out of 421 graduates). My mentality has always been to try my best, but not at the expense of my sanity. Besides, I suck at tests. And Hornstine does suffer from a chronic fatigue disorder that forces her to do most of her education at home. So I guess I feel sorry for her. But I would say to Blair, your achievements should speak for themselves. You’ll be fine, as long as you don’t try to park at STM.

Let’s continue to give massive tax cuts to these people. It’s fun to see them spend it all on such ridiculous things.

*--Newspapers never use footnotes.

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