Hands Off the Handicap Button

Graphic Graeme Shorten Adams

So you’re rushing towards the Mackay St. entrance of the library building, coffee in hand and heavy backpack on your shoulders.

You arrive at the big, metal doors behind a few other people. A petite girl with shiny hair, phone in hand and a leather purse dangling off one arm presses the handicap button with her free hand. She stops walking. Nothing happens.

You wait for her to do something. Her eyebrows scrunch together. Then she takes a couple steps forward and opens the door using her own human strength.

“That wasn’t so hard, was it?” you say. She looks at you like you weren’t supposed to be talking to her and kind of laughs.

If this is actually a fantasy of yours, rejoice! It happened in real life! Sweet, petty atonement. I’m just waiting for a similar chance to catch one of those serious-faced professors carrying important briefcases full of important papers pause and avoid eye contact with students (who are inevitably in a hurry to print something) until the door opens really slowly before them.

Maybe you think it’s rude to publicly address ridiculous behaviour and hey, maybe it is. But do you also think the door opener would have broken without the maniacal overuse by able-bodied pedestrians?

Can you truly claim to enjoy an extended blast of cold air when people use those buttons unnecessarily in the winter and you’re left shivering in your boots? It’s harming the environment, man; heat indoors is not a natural occurrence past October.

Plus, those rotating doors are SUPER FUN. I mean, really.

And please don’t tell yourself you’re doing the people behind you a favour. You’re not. Unless they are physically unable to open the door because they’re in a wheelchair, or on crutches, or have some sort of arm or wrist injury, or a severe back injury with muscle relaxants on their person to prove it, you’re just bothering them.

Don’t be such a lazy human.