Tricia Proefrock and her 13-year-old son Mason love going to Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.
They live about 150 miles southeast of the parks in Palm Beach Gardens, but they visit frequently and enjoy every minute of their time at the Most Magical Place on Earth.
“It’s the highlight of both of our lives,” Tricia says.
Tricia’s son Mason is 13 and has Lennox Gastaut Syndrome, a type of epilepsy that can affect Mason’s abilities to see well, to walk and to talk. Because of this, Mason uses a wheelchair. When they visit Magic Kingdom, they park in the designated handicapped parking areas with ramp access so that Tricia can wheel Mason out of the vehicle.
But sometimes those areas are full, and Cast Members have told Tricia that when there are no other spaces with ramp access, she should park her vehicle over the white line and take two spaces–one for her van and one to give her room for Mason and his wheelchair to exit or enter her van.
That’s exactly what happened last week when Tricia and Mason visited Magic Kingdom. So she followed the Cast Members’ previous instructions and took two parking spaces.
But as Tricia and Mason left Magic Kingdom and approached their vehicle to go home that day, Tricia noticed a bright yellow note on her windshield that looked like a parking citation.
She quickly realized that it wasn’t a ticket.
instead, she’d received a typed, hate-filled note with the words “PARKING VIOLATION” in bold, black font on the top, made to look like an actual citation.
Apparently, another Guest wasn’t impressed by Tricia’s parking. So the Guest left her a bogus citation. A mean, hate-filled “citation.”
“This is not a ticket, but if it were within my power, you would receive two. Because of your bull-headed, inconsiderate, feeble attempt at parking, you have taken enough room for a 20 mule team, 2 elephants, 1 goat, and a safari of pygmies from the African interior.”
And as if that weren’t enough meanness and hate, the note went on to wish horrible things for Tricia and Mason. It concluded with:
“I sign off wishing you an early transmission failure (on the expressway at about 4:30 p.m.). Also, may the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits.”
And of course, the author of the note didn’t have the courage to sign the note.
Tricia hopes that sharing her story about the note she received will help others to not make assumptions so quickly. She hopes it will help them to be more tolerant.
“If you see a car taking two spots,” Tricia says, “maybe instead of wishing us a broken transmission, you can try to think about why a wheelchair accessible van in a medical parking section might need two spots.”
We wish her open spaces with ramp access from here forward!