NEWS this past week reported so many instances of irritating behaviour choosing the worst one isn’t easy.
To begin, there was the 55-year-old Saskatoon man ticketed for driving without a seatbelt. Not that rare an occurrence even after years of mandatory seatbelt laws, except this man had his arms amputated following a boating accident 28 years ago. Unless he has a passenger who can assist him, he cannot wear a seatbelt. Yet he can drive; he has outfitted his vehicles with a special floor-mounted steering wheel he operates with his left foot.
“Driving without a seatbelt puts this gentleman at risk,” a Saskatoon Police spokesperson said. “It puts the general public at risk. If there is a collision of any kind, he could lose his footing and not be able to steer the vehicle correctly.”
Before issuing the $175 ticket, officers checked a Saskatchewan Government Insurance database and saw that Steve Simonar did not have a medical exemption on the books. Simonar said for years he carried a doctor’s note in his glove box explaining that he couldn’t fasten his seatbelt unassisted. He said he will now bring the doctor’s note to SGI and request a medical exemption.
Simonar appeared before a judge to request his ticket be expunged. He was denied. He vows to fight the ticket all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.
Why did this driver flout the seatbelt law for decades and drive without a proper exemption? He must have known he needed one, or else why did he ever have a doctor’s note in the first place?
The second news item to stoke my ire was the reaction of a Wisconsin church that had arranged for retired Green Bay Packer’s football player LeRoy Butler to speak in July to their young folk about bullying, something Butler has been doing at schools all over the country for years.
Monday, after active NBA player Jason Collins “came out” as gay in a lengthy article published by Sports Illustrated, Butler tweeted, “Congrats to Jason Collins.”
In a flash, the pastor of the Wisconsin church cancelled Butler’s speaking engagement. ‘”But if you apologize and take the tweet down and ask God for forgiveness,” the pastor said, “we’ll let you speak.”
Butler refused to comply with the pastor’s conditions. Instead he passed up the chance to share his bullying experiences with the congregation’s children for a fee of $8500. Butler’s mother had taught her son to love everyone. Not so the pastor’s mother.
The third irritating news item also involved a closed mind. Jenny’s Bridal Boutique in Saskatoon refused to let Rohit Singh, a transgender woman, try on bridal gowns.
Singh’s transformation from male to female is in progress. She is a beautiful woman except for a five o’clock shadow that will persist until she undergoes months of hormone treatment.
She visited the boutique with her fiance and a female friend in search of the perfect wedding gown. But once the shop owner realized the dress was intended for Singh, not her female friend, the owner snatched the dress from Singh’s hands. She told Singh men aren’t allowed to try on dresses in Jenny’s. “To allow a man to try on a dress would make other, female customers uncomfortable.”
In no time, 690 readers posted comments on the news article supporting Singh and denouncing the shop owner.
Two days later about 100 people attended a protest rally and a human rights complaint has been lodged into the incident. Singh bought a new dress for the rally – but not from Jenny’s.
With any kind of justice, Jenny’s Boutique will lose customers over this snub while other bridal shops around Saskatoon will gain customers.