Friday, January 23, 2015

Invasion of the Fake Cripples

Apparently there are some new super-sensitive, high-tech glasses that only republicans wear. These glasses make it possible for them to see fake cripples where everyone else sees thin air.

Fake cripples are everywhere! They’re at the corner drug store, up in the trees, behind the couch and under the bed! And they’re all sucking up Social Security!

Senator Rand Paul (R-Mars) recently spoke about this. And once again he demonstrated a depth of knowledge of subject matter that can only be described as Wikipedic. Here’s what he said: "Everybody in this room knows somebody who's gaming the system. What I tell people is, if you look like me and you hop out of your truck, you shouldn't be getting a disability check. Over half of the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts -- join the club,"

As everybody knows, the ultimate republican wet dream is to cut the crap out of and privatize Social Security. The people who receive Social Security are old people and cripples. And everybody knows how worked up old people get when someone comes after their Social Security. So maybe the republicans are hoping the old people will get so worked up about the fake cripples that they’ll all have strokes and die. What a brilliant way to reduce the roles! Either that or maybe the old people will rise up and demand that all the fake cripples be kicked off.

All I can say to that is fuck you, old people! You can drop the “oh we’re so innocent” act. I know as well as you that there are lots of people falsely collecting Social Security by pretending to be old! I know it because my wife’s third cousin’s stepson’s orthodontist shared a cab with a guy who heard on the radio that there’s a guy in Jersey whose neighbor’s friend dresses up like an old person just so he can collect Social Security. That guy saw it with his own eyes!

I decided to investigate this for myself so I went to a Social Security office. I’d never been to a Social Security office so I didn’t know what to expect. I was greeted at the door by a man in a tuxedo. He bowed and said, “Welcome to the Social Security office, sir! I am Pierre, the maitre’d. Are you a party of one?” I said yes. Then Pierre said. “I’m dreadfully sorry, sir, but you may have to wait a bit before someone can see you today. You may have to wait as long as three or four minutes. Please accept my deepest apologies and have a seat in our lounge.” I was perturbed about the prospect of waiting so long. But the lounge was posh and the soothing music of the live string quartet calmed my mood. I also thoroughly enjoyed the wide assortment of hors d’oeuvres brought around by servers with silver platters. Especially tasty was that stuff on a cracker that looked like orange caviar. I never realized that they treat you like a king at the Social Security office. No wonder everyone wants to be on Social Security!

But across from me sat a suspicious-looking old couple. Her gray hair looked like a cheap wig. He had a gnarled wooden cane and a hunchback. A Social Security worker came up to them.

“May I help you?” she said.

“We’re old!” snapped the woman.

“And we demand Social Security!” said the man.

“Well you certainly look old to me,” said the Social Security worker. “So here’s an envelope full of cash.”

The old woman snatched the bulging manila envelope. The couple walked out all hunched and arthritic.

I decided to follow them but when I went out to the street they were long gone. And there in a nearby trash can was a cheap gray wig and a gnarled cane! There was also a football, which explains how he got the hunchback effect.

But I soon found the scammers exactly where I thought they would be. They were around the corner in a fancy steakhouse-- two people in their mid-30s chomping on porterhouse, drinking martinis and laughing it up.

What is this country coming to?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Submissive Position

It’s no wonder cripples have a hard time getting jobs, what with so many people spreading harmful propaganda about us. And these are people who are supposed to be on our side.

I’ve heard people say a million times that study after study shows that cripples make good employees because we’re very loyal and thus we don’t call in sick or take vacation days or complain or try to unionize or move on to other jobs like uncrippled workers do.

People ought not to be spreading that kind of stuff around about us, especially if it’s true. It makes us sound so desperate and clingy. It’s such a turn off. It’s like the cripple is saying, “Please hire me because I have such a hard time getting jobs that I’ll gladly take any damn job I can get and I’ll never ever let it go no matter what!”

Look at it like this. The other thing cripples have a hard time getting, besides jobs, is laid. So suppose we took the same approach when it comes to that harrowing quest. A cripple’s profile on a dating site would read, “Please date me because I have such a hard time getting laid that I’ll gladly go out with any damn body that will have me and I will never ever let you go no matter what!”

You know who will answer that ad? A dominatrix. Either that or one of those Mother Teresa types who love to take in strays so they can groom them up nice and put little pink ribbons in their hair. But both scenarios require the cripple to assume and forever maintain the submissive position. Now if that’s what you're into, then I guess you’re good to go. But personally, I like having some negotiating leverage.

So it goes with the submissive strategy for finding cripples jobs. The dominatrix responds, which explains why so many cripples end up working at Walmart.

There’s nothing sexy about the submissive approach to job searching. That’s the problem. Whether trying to get a job or trying to get laid, you gotta let yourself be sexy. You gotta be at least a little bit hard to get. You gotta make the other party want work a little to earn you because they might miss out on something big if they don’t.

If you’re a cripple looking for work, instead of sending that pathetic clingy message to employers, put on some smooth music and your best Barry White voice and try a message like this: “Hey baby, have you ever hired a cripple? You really ought to try it. You don’t know what you’re missing. Hire me and I will take you to a place you’ve never been. Hire me and you will see fireworks. If you hire me once, I promise you will want to hire me over and over and over again.”

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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Perhaps Mama Misunderstood the Fortune Teller

Here’s what I figure must’ve happened: It must’ve been like in those blues songs where the blues singer’s mama went to see the gypsy fortune teller back when the blues singer's mama was still pregnant with said blues singer. And the fortune teller gets all excited and tells the blues singer's mama she’s got a boy child coming and he’s gonna be sunuvagun!

That must’ve been what happened because back when my sister and I were criplets my mother frequently told us that she expected big things from us. She expected us to go to college and go on from there to do great things. Why possessed her to put crazy ideas like that in our heads? College? Didn’t she know that colleges didn't admit cripples? This was the 1960s. College?

But I figured what must’ve happened was that the fortune teller told my mother, "Your children will attend a very excluuuusive school!" And that got my mother excited. And the fortune teller was right. We ended up in a state-operated boarding school for cripples I call the Sam Houston Institute of Technology (SHIT). That acronym describes well the quality of the education there. And yes, it was very exclusive. Only the most excluded cripples went there. At least our mother took us home for weekends, holidays and summer and such. Most of the inmates didn’t even have families.

And I bet the fortune teller told my mother I would graduate from the exclusive school at the top of my class! Right again. I was Salutatorian of my graduating class almost by default. It was a class of eight graduates. I was second best but I was also sixth worst.

Everything the fortune said came true. So I pray like hell that the fortune teller never told my mother I would someday live in a gated community. For the average bipedal pedestrian, that means a pristine subdivision protected by an imposing fence and a dutiful proletarian in a guardhouse. But for the average cripple, that means a nursing home. It don’t get much more exclusive than that.

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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Belly Dancer Etiquette

A Moroccan restaurant on a Monday night. I was having a quiet dinner with Chris, one of my pit crew guys.

And all of a sudden, recorded music played— snake-charmer music. A belly dancer shook and shimmied into the dining room. She twisted and spun. The tiny cymbals on her fingers rang out. Her sequins shimmered.

She bumped her hips. She shimmied her way up to my table. She gyrated about a foot in front of me, all the time looking me dead in the eye, as if presenting a challenge. But a challenge to what? What was I, the chosen one among the customers, supposed to do in response to being chosen? I’m not up on my belly dancer etiquette!

I felt enormous stress! But it wasn’t her fault. It was my damn ambassador complex kicking in again! Damn that thing! I’ve worked hard to overcome it but it never really goes away. The ambassador complex is this psychological state cripples frequently find ourselves in where we think we are the de facto spokesperson for all the cripples in the world. It comes from years of being told that every interaction with the uncrippled majority is an opportunity to educate and break down barriers. Thus, we must make a positive impression because other cripples will be judged by our actions.

This was one such encounter. Out of all the customers, the belly dancer shimmied without hesitation right up to me. That’s not how it usually works. Usually, when given options, people will avoid cripples. When someone is passing out promotional flyers on the street touting free Subway sandwiches or 10 per cent off on aluminum siding, they usually offer it to everybody but me. Sometimes homeless people don’t even ask me for money.

But the belly dancer was different. She was open-minded, progressive. My first instinct was to tip her. Stuff a dollar somewhere. But is that appropriate? I wished she was a stripper. Then I’d know exactly how to react. Everybody knows stripper etiquette. Stuff a dollar anywhere you can stuff one. Make it rain! But this was a belly dancer. Belly dancers are classier than strippers, aren’t they? Don’t you have to go to school to learn how to belly dance? If I tried to tip her, she might slap me and say, “What do you think I am, a common stripper?” And then she would think every cripple in the world is a low-class pervert! But what if I didn’t tip her? Then she might think every cripple in the world is a cheapskate! It was a lose/lose situation. It wasn’t fair! There was no notice posted anywhere warning that there would be belly dancers! I felt ambushed! I desperately wished for something that I could interpret as a sign from above, a divine clue if you will. Like when you go to catered event and there’s a snifter on the bar with cash stuffed in it, that’s a hint. But no such luck here.

I was paralyzed with indecision. That’s what’s so insidious about the ambassador complex. In the mind of the possessor, it exponentially increases the stakes of every encounter.

Finally, the belly dancer shimmied away. For the rest of the evening and well into the next day I wrestled with remorse. When called upon to take quick and resolute action, I choked! “Dammit I should have tipped her!” I scolded myself. “No!” I barked back. “Better to err on the side of cheapskate.”

Finally I told myself that, like it or not, it was a decision I could not take back so I should find a way to make peace with it. And it was highly unlikely that because I didn’t tip the belly dancer, she now sees every cripple in the world as a cheapskate. The only cripple she sees as a cheapskate is me.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Slow Handicapped Child

I saw a sign on a quiet, suburban residential street that said Slow Handicapped Child. And that sign makes me wonder a lot of things. It’s like my blind friend who has a sign on her street that says Blind Person Area. The sign wasn’t her idea. Her mother arranged to have it put up, much to my blind friend’s embarrassment. But I wonder if there are more accidents on that block than on any other block because of that sign. Because if I was driving and I saw that sign I’d envision a blind person suddenly staggering into the street like a drunken Helen Keller so I’d slam on the brakes as a precautionary measure and probably get rear-ended. So I wonder if people freak out similarly when they see that Slow Handicapped Child sign. Or maybe they’re not sure what hell they’re supposed to do when they see a sign like that, just like no one knows what they’re supposed to do when they see those obnoxious Baby on Board signs: “Damn! I was going to randomly smash into that car but now I can't because there’s a baby on board!” Or remember when the government had that stupid color-coded terrorist threat warning system? I don’t think the threat level was ever anything other than orange but what if it ever switched to red? What the hell were we all supposed to do then? “Uh oh it’s red! That means I have to immediately….. um…….” But anyway, I wonder if the word Slow on the Slow Handicapped Child sign is intended to be an adjective referring to the Handicapped Child rather than an admonition of how to operate motor vehicles in his/her vicinity. And if so, was this Handicapped Child physically slow or mentally slow? Because when I was a criplet at cripple elementary school there were kids that were officially referred to as “slow.” But those were only the kids that were mentally “slow.” I mean, physically, I was slow as hell but nobody ever officially referred to me as slow. And nobody uses the word handicapped anymore so I wonder if the Slow Handicapped Child sign is really old and maybe the Child isn’t a child anymore. So then shouldn’t the sign be updated to read Slow Handicapped Adult? But in that case, would anyone still bother to slow down? And I wonder how one goes about getting a sign put up that says Slow Handicapped Child or Blind Person Area. If you want to get a sign put up that says Stop or Yield, I imagine you call City Hall and they have a bunch of those signs lying around in a warehouse somewhere. But there’s probably not much call for signs that say Slow Handicapped Child or Blind Person Area. That sounds like a custom-made order. Signs like that are probably made by either a) prison inmates or b) cripples in a sheltered workshop. They make a lot of license plates in those places so why not signs? Maybe the signs that say Slow Handicapped Child are made by other people who are “slow” and “handicapped.” How ironic would that be?

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Poker Chip in my Brain

When I discovered the Miracle Bidet it forever changed my life, but not in the way I expected.

The Miracle Bidet is an incredible machine that enables even the most crippled up person to wipe their own butt by simply harnessing the power of positive thinking. All you have to do is have a Miracle Bidet installed in your toilet and a computer chip implanted in your brain. Then, after doing your duty, you just focus your thoughts on the clean up and the computer chip transmits your brain waves to the sensor on the state-of-the-art bidet, triggering it to deliver a refreshing squirt of warm water to the desired region. It’s like magic!

The Miracle Bidet is the brain child of the Italian inventor Luigi Toro Merda. He said the inspiration for the Miracle Bidet came from none other than Professor Stephen Hawking. In an interview with Rolling Stoned, Toro Merda said, “I saw a documentary about this accomplished man and I said to myself, ‘There is only one thing missing in his life.’ Right then I vowed to create an invention that would empower him and others like him to do the one thing that, in spite of all the obstacles he had overcome, he still could not do. In other words, I would make him whole.”

So when word came out recently that the Miracle Bidet was ready for human trials, I eagerly and immediately signed up to be a guinea pig. I admit my motivation was strictly monetary. I was looking for a lucrative endorsement deal. My grandiose dream was to become the official spokesperson or, if you will, the face of the Miracle Bidet. If the Miracle Bidet worked for me, a guy who hasn’t wiped his own butt in more than 40 years, it could work for anyone! What an inspiring story of hope and of dignity restored that would be, like the crippled man who suddenly walks or the blind man who suddenly sees. Hell, they might even make my story into a Disney movie!

So first doctors implanted the computer chip in my brain. Two weeks later, after I fully recovered from that procedure, I attached a Miracle Bidet to my toilet and took my maiden dump. A camera was also installed in my bathroom so that back at mission control in Houston, the Miracle Bidet product research team could watch me on the giant screen as I did my business. When clean up time came, I took a deep breath to center myself. I focused my thoughts. I issued the telepathic command.


And it worked!


It worked again! Success! Rejoice! I pictured the boys at mission control throwing their papers in the air, hugging each other and popping open champagne!

But then things really got weird. What happened to me was even more miraculous than I imagined. Because I soon learned that I was part of the product test control group. That meant the surgeon had slipped me a placebo. It wasn’t a computer chip they implanted in my brain at all. It was just a poker chip! But yet I still operated the Miracle Bidet. How? Through the sheer power of desire!

This has altered my whole perspective on life. It used to be that nobody grated on my last nerve more than those cripples who preach the gospel of will power. They offer themselves as living examples of how anyone can overcome any obstacle and achieve anything if they put their mind and heart into it enough. It used to make me think, “Oh yeah? Try jumping out of the window and flapping your arms. You won’t fly, no matter how much you want to.”

But now I see that those cripples were right all along! If I can operate the Miracle Bidet using only my dogged determination, maybe I can do anything! The poker chip in my brain gave me the confidence I needed to believe in myself. That’s the most inspiring story of all! The Disney people ought to be calling me any day now.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

In the Land of Virtual Guide Dogs

I derive great comfort from knowing that many blind people still get around the old fashioned way, by using guide dogs. Because one day way back when I was in college, I went to the office where they served crippled student and there was a guy with a robot. I don’t know if he was an inventor or a robot salesman or what but the guy did a demonstration about how in the foreseeable future, robots will be able to aid cripples in all our household tasks.

It was hard to take the guy too seriously because the robot was a clunky hunk of aluminum and flashing lights that looked like it had failed an audition for the Jetsons. And about all it could do of use to me was open a door. I don’t even think it could get a beer out of the fridge. But it was sobering to consider that someday we might live in a society where robots do all the dirty, low-wage grunt work, like fighting wars and tending to the cripples. I wouldn’t like it much if all my assistants were robots. Of course robot workers do offer some advantages over some human assistants I’ve had. For one thing, robots don’t have fake grandmothers. So they won’t call me every other weekend telling me they can’t come to work because yet another of their grandmothers died. I swear to God, I don’t know how some people end up with 26 grandmothers.

But all things considered, I prefer humans. I imagine robots are pretty obstinate. There’s no negotiating with them. They’re programmed to do certain tasks and that’s it. “I am sorry but I am not programmed to do windows.” And talk about feeling uncomfortably conspicuous. Cripples get stared at enough in public, but imagine rolling down the grocery store aisle accompanied by a robot pushing your cart.

And humans are quirky too. I know that can be a pain in the ass sometimes but I would miss quirkiness if it was gone. I supposed robots could be programmed to be quirky but it wouldn’t be the same. Programmed quirkiness is an oxymoron.

Sometimes I get scared that that glorious age of fully-mechanized cripple assistance the man spoke of in the 1970s isn’t far away. Because technology is moving so fast. Pretty soon GPS will be able to do what a guide dog does. GPS can almost do it now. It can tell you exactly how to get from point A to point B but, unlike a dog, it can’t help you sidestep a pile of shit or avoid getting hit by a semi en route. And suppose there’s a 50-foot cliff between points A and B. A dog will stop and refuse to proceed. But a GPS won’t say a damn thing until after the unsuspecting blind person merrily steps over the edge. And the last words that poor, plummeting blind person will hear will be, “Recalculating! Recalculating!”

So as far as I know there is no such thing as a virtual guide dog app just yet. But there sure as hell must be a dastardly scheme to create one being carried out somewhere out there by an evil genius, one of those visionary fuckheads who can’t leave well enough alone. Don’t you just hate those types?

And when said app is perfected, guide dogs will shortly thereafter be obsolete. And then the evil visionary fuckheads will come after me and my human helpers next.

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