Friday, May 1, 2015

Something More Than Meat


One thing I know for sure is that I could never eat my Chihuahuas. No way. I love them too much. We have a lot of fun together. They are my buds. I can’t imagine a post-apocalyptic scenario so grim that I would even consider eating my Chihuahuas. If things ever got that bad I’d probably solve the dilemma by letting them eat me.

I’m telling you all this because I’m trying to make a point about republicans. But before I can do that, I have to make a point about pigs. The only time I ever met a real live pig was when I took a vacation at this cripple-accessible cabin in Canada. There was a pet pig running around the grounds and it was cute as hell, dammit. It happily bounced up to me and greeted me with a flurry of grunts. And ever since then I’ve had a hard time bringing myself to eat pork. Oh sure, I always knew wonderful stuff like bacon was derived from pigs but pigs were an abstract concept because I’d never met one. I never knew they had personalities. When a creature has a personality, it becomes something more than meat. I still eat bacon because the scent of bacon frying releases a chemical in the brain that works like an anesthetic, temporarily numbing the center of the brain that registers guilt. But the anesthetic wears off quickly and the bacon high is ruined. The bacon high is never as long or intense for me as it was before I met that damn cute little pig!

Now when it comes to eating shrimp I don’t have the same conflict and it’s probably because shrimp don’t have personalities that I can detect. Maybe I’d think differently if I was another shrimp. But in my present incarnation, I’ve never had a meaningful, spiritually-bonding interaction with a live shrimp, except when I did hallucinogens back in college.

All this explains a curious political phenomenon. There are actually a few republicans who sometimes give a crap about cripples. Like for instance it was a republican president who signed the Americans with Disabilities Act. Even today, now and then republicans get behind bills and policies that make life better for cripples. And when you search for what might have triggered these bouts of temporary sanity, you almost always find that the reality of crippledness invaded the life of this particular republican, either directly or via the life of someone close to them.

And so it becomes like me and my Chihuahuas or that pig. The republican agenda calls for devouring cripples, and just about everything and everybody else, for fun and profit. But the agenda becomes harder to follow when you know or when you become an actual cripple with an actual personality. Cripples become something more than meat.

These republicans more often than not still succumb to the agenda by going along with stuff like cutting the crap out of Social Security or Medicaid. That’s because the scent of money has the same effect on the brain as the scent of frying bacon.

But every now and then some individuals are able to rise above. They can’t help it.



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Friday, April 24, 2015

A Life-Affirming Response to a Fuck-it-All State of Mind



I live in a neighborhood full of peril. There are many desperate young people who can easily make an impulsive wrong turn that they will eternally regret.

About a block east of my home is a military recruitment office. Now when I say that, you may envision me living in a barren slum. Because that’s where military recruitment offices tend to set up shop. You don’t tend to see them in the posh suburbs because most people turn to the military for the same reason they turn to Jesus. When I hear people testify about the day they suddenly turned to Jesus, I never hear, “It was a fine sunny day. I had a great job and a fine family. So that’s when I asked Jesus to please save me.” No, these the-day-I-signed-up-with-Jesus stories are usually tales of great distress. I imagine that’s also usually the case when someone suddenly signs up with the military.

But I don’t live in a barren slum at all. In fact, just down the block from me to the south is an oooh-la-la fingernail spa where one can treat oneself to an array of pampering services, including a Brazilian bikini wax.

But also in my neighborhood is an arts college. So now you can begin to see the diabolical logic behind placing a military recruitment office around here. The military is betting on a steady flow of lost and rejected souls. Scenario: You’re a a student at the arts college. You pour your heart into your student film and your professor dismisses it as derivative. Or maybe you’re beaten out by some snotty rich kids for the lead in Streetcar. You’re wandering the streets, reeling from the blow, drowning in the quicksand of a fuck-it-all state of mind. You see the recruitment office. An oasis! A beacon on the stormy sea! You sign up. And soon you wonder what the hell you just did. You’d give anything to take it back. It’s like getting blackout drunk and waking up with a Barry Manilow tattoo.

But all is not hopeless: There is another scenario. While wandering the streets steeped in deep dismay, you instead pass the spa and see the Brazilian bikini wax signs in the window. That sounds like an exotic and rewarding career, you think to yourself. You decide to become a practitioner. You picture yourself in Brazil, an eager apprentice learning from the masters.

Isn't that a much happier ending? It’s a life-affirming response to a fuck-it-all state of mind.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Official Suppository of Smart Ass Cripple


This entry is brought to you by the good people at EZ Suppositories, the official suppository of Smart Ass Cripple.

Yep, that’s right. Here at smart Ass Cripple we have to figure out a way to pay the bills, just like every other schlump in the world. So in order to pay the bills, I’m whoring myself out to corporate America, just like every other schlump in the world.

What do I have to offer that’s of any possible value to corporate America? I offer access to the cripple market. The people who read my stuff are mostly cripples, plus a smattering of uncrippled people who for whatever weird reason like reading stuff about cripples. So I let it be known that any wise, visionary businessperson can score big points with consumers who are crippled (or who are uncrippled but for whatever weird reason like reading stuff about cripples) by forking over enough cash to make their product the official fill-in-the-blank of Smart Ass Cripple.

The only problem is, corporate America seems to think that the only products cripples buy are cripple products—more specifically, cripple bodily function products. Corporate America seems to think that all cripples do all day is excrete. Because ads for bodily function products are the types of ads you see in magazines or on sites that are for cripples. You never see an ad for toothpaste. But why not? Cripples brush their teeth every day, just like every other schlump in the world.

But hell with it. Corporate America can go blow itself. I’ve got the fine folks at EZ Suppositories on board with me now! They were the first and only business so far to step up and accept my challenge to become an official Smart Ass Cripple product sponsor. It was a bold move on their part. But then again, who would expect anything less from the creators of the world’s most user-friendly suppositories with the patented EZ Glide tip?

But there are still plenty more Smart Ass Cripple official sponsorships to be had. So how about it, corporate America? I’m sorry I told you to go blow yourself. I was only kidding. Who wants to be the official catheter of Smart Ass Cripple? The official bedpan? How about the official incontinence pad?

And in conclusion, let me remind everyone out there that the next time you need a suppository, don’t settle for second best. Insist on EZ suppositories. You’ll be glad you did!





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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Maybe I Secretly Wish I Could be a Wheelchair Princess


There are certain cripples that give me the creepy-crawlies. I try my best to avoid them because being around them makes me really uncomfortable. I hate to admit it but it’s true.

I usually only see these cripples at large cripple festivals. I can pick them out in a crowd because these cripples have a very distinct trait that distinguishes them from all the rest of us. They wear tin tiaras and silken sashes that say MISS WHEELCHAIR AMERICA or MISS WHEELCHAIR WYOMING or whatever.

I think these cripples give me the creepy-crawlies so bad because they are the princesses of the cripple set. I mean, they aren’t literally princesses. They aren’t married to princes and they aren’t the offspring of kings and queens. They are princesses in the sense that their images are so delicate and pristine. They can’t get their fingernails dirty.

Wheelchair princesses make me feel a strange combination of intimidation and resentment. Princesses in general intimidate me because I have no idea what to say to them. I imagine just about every conversation topic except maybe the weather is off limits when taking to a princess. It’s the same way I feel about talking to Jehovah’s Witnesses.

But still, the degree to which I recoil from the wheelchair princesses is disproportionate to the magnitude of the offense they commit by being princesses. Why should I care if they want to be princesses? Maybe I’m jealous. Sour grapes, you know? Maybe deep down inside I wish I could be a wheelchair princess but I know that can never ever be. No such grotesque pageant exists. And so I am bitter and resentful. I’m like a homophobe who’s secretly gay.

Or maybe what I really resent about the wheelchair princesses is the tragic waste of political power. The cripple spectrum is vast. Down on one end are the princesses. And way down on the other end of the spectrum are the chain-yourself-to-the-Senator’s-desk cripples. You never see a wheelchair princess engaged in trench warfare like that, which is a real fucking shame because wouldn’t that make a powerful image? There’s an angry cripple chained to a Senator’s desk and the angry cripple is wearing a tin tiara and a silken sash that says MISS WHEELCHAIR AMERICA or MISS WHEELCHAIR WYOMING or whatever. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to be that Senator. Even the princesses are pissed off!

But princesses don’t do such things. Princesses are not allowed to be pissed off. Engaging in such actions would surely be grounds for being decrowned or excommunicated or whatever it’s called when you’re kicked out of the castle.

Maybe that’s why I’m put off by the wheelchair princesses. I know their pageants aren’t a victimless crime.




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Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Tears of a Cripple



Suppose cripple tears were considered to be a fine delicacy. Just stop and take a minute out of your whirling day to consider that possibility.

Suppose the tears of cripples were held in the same highly-coveted regard by the ultra-elite as stuff like ivory, shark fins, glacier ice cubes, various animal pelts and ortolans. Suppose the most surefire way to be recognized as the undisputed elitest of the elitists was to throw an exclusive party and serve your guests an exotic cocktail of Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon infused with genuine, imported cripple tears.

Wouldn’t this be a wonderful world for cripples if that was the case? Or even better yet, suppose cripple tears were considered to be a powerful aphrodisiac. Why not? Stranger things have happened. Suppose someone somehow came in contact with a cripple tear and discovered that it made them ragingly horny. And so word spreads that a single cripple tear on the tip of the tongue will make you and/or the object of your desire as lit up as a gorilla on coke.

Oh baby, if that was really how things were life would be unspeakably, joyously glorious for cripples because then every cripple would be able to live their ultimate dream, which is to tell Social Security to go fuck itself. Fuck you and your Medicare Parts A, B, C and D! I don’t need you anymore! And while we’re at it, we could also tell the vocational -rehabilitation counselors to go suck it too. I don’t need to work on an assembly line attaching heads to Barbie dolls anymore either! I produce a precious, endlessly-renewable, 100-percent organic natural resource, goddammit! Cripple tears! I’m going into business for myself!

In such a heavenly universe, every cripple could get obscenely rich simply by inducing his/her tears on a regular basis and capturing them in little eyedropper bottles. And fortunately, there are plenty of methods for inducing tears that do not involve striking oneself with a hammer. One could, for example, immerse oneself in something so funny that it makes you laugh until you cry. One could also chop onions or watch the Chicago Cubs. Another extremely effective technique for inducing tears, which I learned from a drunken dare back in my college days, is to squirt hot sauce up your nose.

Ah but alas’, cripple tears are not aphrodisiacs at all. Our tears are not even a delicacy. They’re just tears, as worthless as everyone else’s.




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Friday, March 27, 2015

Serving on a Federal Sensitivity Panel



I’m very excited. I, Smart Ass Cripple, have been appointed by the president of these United States to serve on the very first sensitivity panel of the newly-created Federal Bureau of Stereotype Standards (FBSS).

The mission of the FBSS is one of vital importance: to resolve our national identity crisis. I mean, there are so many different types of people buzzing around in America today that our national identity default position is no longer automatically WASP male uncrippled hetero.

So who are we? It’s so confusing because try as we will, we can’t help but offend each other. And so we’re always walking on eggshells around each other for fear we might say the wrong thing. For example, take all this redskin stuff. Just when it seems like it’s not cool to call Native Americans redskins, along come some other Native Americans who say it’s no big deal. So now what? Can’t they make up their minds?

Cripples are another good example. People shun cripples because they’re afraid they’re going to say something that will make us cry or sue. Some cripples hate being called crippled. No matter what term you try—handicapped, handicapable, differently abled, physically challenged or whatever—you’ll find cripples who love it and cripples who hate it.

Cripples are much easier to please when it comes to infrastructure type stuff. There are standards you can look up. Like for instance, you know if you make a doorway 32 inches wide most wheelchair cripples will be satisfied and those who aren’t satisfied are probably chronic whiners anyway so you can feel it’s safe to tell them to fuck off.

So the task of the FBSS is to create similar concrete, easy-to-reference standards for stereotypes. So when a certain genre of Americans is uncertain how to refer to another genre of Americans to which they don’t belong, all they'll have to do is go to the FBSS portal and enter a question like, Is it okay to call a woman a chick?. Within seconds, they will receive a simple reply of yes or no.

The FBSS sensitivity panel will hold hearings, collect testimony, conduct research and, based on all this, develop these standards for socially-acceptable stereotypes. I will be serving on the sensitivity panel on the concerns of Native Americans. You may ask what my qualifications to serve on such a panel are. I have never set wheel on a reservation, if you don’t count casinos.

My lack of qualifications is my best qualification because first and foremost, panel members must be objective. Therefore, panel members must all be from populations outside of the population that is the subject of inquiry. This is an exercise in rationality, not emotion. We can’t have Big Chief Purplefoot of the Wahoo Tribe serving on the Native American sensitivity panel because he can’t be objective, like I can.

There will be sensitivity panels on the concerns of gays, Mexicans, Muslims, cripples, etc. Like I said, I’m really excited about this opportunity. I will serve with honor and integrity in the hope that the president will call on me again. I really want to be one of the guys on the panel that gets to decide how we treat women.



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Friday, March 20, 2015

Which Person Here is the Future Famous Writer Who Will Someday Immortalize Me?

Here I go again. I’m playing that game that I often suddenly find myself playing in my head. The game is called: Which Person Here is the Future Famous Writer Who Will Someday Immortalize Me?

I waste a lot of time playing this game, like computer solitaire. But I can’t help it. It’s a coping mechanism, like computer solitaire.

I find myself playing this game when I’m in a public place and feeling conspicuous—on a bus, in a waiting room or someplace like that. So here I am at the corner pub I come to often. And oops, now I find myself wondering which person here is the future famous writer who will someday immortalize me? Could it be my server, the buxom black woman with the Angela Davis hair? She looks like the aspiring writer type. She has an engaged look in her eyes, like she’s always studying her surroundings. Or maybe it’s that guy few tables down, the spherical guy wearing a Philadelphia Phillies hat. He squeezes a huge sloppy burger tight with two hands, elbows planted firmly on the table. He doesn’t look like the aspiring writer type at all, which is exactly what aspiring writer types look like sometimes.

The undercover future famous writer could be anybody in this dining room. Or it could be someone I can’t even see, maybe like a cook or dishwasher back in the kitchen observing me on the security camera. But no, it’s probably my server. And how can she resist riffing on a conspicuous character like me? I roll in here every week or so with a range of different companions—male and female and young and old. My companions feed me. We laugh a lot. I drink beer through a straw

I bet my server bribed the hostess to put me at her table this time so she could collect material. It gives her an excuse to make note of what I order, or to circle by every now and then and maybe capture a snippet of dialogue. Should I indulge her? When she’s within earshot, should I make a keen observation or perhaps tell a dirty joke? Maybe I should order three shots of whiskey and chug them all through a straw or drop my head back like a baby bird and have my companion pour them down my throat. That’ll really give her something to write about!

When a crippled character based on me appears in her Pulitzer –worthy novel or play, what will my backstory be? Will I be a sage and my companions my acolytes? Will I be a stud and my companions my concubines? Will I be sick and frail and my companions my plain-clothed paramedics? Will I be an eccentric tycoon and my companions my sycophants?

And what will the critics say of the character I inspired? Unforgettable? Caustic but charming? Clich├ęd? Derivative of Ahab?

Or maybe none of the above. My server is probably not a soon-to-be-celebrated writer at all. She’s probably just a server, wishing I would quit showing off and pay the damn check so she can go the hell home.


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