Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Constant Need for Invalidation


It’s kind of like when you get your parking validated, except it’s the opposite. When you get your parking validated, someone stamps “valid” on your ticket and you’re good to go.

This is more like getting invalidated. Every cripple plays this game sooner or later. Broke ass cripples play it the most. If they want to get Social Security or Medicaid or Medicare or any of the stuff that broke ass cripples can’t live without, they’ll need to play the invalidation game. They’ll need to collect sufficient documentation that they are crippled enough to qualify and then take it to an office in the hopes that some official person will stamp “invalid” on it and they will be good to go.

I’m not a broke ass cripple, as broke ass cripple standards go, but I still have to play the invalidation game at least once a year. If I want the state to keep paying the wages of the crew of people I hire to come to my home and put me on the crapper and wash my armpits etc., I have to prove to the state every year that I’m still just as crippled as I was last time they checked.


A doctor has to officially sign off on any invalidation. If my wheelchair needs fixing and I want my insurance to pay for it, for example, I need my doctor to certify that the replacement part is medically necessary. My doctor and I find this amusing, since he doesn’t know a wheelchair part from his grandma’s elbow. So he takes my word for it and signs off.

But even rich cripples can’t get out of playing the invalidation game. They have to play it if they want to get a cripple license plate or property tax break or any of the stuff rich cripples can’t live without.

Sometimes playing the invalidation game is like being a contestant on a game show and winning lots and lots of money, except it’s the opposite. When you’re a winning contestant on a game show, you go home with lots and lots of extra money. But if you’re playing the invalidation game, it’s like being on a sadistic game show where they take all of your money. Sometimes the object of the invalidation game is to blow all your money until you’re broke ass enough to qualify for something like Social Security or Medicaid. And the state will be monitoring you to make sure you stay broke ass, so don’t try any funny business.

Poor cripples. We just can’t live without the invalidation of others.





(Smart Ass Cripple is completely reader supported. Purchasing Smart Ass Cripple books at lulu.com, subscribing on Amazon Kindle and filling the tip jar keeps us going. Please help if you can.)









ANNOUNCING: Smart Ass Cripple's Little Chartreuse Book. A new Smart Ass Cripple book hot off the presses at lulu.com. It still has that new Smart Ass Cripple book smell. Get yours today! Help keep Smart Ass Cripple going!

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Cool Stuff I Got Because I Bitched (Volume One)

One thing I've learned from crippledom is that it pays to bitch, sometimes. Actually, a lot of times you bitch and bitch and it doesn’t do any good. But you never know when bitching might pay off, so you might as well take a shot.

I’ve gotten a lot of cool stuff that I wouldn’t have gotten if I hadn’t bitched. Here’s some of it:

An upgrade to the President Taft Suite at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver: And I got it for the Holiday Inn price. I went to Denver so I made a reservation at a chain hotel. I think it was a Holiday Inn. And when I got there my room was the worst excuse I ever saw for a cripple accessible room. And I’ve seen some doozies.

So I went down to the front desk and I bitched. And in order to make it up to me, they set me up with a suite at the Brown Palace Hotel down the street. I don’t know who paid the sizable difference in price but it wasn’t me so I don’t care.

The Brown Palace opened in 1892. It’s one of those elegant old hotels with a majestic, marble staircase and lots of lattice work.

The suite was roomy and warm and comfy. I called it the President Taft suite. That wasn’t the name of it but I called it that because staying there made me feel like President Taft for some reason. The suite just had that certain President Taft d├ęcor and air. It seemed like the kind of place Taft would’ve stayed if he went to Denver.

It beat the hell out a cramped room at the Holiday Inn.

A Free Sleeper car on AMTRAK : I made a reservation to get to Indianapolis on AMTRAK. But when I got to the train station I learned that some genius at AMTRAK cancelled the train and sent all the passengers to Indy on a bus instead. The bus had a lift on it but there was only one space for a wheelchair inside the bus and some other cripple beat me to it.

So I was SOL and there wasn’t another train to Indy for 24 hours.

So I bitched. Oh sweet Lord did I bitch. I bitched up a hurricane! So the AMTRAK lady set me up for free on the train leaving soon for New Orleans. The closest it came to Indianapolis was Effingham, Illinois, which meant somebody had to drive two hours there from Indy to pick me up. But it was the best I could get without waiting until the next day so I took it, especially after the AMTRAK lady threw in a free sleeper car, food and drinks to sweeten the pot.

I put my feet up on the bed in the sleeper car and ordered their most expensive meal and champagne. The only bummer was that it only took about three hours to get to Effingham, so I had to eat, sleep and relax fast.

But all this goes to show that good things come to those who bitch. I believe it says that in the Bible.


(Smart Ass Cripple is completely reader supported. Purchasing Smart Ass Cripple books at lulu.com, subscribing on Amazon Kindle and filling the tip jar keeps us going. Please help if you can.)






Saturday, October 27, 2018

EMH?


The guy bagging my groceries might have been what they used to call an EMH guy.

That’s what they called some kids at the segregated public elementary school for cripples I attended. EMH. It stood for Educable Mentally Handicapped. Nobody calls them that anymore. Nobody uses the word handicapped anymore. And I’m glad because I hate that word. A lot of people hate that word for a lot of different reasons. But I hate it because it sounds so whiny. You can’t say “I’m handicapped” without sounding whiny, unless you put on a fake British Alfred Hitchcock accent or something.

EMH was what they called the kids in the cripple school who weren’t physically crippled, except for the Down syndrome kids. There was a name for them. They were called Mongoloids. Let’s pause for a minute to unpack that word, shall we? The suffix oid means like, as in resembling. But it carries the connotations of being a cheap imitation of that which it resembles. So a Mongoloid was a cheap imitation of someone from Mongolia.

Everybody knew what to call the Down syndrome kids because they looked alike. But as for all the other kids who went to the cripple school but weren’t physically crippled and didn't look like Down syndrome kids, everyone just shrugged and called them EMH.

The guy bagging my groceries looked a lot younger than me. I wondered where he went to school? Because he had that EMH way about him, which back when I was a kid would’ve been grounds enough to ship him off to the cripple school. The EMH classroom was a segregated school within a segregated school. I don’t remember even being in the lunchroom with the EMH kids. Maybe there was a separate EMH lunchtime. None of us knew what went on inside the mysterious and spooky EMH classroom. We were just told that if EMH people went to school long enough, they might someday learn to do something like bag groceries. That was opposed to the TMH kids, which stood for Trainable Mentally Handicapped. If TMH kids went to school long enough, we were told, they might someday learn to do something like tie their shoes. We had no idea what kind of school TMH kids went to. There were none of them at our segregated cripple school.

I bought a six pack at the grocery store. The cashier was too young to ring it up. So he stepped back and the EMH guy went behind the cash register and rang me up.

Wow, back when I was in cripple school, I never thought I’d see a day when they’d let an EMH guy take charge like that.



(Smart Ass Cripple is completely reader supported. Purchasing Smart Ass Cripple books at lulu.com, subscribing on Amazon Kindle and filling the tip jar keeps us going. Please help if you can.)









ANNOUNCING: Smart Ass Cripple's Little Chartreuse Book. A new Smart Ass Cripple book hot off the presses at lulu.com. It still has that new Smart Ass Cripple book smell. Get yours today! Help keep Smart Ass Cripple going!

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Please Give Generously to the NAACP



Every year I make a donation to an organization that does very important work. It’s the NAACP, which stands for the National Association of Assholes with Cerebral Palsy.

The NAACP has done a lot to advance public understanding of cripples. Membership in this organization is open to anyone who has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and is an asshole. The proud founder of the NAACP is a guy named Bill. But everybody calls him Hugh because he goes by his professional name, Hugh Jassole. He has cerebral palsy. He walks funny and talks funny and he’s spastic as all hell. But that has never stopped him from being an asshole. Just ask his college roommates. They’ll tell you that whenever they left their carryout food in the refrigerator, Hugh always ate it. After Hugh dropped out of college, he was fortunate enough to meet and marry the woman of his dreams. And then he dumped her for a 17-year-old cheerleader named Britney, whom he later dumped at the airport in Reno. After they picked up their luggage, Hugh told Britney he was going to the bathroom, but instead he caught a flight to the Bahamas.

You can read all this and more in Hugh’s bio, which is featured prominently on the NAACP website. The bio says Hugh begins every day with an affirmation. He calls a random poor sap working customer service, argues with them and demands to speak to their supervisor.

You may be asking yourself how I could possibly admire a guy like that. And the answer is, I don’t. He’s an asshole. And that’s why I think his work is so important. Most people don’t expect someone as crippled as Hugh to be such an asshole. They expect them to be passive and polite and deferential. But the NAACP is here to remind us all that cripples can be assholes, too, just like everybody else.

This is a hard message that a lot of people don’t want to hear, so the NAACP diligently works year-round to drive it home. At their annual convention, they all get together and act like assholes. NAACP members always bring their pet dogs just so they can walk them around the convention center parking lot and leave their shit lying around. This is an important NAACP ritual. Members who don’t have pet dogs are expected to rent one for the weekend. And speaking of parking lots, anybody with a wheelchair license plate on their vehicle who wants to park in a space reversed for vehicles with wheelchair license plates will be SOL because those spaces will be hogged up by NAACP members who don’t have wheelchair license plates on their vehicles. The same goes for bathrooms. NAACP members who aren’t wheelchair cripples make it a point to hog up all the wheelchair stalls.

At NAACP conventions, everyone must speak nothing but English. No languages from foreign countries! Also, NAACP members never tip. This is sacred rule number one. And, if at the end of the weekend the convention center staff say, “God, what a bunch of assholes,” then its mission accomplished!

So please give generously to the NAACP. You can do so by clicking the Donate button below. You can count on me to pass it on to them.



(Smart Ass Cripple is completely reader supported. Purchasing Smart Ass Cripple books at lulu.com, subscribing on Amazon Kindle and filling the tip jar keeps us going. Please help if you can.)









ANNOUNCING: Smart Ass Cripple's Little Chartreuse Book. A new Smart Ass Cripple book hot off the presses at lulu.com. It still has that new Smart Ass Cripple book smell. Get yours today! Help keep Smart Ass Cripple going!

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Friday, October 12, 2018

A Jury of my Peers

If I go on trial, should I demand an all-crippled jury? I don’t know. Are all cripples my peers? I hope not. I’ve known some pretty shitty cripples.

I picture this jury of my peers deliberating my fate. It’s like Twelve Angry Men with an all-crippled cast.

But before I could have any crippled jurors at all, there would have to be some serious redesign of the jury box. I’ve never seen a jury box that could accommodate one wheelchair cripple, let alone 12. A jury box that could fit 12 wheelchair cripples would be so massive it would take up most of the courtroom. I suppose it should piss me off that no such jury box exists. Cripples should have equal opportunity to participate in the process of due process and all that. I suppose I should start or join a campaign demanding accessible jury boxes. But I haven’t done that because inaccessible jury boxes give me a great excuse for getting out of jury duty. It’s the same reason I’ve never started or joined a campaign demanding accessible churches.

But maybe I wouldn’t be so cavalier about inaccessible jury boxes if I was a defendant. I never thought about it from that angle. But what type of crippled juror would I want? Probably not someone who’s a lot less crippled than I am because a lot of times the slightly crippled go way out of their way to distance themselves from crippledom. So just to prove to themselves and everyone else that they are not of my tribe, they may well vote to give me the death penalty, even if it’s just a parking violation. And having a juror who’s way more crippled than I am may not be such a good idea either. They may say to themselves, “You think you got problems? Look how crippled I am. Quit whining!”

Would I want a crippled judge? Maybe not. That might be like having your dad as your basketball coach. It may seem like Easy Street, but he might ride your ass harder than anyone’s so no one will accuse him of being partial. I know I wouldn’t want that fascist governor of Texas as my judge, even if he is in a wheelchair. A fascist is a fascist is a fascist, crippled or not. What about Larry Flynt? I might take him as a judge, depending on what I was charged with. But I’d take my chances with Larry Flynt over that fascist governor of Texas any day.

See, it’s impossible for a cripple to find justice in America.




(Smart Ass Cripple is completely reader supported. Purchasing Smart Ass Cripple books at lulu.com, subscribing on Amazon Kindle and filling the tip jar keeps us going. Please help if you can.)









ANNOUNCING: Smart Ass Cripple's Little Chartreuse Book. A new Smart Ass Cripple book hot off the presses at lulu.com. It still has that new Smart Ass Cripple book smell. Get yours today! Help keep Smart Ass Cripple going!

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Say the Pledge, Dammit!


There’s an 18-year-old in Texas who’s suing the school district in which she attended school because, she says, she was kicked out of high school for refusing to stand and recite the pledge of allegiance. Texas law requires students to say the pledge in class unless their parents opt them out.

When I was a kid at the segregated public school for cripplets in the 1960s, even we weren’t exempt from saying the pledge. We said it in class every day. I don’t know if it was required by law but we all said it anyway. I did it routinely and mindlessly because, to me, it was just a series of words I memorized and mumbled out because adults told me to, like my bedtime prayers.

Rendering the pledge of allegiance in class was a three-part ritual. We were supposed to stand, place our right hand on our heart and recite. I was exempted from step one for obvious reasons. I was happy to have this excuse, not because I was speaking out against U.S. imperialism or racial inequality or anything like that. Geez, I was only in grade school. It was just cool to have an excuse to get me out of doing stuff adults made all the other kids do, whatever it might be. But nobody let me off the hook for steps two and three. The lucky cripplets were the ones who were so crippled that they couldn’t stand or talk or move their arms. I was jealous of those kids. They didn’t have to do shit during the pledge and no adult could do shit about it.

But today, thanks to technology, a kid like that probably wouldn’t get off the hook for the pledge, especially in Texas. Because nowadays, a kid who couldn’t talk might have one of those Stephen Hawking talking boxes. And a kid like me might have one of those walking exoskeletons. And hell, in a state like Texas, where they’re so rabid about shit like the pledge, if I didn’t byo exoskeleton, they’d probably haul one into the classroom daily at pledge time and have a couple physical therapists strap me in it and crank me up into a standing position. And for the kid who can’t talk, they’d probably bring in a talking box with the pledge already programmed in. And they’d make the kid push the button with his/her nose or tongue or something.

No excuses, dammit!



(Smart Ass Cripple is completely reader supported. Purchasing Smart Ass Cripple books at lulu.com, subscribing on Amazon Kindle and filling the tip jar keeps us going. Please help if you can.)









ANNOUNCING: Smart Ass Cripple's Little Chartreuse Book. A new Smart Ass Cripple book hot off the presses at lulu.com. It still has that new Smart Ass Cripple book smell. Get yours today! Help keep Smart Ass Cripple going!

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.


Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Demanding Equal Treatment


Okay I admit that there have been times when I was faced with a situation where I should have stood up and demanded equal treatment for cripples, but I took the easy way out. I don't feel guilty about it, but I do feel guilty about not feeling guilty about it.

Like for instance, there was that time I signed up to be in a focus group. One hundred bucks cash for giving my opinion about some stupid products. So they're giving us all who signed up an orientation and they tell us we’ll have to take extensive notes and stuff like that about the products. I said hold on a minute. I’ll need some accommodation here. Someone has to help me with all that handwriting.

So the people conducting the focus group huddled. Then one of them came up to me and handed me an envelope with two crisp fifty dollar bills inside. She smiled and thanked me for my time and service and dismissed me.

I took the money and left. Now I suppose, for the benefit of the next cripple who might come along after me, I should’ve insisted that the focus group people deal with me. But I had a hard time getting indignant about it. That would’ve been like saying, “How dare you give the same money for doing nothing that everyone else is working for! I demand equal treatment!” I’ll leave that battle for some bold cripple of the future to fight.

It’s like the many times I’ve been riding in an elevator by myself and the door opens and there’s a vert (which is short for vertical, which is what I call people who walk). And even though there’s plenty of room in the elevator, the vert says something like, “Oops, I’ll take the next one.” And the vert backs away and the door closes and the elevator continues on. And at first I say to myself, “What the fuck! I’m just crippled! I’m not Typhoid Mary!” And then I think about how I should go right back to that floor and when the door opens tell that damn vert to get on this elevator with me right now! “How dare you let me have this elevator all to myself!”

That would be pretty stupid, wouldn’t it?





(Smart Ass Cripple is completely reader supported. Purchasing Smart Ass Cripple books at lulu.com, subscribing on Amazon Kindle and filling the tip jar keeps us going. Please help if you can.)









ANNOUNCING: Smart Ass Cripple's Little Chartreuse Book. A new Smart Ass Cripple book hot off the presses at lulu.com. It still has that new Smart Ass Cripple book smell. Get yours today! Help keep Smart Ass Cripple going!

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.