Thursday, February 26, 2015

Shotgun Weddings

It’s coming soon to a town near you, especially if you live in the south.

It’s inevitable. It’s coming soon. Because that’s how life works. Whenever there is big social progress there’s always somebody who vows to stand in the way and be a diehard dick about it. And when dealing with the diehard dickiest of the diehard dicks, there’s only one thing you can do. You have to call in the troops.

It happened when the schools were ordered to be racially desegregated. Marshals had to escort little Ruby Bridges and big grown James Meredith to school.

And now courts are striking down same-sex marriage bans all over the place and you know that’s the kind of thing that brings out the diehard dicks. It already has. There have been counties in the south where public servants have refused to go along with it. So it’s inevitable that soon there will be same-sex shotgun weddings. Armed troops will have to escort James and James Meredith to the county courthouse to obtain their marriage license. And some diehard dick of a governor will grandstand, blocking the courthouse door and bellowing, "Heterosexuality now, heterosexuality tomorrow and heterosexuality forever!"

In a way I’m kind of jealous. There was no crippled Ruby Bridges. In 1976 Congress passed what is now known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which says all cripplets are entitled to a free and appropriate education in the public school system. But when the first trickle of cripplets appeared in the public schools, there were no rabid protesters with signs reading CRIPPLET GO HOME. There was no adorable little poster girl, with crutches and leg braces and pigtails, being protected by marshals.

And so the moral of the story must be that once the federal government issued its mandates opening the doors of education to cripples, everyone happily and swiftly complied.

And now let us all pause and express our gratitude that all the parents who have fought like hell to get their cripplet kids into the best public schools did not read the above sentence all at once. Because if they had, the needle on the Richter scale would now be furiously bouncing from the vibration of them all simultaneously laughing their asses off.

No, the diehard dick educational obstructionism cripples bash into is much more covert. It happens on the administrative level rather than in the streets. It happens in offices and hearing rooms. A parent pushes a school district to give their cripplet child the education they deserve but the school district refuses to budge. And if the parent wants to go to court, it’s whatever lawyer they can afford versus all the lawyers of the school district. And so the parent fights a solitary battle that makes no headlines.

It’s an ingenious strategy that seals discontent in a vacuum and preserves the fa├žade of benevolence. One wonders what might have happened had Bull Connor and all those guys been so shrewd. Suppose those guys handled civil rights protesters in the same way police usually handle cripples protesting for their rights. The threat police feel when crippled protesters approach is much different than the threat they feel when black protesters approach. When cripples approach, instead of reaching for their clubs and guns, the police reach for their rubber gloves. And when it comes time to arrest, the police usually escort the cripples over to a processing table, give them citations and send them home.

Suppose John Lewis and company had been greeted that way at the Pettis Bridge: “Good day Mr. Lewis. Please step right this way. Here is your citation. Now run along and have a nice day.” And the white people up north watching all this on television would say, “Aw now see there, Martha? That Jim Crow ain’t such a bad guy.” Maybe the diehard dicks would have prevailed.

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

By Any Means Necessary

The new “gentlemen’s club” I passed on the street appeared to be perfectly accessible. It looked as if I could roll right in if I wanted to.

Dammit! I guess they don’t make gentlemen’s clubs inaccessible anymore, which is a real damn shame. It would be a lot of fun suing a gentlemen’s club for not being accessible. I would be reasonable in my demands.

There are lots of laws that require business owners to make sure that cripples have equal access to their goods and services. In the case of gentlemen’s clubs, strippers are the goods. Or is that a service? Hmmm. I suppose there are compellingly arguments for both sides. But anyway, in spite of what some will tell you, these laws don’t mean that every little downtrodden sole proprietor has to immediately install elevators and ramps. Like for instance, down the street from where I live is a pizza place with three steps on the entrance. But mounted by the door is a bell with a sign that has that wheelchair-riding stick figure on it and the sign says RING BELL FOR SERVICE. I rang it once just to see what would happen. Nothing happened. But I suppose the theory behind it is the cripple rings the bell and someone comes out and asks how they can help and the cripple says “I want a pizza” and the cripple waits outside until someone brings him/her a pizza.

In other words, if you can’t get the cripple to your goods and services, you can get your goods and services to the cripple by any means necessary. So that’s what I'll demand of the gentlemen’s club. Install one of those bells and someone will come out and ask how they can help and I’ll say “I want a lap dance.” And they’ll bring the strippers out to me and I’ll get my lap dance right there in the parking lot or maybe even in the warmth and comfort of my custom-designed cripple van. Sort of like ordering from a drive thru. In order to be fully accessible, the gentlemen’s club will also have to install dancing polls in the parking lot.

It’s not the strippers that motivate me. It’s the principle. This isn’t a quest for a lap dance. It’s a quest for justice. And also for a laugh.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Come Fly With Me and You Might Get Laid

Wanted: Someone to accompany and assist me when I fly. The job doesn’t pay much but there is travel involved. And if you play your cards right, you just might get laid.

You will assist me in transferring from my wheelchair to that torture chair airlines use to lug cripples onto planes. Then you’ll help transfer me into my airplane seat. And I always pack a lunch when I fly because I’ll be goddamned if I’ll pay $25 for an airport burrito. So once our plane is comfortably aloft you will feed me my lunch.

It’s inevitable that somebody, most likely a flight attendant, will refer to you as my son. It doesn’t matter whether you look like me or not. Manny is a dark-skinned Columbian with dreadlocks and a flight attendant called him my son. I understand. This is a curious social dynamic – a young man assisting an old man and the young man isn’t dressed like a nurse. What else could the young man be but my son?

And if you play your cards right, you just might get laid. Because some women are quite impressed by the sight of a young man being so respectfully attentive to a crippled old man. They find it very sexy. Or there may be other fringe benefits. Once a flight attendant was so impressed by the young man who helped my friend Larry off the plane that she gave that lucky young man a bunch of those little airline bottles of liquor.

I know there’s a chance you might get laid by tending to someone like me in public because I’ve seen it happen before. Back when I was a criplet, groups of service-minded teenagers took us on cripple field trips. I know some of the boys were in it to get laid. They were the ones who called me sport and tiger and big guy. They played up the strong but sensitive angle. It was the same way at Jerry Lewis summer camp. It still goes on today. I used to be insulted to be exploited this way but now I figure why fight it? Might as well use it to my advantage.

I might even be willing to ham it up a little while we fly if it will help seal the deal for you getting laid. I can pretend to shiver and you can take off your jacket a drape it over me.

Women are also encouraged to apply for this position though I’m much less confident that flying with me will eventually get you laid. Men are sometimes turned on by a woman who is dedicated and devoted in service of humanity, as long as she has a nice ass. Better off if you’re a lesbian.

Of course I make no guarantees that flying with me will get anyone laid. I can only create the opportunity. The rest is up to you. You can lead a horse to water, as they say.

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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Hyenas in my Closet

I try my best not to be a hypocrite when it comes to my fellow cripples. I really do. But sometimes it’s really fucking difficult.

I’m always bitching about how things aren’t accessible. So I figure when it’s time for me to make something accessible I have to practice what I preach. And nowadays if you’re going to make an event or venue fully cripple accessible it has to be chemical-free and scent-free. Because the human-made chemicals found in stuff like deodorants, perfumes and cleaning products really knock some people on their asses. It can make them gag and faint and it can be downright paralyzing. So an invitation to any event that is really and truly cripple accessible must ask attendees to please refrain from wearing scented products. This always stirs up angst for me because I don’t know if my deodorant officially qualifies as scent-free. I think it does but how can I know for sure? And I assume that I’m not supposed to show up wearing no deodorant at all. That would make people gag and faint too. So I put on a little deodorant and I figure if anybody gags or faints I’ll go wash off my pits. So far so good.

But the extent of my resolve not to be a hypocrite when it comes to my fellow cripples was really put to the test recently when my condo became overrun by ants. Ants all over the damn place. I had to get rid of them but I didn’t want to have an exterminator come spray my place with who knows what kind of God-awful chemicals that might make people gag and faint. I had to find a way to get rid of ants that was 100 percent natural and organic. I searched the internet far and wide and I finally found a company in Papua New Guinea that had a treatment for getting rid of ants that was guaranteed to be 100 percent natural and organic. So I gave them my credit card info and shortly thereafter a package arrived from Papua New Guinea. It was a crate containing two live anteaters.

Well those Papua New Guinea people sure were right. The anteaters sucked up my ants like nobody’s business and before I knew it all the ants were gone. But then I had a new problem. Starving anteaters. There were no more ants for them to eat and anteaters are the pickiest fucking eaters on earth. I tried feeding them everything from Doritos to marshmallows but all they eat is ants and the occasional termite.

So what else could I do? I went back on the internet and placed an order for several hundred thousand ants. I scattered them throughout my condo and soon the anteaters made a comeback.

But then I had a new problem. I discovered that when anteaters are happy and well-fed, they’re horny little mofos. Now I was overrun by anteaters. So I looked up a list of anteater predators and determined that the most potentially domesticatible was the hyena.

So now I have a pair of hyenas in my closet. (Fortunately, the internet is like the black market. You can find anything if you look long and hard enough.) I’ve learned two fantastic things about hyenas. One is they love to watch sports and two is they don’t eat very much or very often. Chowing down on two or three anteaters once a month or so will hold them just fine. So once a month or so I unlock the closet door and go out to lunch. The hungry hyenas emerge and restore the ecological balance of my condo. Then they retire back to the closet and watch Sportscenter. And in order to keep the hyena population of my condo in check, I had them both neutered. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be to find someone to perform that task. I’m lucky enough to live in an area where there are plenty of homeless people who will do anything for a bowl of soup.

As you can imagine, life in my fully accessible condo can be pretty hectic sometimes. But at least no one can call me a hypocrite.

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Friday, January 30, 2015

Please Give Generously to Project I Don’t Know What Makes You Think You’re so Goddam Superior.

When I heard the story of little Juanito, it really touched my heart. Juanito is a crippled boy who lives in a remote village in the mountains of Guatemala. Juanito is a typical, fun-loving, energetic little boy but because of a genetic abnormality he was born with webbed fingers and toes like a duck. Cosequently, other children are afraid of Juanito and even many adults shun him. Juanito spends his days looking longingly from the window of his family’s mud hut while other children romp and play outdoors.

Juanito needs your help. If he could come to America, he could receive an elaborate operation and several months of grueling rehab that might restore his hands and feet to something resembling normal.

But fuck all that assimilationist crap. Why should Juanito jump through all those flaming hoops just to be accepted? The problem isn’t his webbed fingers and toes. The problem is all those people around him who think they’re so goddam superior just because they don’t have webbed fingers and toes.

This is a common problem. All over the world there are crippled children and adults who are isolated and marginalized by others who think of themselves as so goddam superior. It even happens here in America. This is where Project I Don’t Know What Makes You Think You’re so Goddam Superior comes in. We teach victims like Juanito how to say, in so many words, “Hey, it’s not up to me to get rid of my crippledness. It’s up to you to get rid of your goddam superior attitude!”

We accomplish this by dispatching teams of smart ass missionaries to troubled regions such as Juanito’s village. First, our volunteers give all the victims of other people's goddam superior attitudes a pep talk: “Hey, screw those ass holes! Nobody’s fucking perfect.” Then our highly-trained smart asses help people like Juanito craft retorts that bust people who think they’re so goddam superior down to size. It could be something like, “I may have webbed fingers and toes but look at your humongous ears!” Or maybe, “You’ve got a lot of room to talk. Everybody knows your old lady is banging the local shepherd.”

The goal of Project I Don’t Know What Makes You Think You’re so Goddam Superior is self-sufficiency. We strive to build the confidence and self-esteem of crippled people like Juanito to the point where they don’t need anyone’s help telling all those who think they’re so goddam superior to fuck off. We attack oppression at its root by reminding us all that everybody is freak in some way so we all need to lighten the fuck up a little.

So please call the number on your screen and give generously to Project I Don’t Know What Makes You Think You’re so Goddam Superior! Little crippled boys like Juanito are counting on you!

(Smart Ass Cripple is completely reader supported. Contributing to the tip jar, purchasing books and subscribing through Amazon Kindle keeps us going. Please help if you can.)

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?

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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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