Saturday, September 23, 2017

A New Book by Smart Ass Cripple!



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!!





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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Lapping Jesus


There are some people who live such intense lifestyles that they are destined not to last very long, such as Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Jesus.

Poor Jesus only lasted about 33 years. Hell, even I blew him away long ago. Now my goal is to lap him. In other words, I want to pass him a second time on the longevity track. That means I have to make it to age 66, which will take a little less than five years for me to accomplish.

I don’t have a competitive grudge against Jesus. I’m not out to prove anything special by trying to lap him. It’s just that we all need milestones in our lives to shoot for. It keeps us moving. And this one seems as good as any so why not? And I just might make it. You never know. Yeah, my life is stressful. Whose isn’t? But I’m sure I’m nowhere near as stressed out as Jesus was. He had all the pressure that comes with trying to be the great messiah that’s going to save the human race from cannibalizing itself. I don’t have to worry about being the messiah anymore. I gave up on that a few years back.

I’ll make it with a little help from my friends and socialism. Hustling your ass off is a lot of stress. But as long as public funds are still available to pay the wages of the members of my pit crew who get me out of bed every morning, that’s 90 percent of the game. And when you’re trying to lap Jesus, it sure helps to have abundant access to affordable healthcare, too.

I’m sure as I get closer to lapping Jesus I’ll up the ante some. That’s how it works with milestones. When my mother had leukemia in the 1990s, she said she only wanted to live to see the magical year of 2000. Then when it got to be 1998 or so, she adjusted that up to the magical year of 2002. Come 2001, she adjusted her milestone up yet again to an unspecified future date.

So I sincerely doubt that I’ll be all ready to go the day after I lap Jesus. By then I’ll probably be shooting to lap Jesus twice, which would take me to age 99. But I’ll worry about that when the time comes. For now I’m inspired to march on by that picture in my mind’s eye of a gravestone that says, Here Lies Smart Ass Cripple. He Lapped Jesus.





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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Emerged


It’s a great time to be an “emerging” cripple. Available to you are many wonderful opportunities that have ships on the end—internships, scholarships, fellowships.

The definition of emerging appears to be fluid. Sometimes it comes with an upper age limit of about 25 or so. But otherwise cripples are left to decide for ourselves if we are emerging enough to pursue the opportunity. Regardless, emerging implies young. There’s a certain age range beyond which if you haven’t emerged, the consensus is that you’re not ever going to.

When I was young enough to be an emerging cripple, no one ever called us that. Emerging cripple was an oxymoron. We weren’t expected to emerge out of or into much of anything.

I guess I’m way too old to be considered an emerging anything anymore. But if I’m not emerging, then what am I? All that’s left for me to be is emerged.

I don’t begrudge emerging cripples their emergingness. I hope they all emerge with a vengeance. I just a have hard time viewing myself as emerged. It’s depressing. To be emerged might sound like a pretty cool place to be—a blissful state of retired paradise for elder statesmen. But to me, being emerged pretty much sounds like being dead. That’s the only time I think I’ll be fully emerged in every way. Maybe being emerged is a cool place to be. But to be emerging is way cooler. You’re considered to be emerging when people think you have something important to offer. But if you’re emerged, then what?

I’ll tell you when it really hits me how fucking emerged I am. It’s when I watch TV shows with commercials for funeral insurance.

I could put a positive spin on it. I could tell myself that I'm not old, I'm emerged. Maybe I should embrace my emerged status as a gift and reward. Maybe all the emerging cripples dream of the day when they will be emerged.

But I don’t know. I hope I have some more emerging to do.




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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Fill in the Blank Awareness Month


It's easy to raise public "awareness" about some things.

First, you pick a disease. Arthritis? Autism? Okay I know autism isn’t a disease but humor me for now.

How about scurvy? Let’s go with that. Suppose you want to raise scurvy awareness. First, you declare Scurvy Awareness Month/Week/Day. If you stake your claim to a whole month, you have more time to carry out your scurvy awareness campaign. But the odds are great that dozens of other people who are bent on raising awareness about something else have also claimed that same month so you’ll have to hustle hard to raise more awareness than they do and not be squelched. If you settle for an awareness day, you’ll have to cram your awareness activities into a 24-hour period. But since there are many more days in a year than there are months, there’s probably a lot less competition.

Next, you pick a color to symbolize scurvy awareness. But again, chances are that the most popular and beloved colors are already spoken for by countless other awareness campaigns. So you might be stuck with an obscure color with less instant name recognition, like burnt umber.

Once you have a color, then you get a bunch of ribbons or armbands or stuff like that made up in that color and then you get famous people to wear them in public, preferably athletes. So if you can get all the football players to wear burnt umber shoes during their games on Scurvy Awareness Day, you’ve got it made!

But like I said, raising awareness isn’t so easy for some things. I'm thinking about the days back in the 1980s when there was no cripple accessible public transit in Chicago. Cripples who were pissed off about it were trying to raise awareness about the fact that the board of directors of the Chicago Transit Authority was fucking us over. I suppose we could have designated a CTA Board is Fucking Over Cripples Awareness Day. We could have picked a color to symbolize the CTA board fucking over cripples and had a bunch of ribbons made. But getting famous people to wear those ribbons in public would have been the hard part. It’s a lot easier to get people on board when it’s a disease. Everybody hates diseases.

But once you’ve made everybody aware, so what? Big deal. What you’re really trying to do is get people off their asses to do something. Like if somebody is trying to saw your head off and you scream, what you’re doing when you scream is you’re trying to make others aware that someone is trying to saw your head off. But unless it results in a passerby taking action that prevents you from having your head sawed off, what good is it?

Some people, when they hear a call to action, don’t have to be asked twice. They’ll be right there with the homemade, all-purpose, emergency protest sign they keep in the trunk of their car. For others, your awareness campaign will bring out the “in-kind” generosity in them. They’ll ship dead grandma’s old wheelchair that’s cluttering up the basement off to the earthquake victims. Others only act when the threat posed by inaction is clear and present. They’ll give to the Sierra Club when the flood waters are up to their windowsill and a polar bear floats by on a runaway hunk of glacier.

You’re also more inclined to get citizens to act when what you’re asking them to do isn’t burdensome. Like with scurvy awareness, you’re just trying to get people to eat more citrus fruit and vegetables. It’s easy to persuade people to do that. Actually, maybe not.



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Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Great Imperialist



Three young women stand huddled on the corner of State and Jackson in downtown Chicago. The middle one holds a cell phone. They all stare at the screen.

“Excuse me,” the middle one says to me as I pass. I can tell she’s about to ask me for directions. I’m flattered. I’m always flattered when pedestrians look past my crippledness and ask me for directions. It shows that they think I look like the type of guy who knows his way around, even though I’m crippled. It gives me hope for humanity.

The middle one says, “Can you tell us how to find Starbucks?"

It just so happens that I’m an expert on that subject: Starbucks locations in downtown Chicago.

“Well,” I say, “there’s one across the street in Barnes & Noble.”

I live on the edge of downtown Chicago. When I sit on my shower chair in my bathtub, if my bathroom door and kitchen blinds are open, I can see the logo on the Starbucks across the street. There’s nowhere to hide!

“Or,” I say, "If you go one block east to Wabash, there’s another one there.”

The thing I really hate most about Starbucks is that they’re all so goddam wheelchair accessible. I wish I could find one, just one, that isn’t accessible so I could sue the hell out of them!

“Or,” I say, "If you go one block north to Adams, there’s another one there.”

My burning desire to sue Starbucks is as fierce as my burning desire to sue a casino. Except my motivations are different. Suing a casino would bring me the same satisfaction as kicking a big, brash bully right square in the balls. Suing a Starbucks would bring me the same satisfaction as tripping a prom queen— just to show everybody that she’s not such a perfect little princess. That's the same reason I want to sue Disneyland.

“Or,” I say, "If you go three blocks north to Macy’s, there are two more in there.”

But I guess if I want to sue Starbucks, I’ll have to spill a hot drink on myself.

“Or,” I say, "If you go a half a block from Macy’s ---”

“That's all right!” the middle woman says. “We’ll go to the one across the street. Thank you.” The light turns green and they hustle off.

But wait a minute! I was just getting warmed up.


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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Kept


I have a hard time being a hardass with my dogs. I don’t even know what to call myself in relation to them. I sure as hell don’t want to call myself their master. I don’t even want to call myself their owner. It’s all so human centric.

I try to put myself in my dogs' shoes. My dogs don’t literally wear shoes but you know what I mean. Would I like it if the guy who walks me around called himself my master? I’d be insulted. I’d want to bite him.

I even feel guilty keeping them on a leash when they're outside. I feel like I’m treating them like hostages.

I know it’s stupid. I know they’re just dogs but I can’t help it. It’s a hang up I have. It’s a cripple thing. If there’s one thing I never ever ever want to be it’s kept. I know how it feels to be kept. And so if I treat any other creature that way, even a dog, I feel like a flaming hypocrite.

A kept cripple is very much like a kept woman, except kept women get better benefits. In exchange for surrendering her autonomy and identity for a rich benefactor, a kept woman will usually get put up in a mansion with servants at her beck and call and shit like that. At least that makes the deal somewhat attractive

But not so for kept cripples. Kept cripples are the ones who are stuck in those putrid nursing homes. In exchange for surrendering their autonomy and identity, what do they get from the rich benefactor who owns the nursing home? Well, they get one shower a week and green bologna for lunch.

But then again, more is required of a kept woman than of a kept cripple. A kept woman is expected to cater to the needs of her benefactor. Kept cripples just have to shut the fuck up and play bingo.

I was once a kept cripple. When I was a teenager, I was an inmate at a state boarding school for cripples, which I refer to as the Sam Houston Institute of Technology (SHIT). Of all the kept cripples at SHIT, the keptest were the kids they called wards of the state. They never had any family come around or anything.

But anyway, when it comes to my dogs, I suppose I could get used to calling myself their human. John, one of the members of my pit crew, says maybe I should call myself their facilitator. Sounds like a good idea.



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Thursday, August 17, 2017

The March of the Penis Posse



Watch out! The March of the Penis Posse may be coming soon to your town!

The Penis Posse is a small but rapidly growing group of resentful young men who were born with a penis and say they are fighting back in the war on penises. They’re not afraid to acknowledge the fact that penises are constantly under attack in today’s emasculated society and they have all taken a solemn oath to preserve and defend the proud heritage of the penis.

The members of the Penis Posse are fiercely proud of their penises and they pledge their allegiance to them every day. This is the bond they share. Their meetings are like tent revivals. Members stand and tell the story of that glorious moment when they came to realize the full magnitude of what it means to possess a penis. It’s an exhilarating rite of passage in the life of every boy when he understands that the penis is so much more than just a funny-looking appendage and how awesome it is to have one. It’s very much like that big dramatic scene in the Miracle Worker when that brat Helen Keller finally realizes what water is.

This is why the members of the Penis Posse are not afraid to speak out against the dire threat posed the “impostors,” which is what they call all those who acquire a penis by any means other than directly from the hand of God. This, the Penis Posse believes, dishonors and dispossesses the penis. The “impostors “ are the sworn enemies of the Penis Posse.

For many years, the Penis Posse was a shadowy, underground organization. But lately they’ve been feeling emboldened because they believe they now have many kindred spirits in Washington. So they hold raucous rallies where they vow to never let the government take their penises away. They march brandishing their trademark giant papier mache penis, which looks a lot like those dragons in Chinese New Year parades, except it’s bald and white.

The mission of the Penis Posse is to “re-testosterize” America. They want to return to what they refer to as the “golden age of the penis.” They want to live in a state where possessors of biological penises are in charge, which is why they like to be referred to as penis nationalists.

Later this year, the Penis Posse plans to hold its first annual March to Reclaim the Penis, which will culminate in a rally at the Washington Monument. The event will be made possible by a generous grant from the makers of Viagra.



(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.)