Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Amazing Crippled Actors on the Stage and Screen


A lot of people think it’s a great big deal when an actor who isn’t crippled plays the role of a crippled character. It’s considered to be the ultimate in acting and it usually wins an Oscar.

But that’s nothing! What about crippled actors who play the roles of characters who aren’t crippled? Now that’s some amazing acting!

But these actors get no attention. For example, there’s British actor Andrew Bollox, who is currently staring to rave reviews on stage in London as Hamlet. Bollox has cerebral palsy so he’s all spastic and he rides around in a motorized wheelchair. He even talks using one of those Stephen Hawking talking boxes. But when he plays Hamlet he leaves his wheelchair backstage and walks around on stage and says, “To be or not to be” as plain as day. He doesn't even drool. And wow, you should see him sword fight!

How does he do it? It’s simple. He’s acting! It’s just like when an actor puts on a foreign accent. Bollox spent many hours studying how people who walk and talk walk and talk. With the help of top-notch dialect and gait coaches, he soon got it down. Using his amazing powers of concentration, when Bollox embodies the character of Hamlet, he rises from his chair and speaks eloquently. It’s as if he’s in a hypnotic trance.

Also be sure to see to see the soon-to-be-released biopic about the superstar Brazilian soccer player Pele. It’s called Kicking Up a Storm and starring in this movie in the role of Pele is Brazilian actor Paulo Besteiro. It’s truly astonishing acting when you consider that Besteiro was born with no legs. But in this movie he plays soccer with reckless abandon. No, that’s not a stunt double. It’s all done through the miracle of special effects. I call it the reverse Forrest Gump effect. In the movie Forrest Gump, Gary Sinese plays the part of Lieutenant Dan, who loses his legs in war. But Sinese has both of his legs so in order for him to authentically portray Lieutenant Dan, his legs were lopped off virtually using special effects. Well in Kicking Up a Storm, special effects are used to give Besteiro legs! It’s an Oscar-worthy performance indeed!

So screw you, Meryl Streep! Compared to these guys, you’re crap!


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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Autism Detox

Apparently autism is a toxin. Who knew?

And all people with autism have to do to get rid of their autism, some people firmly believe, is get rid of their toxins. Then they won’t be toxic anymore.

Amazon removed from its virtual shelves more than a dozen books promoting chlorine dioxide as a miracle treatment for autism. The stuff is also marketed as MMS, which stands for Miracle Medical Solutions. But it’s basically just bleach. This whole idea about bleach curing autism was thought up by some goofball Scientologist. (I know goofball Scientologist is redundant.) Are you surprised to hear that?

But people are still falling for it even though the Food and Drug administration put out a warning five years ago that this stuff is a crock. The same FDA warning also included other bizarre snake oils some people were pushing as a cure for autism, such as raw camel’s milk. Where the hell did that one come from? Who analyzed the chemical elements of raw camel’s milk and decided they’d be good for snapping people out of their autism? Did they then pour raw camel’s milk on some pour autistic kid’s Cocoa Puffs? Must’ve been some goofball Scientologist.

And some people must’ve also been shoving kids with autism into hyperbaric oxygen tanks in an attempt to detoxify and purify them because the FDA felt compelled to warn that that doesn’t work either. That should be as unnecessary as putting a label on a deep fryer warning people not to submerge their head in the hot oil. You’d think it would go without saying

The FDA also warned that, despite what some people say, there are no miracle suppositories that cure autism. Oh a clay baths also don’t work. Clay baths are products that, when added to bath water, supposedly draw out toxins and pollutants that make people autistic. It’s easy to see that’s a fraud because if it really did work that way, what would we do with the tainted water? I mean, it would be full or autism germs, right? That sounds like the kind of toxic material that needs to be hermetically sealed in a haz-mat container and hauled away to a distant waste dump. But I bet those that tried clay baths didn’t do that. I bet they just casually opened the drain and let the bath water swirl down. And all their toxins would have contaminated the public water supplies. And we’d all have caught autism by now!


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Saturday, May 25, 2019

Selective Deafness


One fine summer afternoon, I visited a botanical garden. Within in it was a rose garden with a tranquil pond in the center. It looked like the perfect place for meditation. And in fact, there was a guy sitting by the pond upright and motionless with his eyes closed and a blissful grin. But at the same time there were what looked like field trips of middle schoolers bustling through and you know how noisy they can be. But the meditating guy was completely unfazed. Somehow he tuned it all out. I said to myself, “Damn, that the guy’s good.” And then I said to myself, “Or maybe he’s deaf.” Wow! I guess sometimes deafness comes in handy.

There are a lot of times when I wish I was deaf. Sometimes I travel with the hell-raising cripples of ADAPT. We come from around the country and gather in some city, usually D.C., and we protest hard. In order to save money, we stuff four people into a hotel room. So it’s inevitable that sooner or later, you’ll end up sharing a hotel room with somebody who snores like an asthmatic grizzly bear. And I would give anything to be deaf then.

And because I live in the middle of a big city, often there have been guys working with jackhammers outside of my window. I think that’s when I wish I was deaf most of all. I don’t know why guys who own construction companies don’t make a big push to recruit deaf people to do the jackhammer jobs. It seems like it would make good business sense. They’d probably save a lot of money on earplugs.

I’m not saying I want to be deaf all the time. Only when it works to my advantage. Selective deafness. I wish I had the magical power to do something like blink three times and turn off my hearing when something cacophonous is going on and then blink three more times and turn my hearing back on when the coast is clear. I imagine some people feel the same about me when it comes to parking. They want to be crippled long enough to snag that sweet parking space right outside the front door. And as soon as they leave, they don’t want to be crippled anymore.



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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Playing God



Sometimes you see these leg amputees who run marathons and 50-yard dashes. And the prosthetic legs they run on don’t look anything like human legs. They look like they were put together with an erector set. (Does anyone remember what those are?)

This is a good thing. It used to be that people who made false legs seemed to go way out of their way to make them look like real human legs. They were trying to play God. But they weren’t very good at it. There was a kid with two false legs who attended the segregated elementary school for cripples that I attended. His legs sort of looked like real human legs in the sense that they were shaped like human legs, basically, and there were joints at the ankle and knee. They were pretty much the same skin tone as his real skin, though I think he just got lucky there. I bet in those days false legs came in two standard-issue skin tones — one Caucasian and one African. (I guess Asian amputee kids were just screwed.) This kid’s skin tone happened to be pretty damn close to standard-issue African.

But still, there was no chance of any sober person seeing that kid's prosthetics lying on the floor and saying, “Oh my God, look at those severed human legs!” There was only so much that could be done to make fake legs look real. I suppose technology is better today, but fake legs still aren’t fooling anybody. It’s like a comb-over.

And I’m glad to see that makers of fake limbs stopped trying to play God, or at least it some cases. It’s good that being aesthetically pleasing isn’t always their top design priority. It really gets in the way. The purpose of getting a fake leg isn’t to try to convince everybody that you still have two actual flesh and bone legs. If I had a leg cut off, I wouldn’t bother to get a fake one because that would be stupid. I don’t even use the legs I have. A fake leg would be purely decoration. My current legs are purely decoration but getting rid of them is too much trouble. But anyway, the purpose of having a prosthetic leg is to get around, right? If those badass amputee runners tried to run on bulky-ass legs designed primarily to render the user more cosmetically assimilated, they would never win a race even if all the other runners were in potato sacks.

So it’s good that these cripples say fuck it to doing what they do the normal way and do it the cripple way. When cripples do that things go a lot smoother.


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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Cripple Collateral


But you know I see these commercials for car title loans and I wonder why nobody does the same thing for wheelchairs. Car title loans are designed to soak people who are so broke that their only asset is their raggedy–ass car. Well I’ve known many cripples who are so broke that their only asset is their ragged-ass wheelchair. The same goes for prosthetic limbs, commodes, ventilators and all the other pricey shit cripples need. Our equipment is often our only remotely valuable possession because someone else paid for it, like the government or an insurance company or some smarmy charity.

But those things are some mighty valuable collateral. Anybody who doesn’t realize that hasn’t hung around with cripples very much. If their wheelchair is on the line, a cripple will do whatever it takes to pay back the loan plus the 50,000 percent interest. They’ll rob a bank if they have to. There’s no sadder sight than a cripple in the throes of wheelchair separation anxiety. I know how it is. It hits me hard whenever I fly and they take my wheelchair away and throw it in the cargo hole of the plane. Boarding and deboarding passersby probably think I’m a junkie going through withdrawal. I’m fretting and sweating hard until that glorious moment when I arrive at my destination and I’m safely reunited with my chair.

For many cripples, putting up their wheelchair as collateral will only buy them a few months before it’s time to pay up the loan and they have to cough up the chair. But the loan sharks won’t have any trouble unloading the chairs they seize. There are plenty of cripples out there who’d be more than happy to purchase a discount “pre-owned” wheelchair under the table. The sharks could also chop up the wheelchairs and sell the parts to desperate cripples with broken chairs.

That’s why I ‘m also surprised that I never see wheelchairs or prosthetics or stuff like that in the windows of pawn shops. I bet there are lots of people every day who would see that and say to themselves, “Hmm, I wonder how much they want for that?” But are there any shops where you can remove your false leg, pawn it and hop out? I doubt it.

These sharks are missing out on a big market of pre-owned pricey cripple shit.



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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

On Hold With Social Security: A Smart Ass Cripple Investigation

Recently I read something that blew my mind. According to the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, in 2017, when someone called the Social Security Administration’s toll-free 800 number, they waited 18 minutes on average for a human customer service representative to answer. That was up from the three minutes waiting on average in 2010. They also said that 13 percent of callers received a busy signal in 2017, up from five percent in 2010.

I wondered if the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare was referring to the 800 toll-free number of the Social Security Administration on the planet earth. The last time I called that number was about four years ago and I recollect waiting on hold for about 45 minutes before I hung up. And it’s hard to conceive that there was ever a time when the average wait was three minutes.

Someone needed to check this out. This was the perfect job for the Smart Ass Cripple Undercover Investigative Unit (which is me) and all of its resources (which is my phone).

I decided to call the 800 number three times and see how long it takes to connect with another human. My first call was on a Thursday afternoon. The robo voice that answered asked me to clearly state my reason for calling. Oh shit! I wasn’t expecting that! What should I say? I couldn’t say, “I’m calling to see how long you fuckers will keep me on hold. “ That would blow my cover.

So I said, “Speak to an agent.”

Then the robo voice asked me to state my Social Security number. I wasn’t expecting that either! I sure didn’t want to give my real Social Security number. Should I make up a fake number?

So I said, “Speak to an agent.”

Finally, I was officially on hold. After a few minutes, the robo voice apologized for the delay and reminded me that Social Security pays monthly benefits to 50 million people so sometimes there are “busy periods.”

I heard this apology three times while waiting on hold. After 25 minutes I gave up and hung up.

The second time I called was a Monday morning. I was on hold for 23 minutes when someone answered. I wasn’t expecting that. What should I say? Maybe I should say, “Sorry, wrong number."

I panicked and hung up.

The third time I called was a Tuesday evening. I was determined to wait on hold for however long it took until somebody answered. I began to regret that vow when my hold reached the 45 minute mark. But I persevered and a human answered after 51 minutes.

Ooops I forgot to mention that the Smart Ass Cripple Undercover Investigative Unit has one other resource. We have an adding machine circa 1965. And I used it to calculate that all told, I was on hold for 99 minutes, which made my average wait time 33 minutes.

So the Smart Ass Cripple Undercover Investigative Unit proved that the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare is full of shit. But at least I never got a busy signal.



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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Living Each Day to the Fullest

I wish all those cripples that always live each day to the fullest would just go away. The give me a headache. They always have.

I hear that said about cripples a lot. “He’s out there always living each day to the fullest!” There are a lot of documentaries and television news stories about cripples like that. I also hear it often said about dead cripples. “In spite of it all, he always lived each day to the fullest.”

These cripples irritate me because they make it hard for me to relax. Like for instance, the other day I was attempting to sit on my dead ass and enjoy watching a baseball game. I finished eating dinner and the ballgame was in the seventh inning so I put my wheelchair in the recline position and my pit crew guy put a pillow under my head.

But I couldn’t enjoy it for long because I thought about those cripples who always live each day to the fullest and I felt guilty, which often happens in moments of slothful bliss like that. Here I am sitting on my dead ass when I’m supposed to be out there always living each day to the fullest. I’m being a bad cripple. Just look at me! What a sorry, slovenly sight I am! No one would shoot a documentary or television news story about this.

And then I get all flustered and intimidated because I know I should be out there always living each day to the fullest but I really don’t know what that means. What should I be doing instead of sitting on my dead ass watching a baseball game? Skiing? Volunteering in a soup kitchen? Singing the national anthem at the Super Bowl? Wrestling an alligator?

But then I take comfort when I remember that when it comes to measuring how well a given cripple is always living each day to the fullest, some people have a pretty low bar. Some people have such low expectations of cripples that even if I just go downstairs to the 7-Eleven and get some ice cream they’ll think I’m living this day to the fullest.

So maybe I’ll do that next time. I’ll go down to the 7-Eleven and buy some ice cream. And I’ll say to everyone I see, “There, I just lived this day to the fullest. Now leave me the hell alone.”



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