Friday, October 21, 2016

Smart Ass Cripple Inspires Youth with his Courage

At first, when I received the congratulatory call, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I thought maybe it was a joke. And if it wasn’t a joke, should I be insulted?

“Congratulations! The Low Standards Society has selected you as its 2016 Man of the Year!”

But once I understood the unique, humanitarian mission of the Low Standards Society, I realized that this was indeed a unique honor. I would play and integral role in helping carry out the that mission, which is simply “to make all young people feel better about themselves.” Who can argue with that?

And the Low Standards Society strives to accomplish this lofty goal by “working tirelessly and diligently to lower the standards by which human society defines achievement. We seek to inspire youth, our greatest natural resource, to work to realize their full potential by making achievement more achievable.”

I know exactly what they mean. The writers that have always most inspired me are not the great writers but the ones that really suck. Like suppose I go see a play that’s really great. Afterward, I’ll say to myself, “Jesus, I’ll never be able to write as well as that guy. I’m might as well give the fuck up!” And I go home feeling all daunted and intimidated and shit. But if the play sucks big time, I say to myself, “Jesus, I could write something better than that piece of crap with one hand tied behind my back. So could a chimp on barbiturates.” And I go home feeling all inspired to write. Maybe getting a play produced is much easier than I thought.

So, when viewed through that lens, it makes perfect sense that the Low Standards Society would choose me as its Man of the Year. According to the selection committee, I was chosen because I am a “symbol of courage” who “finds the inner strength to tackle the challenges of each new day.” I’m not sure what they mean by that. The challenges I tackle most days are pretty much stuff like eating, talking on the phone, writing silly shit on my laptop and taking a dump. But when you’re crippled, I guess that’s good enough to make you a courageous overachiever.

So youth from all over the world will see me and feel motivated and inspired. They’ll say to themselves, “Well hell, if that guy’s courageous, I must be Superman. If that’s all it takes to win, deal me in!”

It will be my job as the reigning Low Standards Man of the Year to conduct myself in a manner that lowers the standards by which we measure courage and achievement even lower. I’m sure I’ll be up for the task.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Endless Cripple Bread Lines

The problem with cripples is we don’t riot enough. I don’t think we’ve ever rioted at all. I’ve never read any accounts of a pissed off gang of cripples rioting in the streets. Have you?

What causes riots is resource shortages and rationing. People get tired of waiting in bread lines or whatever kind of waiting lines and they start rioting. There’s nary a cripple in America that isn’t waiting in some sort of waiting line. And it’s not as if it’s a waiting line for cotton candy. We’re waiting for important shit, like food and shelter.

Every year United Cerebral Palsy puts out a report called The Case for Inclusion, which measures how well Medicaid programs in different states are serving cripples. The report that just came out says almost 350,000 people are on a waiting list for home and community-based services, which is 28,000 more than last year.

That means that when cripples went last year to the state agencies that spend Medicaid money and asked for assistance so they can live somewhere other than a goddam soul-crushing nursing home or in the crawl space of the house of their 90-year-old parents, the agency told more than a quarter of a million of them to go sit in the corner and shut up and wait. Wait for how long? Five years? Ten years? Maybe. Maybe longer.

A quarter of a million cripples is a whole lot of cripples! That’s almost as many as it takes to screw in a light bulb. So yeah, cripples have been waiting in our own unique bread lines for as long as there have been cripples. They’re just not the kind of bread lines that people who aren’t waiting in them can see. These a bureaucratic bread lines. And those are the worst kind. It means that the odds of anyone besides those of us waiting getting worked up enough to riot about it are small.

So we can’t rely on others to do our rioting for us. We have to do it ourselves. I know that rioting, like everything else, is a much more perilous task when you’re crippled. It’s hard to throw a Molotov cocktail with any accuracy if you’re spastic. Rioting is physically and emotionally exhausting. But so is waiting in line. It seems to me that uncrippled people have a much lower breaking point when it comes to waiting it line. Hell, I’ve seen them snap after five minutes in the grocery checkout line. But cripples wait patiently for decades. And the lines are getting the longer. I don’t know what it is about us. Maybe it’s evolution. Maybe our crippled ancestors spent so much time waiting that modern Homo sapiens crippleus have an overdeveloped waiting gene.

Whatever it is, I think it’s time to consider some rioting and maybe a little looting too. A horde of cripples rampaging through the Apple store is bound to get somebody’s attention, or certainly a lot more than politely waiting ever has.

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

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Association of Bedridden Skydivers

I’m so excited! Soon I’ll be jumping out of an airplane for the first time as a member of the Association of Bedridden Skydivers!

I’m not really bedridden, but I’m faking like I am so they’ll let me join. Because I might be bedridden someday. You never know. Anyone might be someday. And I’m a proactive type of guy so I think it’s important that I practice a little at being bedridden. I should build up my callouses, so to speak.

Now if you’re like me, when you first hear about the Association of Bedridden Skydivers it conjures an image of cripples in special parachute-equipped hospital beds being shoved out of airplanes. But don’t worry. The Association of Bedridden Skydivers doesn’t put cripples, society’s most vulnerable citizens, in harm’s way. Bedridden skydiving is the only skydiving that’s 100 percent safe because they Skype you in. It’s like when you take your first skydive and you’re strapped to the body of a pro skydiver. The Association of Bedridden Skydivers buddies up a pro skydiver with a bedridden cripple and that skydiver jumps out of the plane wearing a helmet with a special camera embedded in it and that's how the bedridden cripple goes along for the jump without leaving the bedroom. If the bedridden cripple wants to enhance the experience, she/he can wear a helmet and jumpsuit while lying in bed. But it’s certainly not required.

There was a time when I wouldn’t be caught dead doing something like bedridden skydiving. I had a strong aversion to doing the virtual stuff a lot of cripples do, like going to college on the internet for example. If I can’t do the real thing, I said to myself, I don’t want to do it at all! To me, doing virtual stuff was akin to masturbation. But that was back at a time when I had a much lower opinion than I do now of masturbation. Things began to change when I allowed myself to consider the virtues of masturbation. For one thing, masturbation is always consensual. And there’s never any trafficking involved. So if you can see past the shame conspiracy surrounding masturbation, you’ll view it guilt-free sex fun. That’s why a lot of super religious people are so freaked out about masturbation. They don’t want anyone to believe that there can be such a thing as guilt-free sex fun.

That’s how I came to change my perspective on masturbation. And I figure I’ll come to change my perspective on doing the virtual stuff a lot of cripples do in the same way. I’ll convince myself that if I really want to do it, I ought to just do it. Why let foolish pride get in the way of having fun?

This change of attitude will probably expedite my period of adjustment should I ever become bedridden. I’ll spend less time lying there stoic, proud, uncompromising and bored out of my fucking mind.

And if I really enjoy the Association of Bedridden Skydivers, I’ll probably sign up for the Association of Bedridden NASCAR Drivers and the Association of Bedridden Bullfighters.

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

Friday, September 30, 2016

Sugar Daddy Quarterback

There was this war veteran who became crippled and so he needed this fancy new motorized wheelchair. But the wheelchair was super expensive so one of the war vet’s buddies decided to help. He made a life-size cardboard cutout of the crippled war vet. He took the cutout to a pro football training camp and he caught the attention of the star quarterback and the star quarterback bought the fancy new motorized wheelchair for the crippled war vet.

I saw this story on a daytime television show. Everybody agreed that this story was truly inspiring. It sure inspired me. It inspired me to look for a sugar daddy quarterback of my own. Because things are getting tight. States are cutting back on the shit they’ll pay for to help support cripples. You have to get creative to get your needs met. I sure would rest easier knowing I had a sugar daddy quarterback ready and willing and proud to help me out with everything I need. I don't even have to give him sex in return. I just have to be a grateful cripple.

But I’m afraid. Having a sugar daddy quarterback might seem like a comforting notion, but it could easily backfire and I could end up living in my worst nightmare. Because the competition will be fierce. I imagine millions of other cripples just like me were inspired by that story and they too are trying to think up the right gimmick to get the attention of a sugar daddy quarterback. And there are only so many quarterbacks to go around. So a mope like me could probably only win over a college quarterback at best. And even then probably only one from Division XII-B.

But it doesn’t matter because people are nuts about their football. And what’ll happen is someday I’ll drop my fork and nobody will be around to pick it up for me. But I’ll remember my sugar daddy quarterback telling me if I ever need help just call, anytime and anywhere. So I’ll send him a text that says HELP. And just my luck it’ll be right in the middle of the big game. And because I don’t give a shit about college football I won’t know it’s right in the middle of the big game. And when my sugar daddy quarterback sees my text he’ll remember his solemn promise to me and he’ll abruptly exit the stadium and flag down a cab. And the second string quarterback will come in and fuck everything up. And when the furious fans find out that the starting quarterback left so he could go pick up a cripple’s fork, those fans will send a posse to round me up so they can draw and quarter me in the town square.

So I’ll have to enter witness protection because pissing off football fans is like pissing off the mob. And being in witness protection is my worst nightmare because how can anyone successfully disguise a conspicuous old cripple like me? You can’t just stick a girl’s wig on me and call me Michelle.

Sometimes people in witness protection get surgery to alter their appearance. But there’s no surgery that can alter my appearance enough, unless they figure out a way to cure me. The only surgery that might work is gender reassignment surgery. I suppose if a surgeon could actually turn me into a crippled woman (with very hairy legs), I might be able to fool enough people to get by.

Having your own private sugar daddy quarterback may seem like the answer to every cripple’s prayer. But it doesn’t come without considerable risk.

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

Friday, September 23, 2016

It’s so Stupid it’s Inevitable

Before I go to an unfamiliar place, I usually call ahead and make sure it’s accessible. I ask a bunch of specific questions because some people’s idea of an accessible venue is any place that it has 25 stairs or less.

On those occasions when I receive assurance that the place really and truly is accessible, I tell that person thanks. And I wonder if there’s ever a time when someone calls and asks if the place is accessible and when they’re assured that indeed it is they say, “Well in that case, screw you! I’m not coming!”

It would be stupid for anybody to feel that way, which means there must be some people out there who do. There always are.

There’s an organization called Little People of America, which, among other things, is dedicated to “raising positive awareness about dwarfism and addressing misconceptions about dwarfism.” It would be stupid for anybody to be threatened by that, so there must be some people who are. “Raising positive awareness about dwarfism and addressing misconceptions about dwarfism? Them there’s fightin’ words!”

Some people are very easily threatened by everything. It’s usually the white supremacy types. Those guys are always so miserable, which doesn’t make sense because being supreme is supposed to make you giddy, isn’t it? Isn’t that the whole point of being supreme?

But I guess they’re worried that anything can happen at any moment that can render them not so special anymore. This stuff about building ramps all over the place and addressing misconceptions about dwarfism, those are more examples of what’s it going to looks like when we're all living in the socialist dystopia that’s coming any day now. Everybody gets to go everywhere and do everything together! Everybody’s the same! Nobody’s special anymore!

Has anybody ever picketed outside a Little People event with a sign that says Tall Lives Matter? Is there a backlash organization called Normal Sized People of America?

Maybe not, but you can bet there are people thinking about it for sure. Maybe they don’t have the guts to say it out loud just yet but someday somebody will. Maybe it’ll be one of those rabid radio show guys. And as is always the case, when the first idiot dares to speak their mind, the closet idiots feel liberated. “Somebody’s finally speaking the truth!” And the idiots mobilize.

That’ll be the day when the restaurant hostess proudly declares to a caller that everything is fully and marvelously accessible and that caller curses her out and hangs up.

It’s all so stupid that it’s bound to happen soon.

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

Friday, September 16, 2016

In the Mainstream

A lot of cripples aspire hard to be in the “mainstream.” We’re not even sure what and where the hell the mainstream is, but we figure trying to get there is worth a shot. Whatever and wherever it is, it sounds like it’s got to be a whole lot different from where we are now, so what have we got to lose?

Now me, I’ve always had mixed emotions about jumping into the mainstream. Mainstream sounds dangerously synonymous with normal and I’ve always been allergic to too much normal. Normal is a very good thing to aspire to when you’re talking about stuff like blood pressure and cholesterol levels. But becoming normal in every way isn’t always a step up to a higher wrung.

But then I received a letter from the Federal Bureau of Cripple Management. The letter announced a great new national initiative to mainstream every cripple in America. All I have to do, the letter said, is enroll in the program by calling the toll-free number below. And if I do enroll, within a matter of days I will be mainstreamed.

So I figured what the hell. Why not? I’m up for an adventure. I’m curious to see just where this mainstream is. And I’m glad the government finally recognized my right to be in the mainstream. So I called the toll-free number. And the next day there was a knock on my door. It was a man dressed like a limo driver. He said he was here to take me to the mainstream. But his vehicle wasn’t exactly a limo. It was an unmarked moving van with a wheelchair lift on the back.

The driver loaded me into the back of the truck, pulled down the door and latched it. There were several dozen other cripples inside the truck. None of us knew where we were going but we didn’t care. We were excited that at long last we were going to be mainstreamed. As we rattled down the highway in our stuffy, windowless cube, we sang songs like happy campers—100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall!

We picked up more cripples along the way and finally we arrived at our destination. It was a secluded, pristine, wooded area with a narrow river gently flowing through it. The air was cool and crisp. Several smiling employees of the Federal Bureau of Cripple Management were on hand to welcome us. The cripples were unloaded from the truck one by one.

“Where am I?” I asked the limo driver.

“You’re in Maine,” he replied.

“And what river is that?”

The limo driver chuckled. “That’s not a river. That’s a stream.”

And one by one the cripples were taken down to the water’s edge and dumped out of their wheelchairs into the stream.

But fortunately for me, I escaped because I know karate.

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

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Alaskan Bear Stories as they Pertain to Coattail Access

Everybody from Alaska has a crazy story about a time when a bear suddenly appeared out of the blue. Here are my two favorite Alaska bear stories I’ve heard:

Scene: A grocery store. The manager sees a bear bounding through the parking lot, headed for the store entrance. The manager panics because the entrance door will automatically open when the bear steps on the magic rubber mat. So the manager pushes back with all his might against the inside of the entrance door, hoping he can stop the door from springing open for the bear. The bear steps on the magic rubber mat of the exit door instead. Nothing happens. The bear bounds away. Happy ending.

Scene: An emergency room. The automatic doors spring open and a bear enters. The emergency room staff lures the bear into a side room and locks the door. Somebody then calls the people you call when you need someone to sedate and remove a bear, while in the background the sound is heard of a furious bear trashing a locked room. The people from the bear sedation and removal service respond quickly and successfully do their job. Happy ending.

Both of these bear stories involve automatic doors. And because automatic doors are readily associated with cripples, this could be used to whip up a lot of anti-cripple backlash. “If it wasn’t for all these demanding cripples and their access laws, we wouldn’t have all these automatic doors all over the place, which present an open invitation for bears to waltz right on in!”

But that would be bullshit. Because back when I was a criplet, long before there were access laws, there were automatic doors on grocery stores and emergency rooms. Those were about the only places where there were automatic doors. Most cripple access was coattail access. It was accidental. If a place was accessible, it was done for something more important than cripples. And cripples got in on the coattails.

An example of something that was more important than cripples would be shopping carts. Automatic doors made it easier for people with shopping carts to get in and out of grocery stores so cripples got lucky and they could sneak in also. Another example of something more important than cripples back in those days was garbage. If a public building had a ramp, it was probably around back in the alley and it was there not for the purpose of letting cripples in but for taking garbage out. So the astute cripple could sometimes gain access via the garbage ramp. Although some security guard might stop you and say, “Hey, that ramp’s not for you. It’s for garbage.”

There used to be an elevator in the Cook County building in downtown Chicago and on the door it said HANDICAPPED AND FREIGHT. But it should have said FREIGHT AND HANDICAPPED because it was there first and foremost to haul freight, not to haul cripples. Although I guess one could argue that cripples do, technically, qualify as freight and therefore deserve to be treated with the same respect.


Smart Ass Cripple is taking some time off. Will post again the week of September 12

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