Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I hate when people say I have a disease. To me the diseased are people who have stuff like bubonic plague. That ain’t me. Please don’t get me wrong. I’ve got nothing against people who have bubonic plague (so don't leave me indignant comments). I’m sure the vast majority of them are fine, hard-working, loyal, patriotic citizens. Like all the rest of us, they raise families, pay taxes and perform community service, when they’re not coughing up blood. But that ain’t me. If I had bubonic plague, I wouldn’t be ashamed to acknowledge it. But I don’t.

Condition. I don’t like when people say I have a condition either. Condition. That word’s too heavy.If you have a condition it sounds like you are or should be hospitalized. “His condition is listed as serious.” My condition would have to be listed as absurd.

Syndrome? That word confuses me. I don’t know when a disease or condition becomes a syndrome. Cripples started having syndromes just within the last few decades or so. Remember the Mongoloids? They didn’t get cured. They’re all still here. But now they have Down Syndrome.

Situation? Someone actually asked me that once. “So, what’s your uh… situation? “ I suppose that’s a better word than disease. “That poor guy has Lou Gehrig’s Situation.”

Quirk? Nobody has ever asked me what my quirk is. But I guess that word applies to me more than disease does. I’m crippled because of what could be called a genetic quirk. And a genetic quirk is way different from a disease, dammit! Nobody says, “Hey look at those two over there. They’ve got conjoined twins disease. “

Abnormality? Malady? Defect? Defecit?


Disorder? That’s the word I like. Disorder. Some cripples hate that word but not me. I think it best expresses what cripples are all about. Cripples are disorderly. We’re a great big monkey wrench. We gum up the works. We fuck up the grand  plans. Just when rational humans  think they’ve  finally  got everything all figured out and everybody all neatly groomed and shaped and ordered and categorized, here come those surrealistic cripples to blow it all to hell.

Being crippled makes you subversive, whether you like it or not. You don’t fit. The more crippled you are the more disorderly you are. Your perpetually discombobulated existence discombobulates the intricate combobulation. 

 And that’s what I love most about being crippled.

Someday I’ll probably be arrested, just for being crippled. I’ll be charged with disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace.Or maybe with possession of a disease


  1. TY 'Smart Ass Cripple' - Needed a good laugh of reality after the last couple of days, been guming up the works (again).

  2. Sorry, dude, but I wear my syndrome with pride. It's what made me who I am today!

  3. Awesome post...absolutely awesome.

  4. Looks like you've got italics syndrome.

  5. I, too, am disorderly. But since I'm an English professor, they pay me for it.
    I am also sometimes discombobulated because let's face it- who wants to be combobulated? It sounds like a disease...

  6. Just wrote about this. I decided on "have a disability" But what do I know, I have a syndrome.

    Wonderful as usual! Thanks.

  7. I prefer entropy, a decent into disorder. Entropy can be used to measure levels of disorder. And you my friend take disorder to a whole new subversive level. Love it.

  8. I prefer just Crippled. I love it because the very people who invented the word now say it is offensive and we shouldn't say it. In fact, I get told I shouldn't say it. Well guess what, no one gets to tell us how we want to describe our disease, condition, quirk, diagnosis or disorder. I'm crippled and if someone feels uncomfortable with that, they probably feel uncomfortable even seeing me moving around with my 3 wheeled man purse walker.

    BTW: You forgot special. Really, I'm special? I don’t think people out there are thinking, "I want to be that lucky guy." No, Super Man is special, he could fly.

    Also Handicapped: This gives us the impression we have been capped off at a certain level of handiness. Yes, that guy is an athlete, he’s 100% handy, but you though, sorry, we had to cap you off at 70%.

    Don’t get me wrong though, I love my life, I’m not a victim. I have had an amazing life and being crippled has only defined me. Being crippled has shown me that I can not be stopped, I cannot be slowed down, I just don’t get there as fast but I get there just like anyone else. I am a stand-up comedian of 23 years and I talk openly about the reality of my challenges. However not with cute hack jokes but how funny life is even with a disability.

    I loved your post.
    Lonnie Bruhn

  9. my lagel of choice is gimp

    any takers?

  10. For the subset of us who have disabilities that are genetic in origin, refer back to 10th grade biology. The results of a gene and its operations are called a trait. SMA, dystrophy, and the like are traits.

  11. I've always enjoyed the term "special".. makes me think I have super powers..

  12. I call mine an injury. Spinal cord injury. Disability will do also. Just don't call me differently abled, physically challenged, handicapable or handicapped.