Monday, November 23, 2015

A Public Apology to the Great and Powerful Oz

This is my public apology to this guy I know whom I shall refer to as the Great and Powerful Oz (Smart Ass Cripple alias}. The Great and Powerful Oz has demanded no such apology. He probably doesn’t even know I owe him one. But I feel the need to unburden.

A few years back I was planning to have a party. The Great and Powerful Oz caught wind of this and when I ran into him he said, “Hey, can I come to your party?” I said of course he could come. I wasn’t going to say no and look like an elitist asshole, especially since he asked me in front of other people. But I was worried because I’d heard tales of his ability to consume massive quantities of beer. And sure enough, the Great and Powerful Oz came to my party and plopped down on my couch and downed what seemed to be 99 bottles of beer. It was probably only about 5 or 6. But finally when he held up an empty bottle and asked for another, I slipped him a bottle of nonalcoholic beer. And he happily downed it and 2 or 3 more without knowing the difference because The Great and Powerful Oz is blind.

I know that was a shitty thing to do to pull a fast one on a blind person. And I must also confess that my sneaky action was very premeditated. When I went to the liquor store to buy beer for my party, I picked up some nonalcoholic beer in anticipation of that very scenario. Why the hell else would I buy nonalcoholic beer?

I’m not proud of what I did. Well, actually, I am a little proud. But I’m definitely not proud of the fact that I’m not completely not proud. Being a little proud of my action makes me feel even more ashamed of it. That much I can say for sure! I took the easy way out and in so doing I undermined a fellow cripple’s hard-earned independence, autonomy, sense of dignity and right to self-determination. But I am a weak person. I am a hypocrite. I should have treated the Great and Powerful Oz the way I would want to be treated if the roles were reversed. I should have said to him, “I know that you have as much right as anyone to make your own decisions and to plot the course of your own life. As your crippled comrade, I will always honor and respect that. And so I say unto you that I believe you’ve had too much to drink and you should switch to nonalcoholic beer.” But I don’t think the Great and Powerful Oz would have passively gone along with that recommendation and that could well have altered the course of the evening. This was supposed to be a party, not a damn intervention. It was a lot easier to just slip him nonalcoholic beer.

So I hope the Great and Powerful Oz reads this public apology. Actually, I really hope he doesn’t read it because then the next time I see him he’ll say, “Hey, you slipped me nonalcoholic beer, asshole!” And for the sake of again avoiding confrontation, I’ll vehemently deny that he is the subject of this piece. I’ll lie and assert that this is purely a work of fiction and any resemblance to anyone living or dead is a coincidence.

I’m such a weak person.

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  1. As a fellow blind person, I can't believe The Great And Powerful Oz didn't figure it out...he must have been drunk beyond drunk to not notice the difference. I guess it's not fair for me to say that since I don't like beer, but I would swear that nonalcoholic beer tastes different. I'll have to ask another blind guy who definitely drinks beer to be sure.

  2. My experience with the nonalcoholic stuff is very, very limited, but unless there have been significant advancements in the technology in that space, I'm shocked he didn't know the difference. If nothing else he should have detected that you were serving him a different brand, unless he's one of those who's just like "ooooo, beer!" and thinks no more of it.

    And as a blind guy myself, I want you to know that there's no need to apologize. I've been fortunate that everyone I've ever cut off has taken it well, but if you know that Oz won't, subterfuge is sometimes the only option when you're reasonably sure it's going to work.