Tuesday, June 23, 2015
I’m insulted! I pass by this storefront that stands out from all the others surrounding it because the outside bricks are painted a bright and blaring yellow. The flashing neon letters in the window announce like an ecstatic town crier that this is an establishment where one can receive a car title loan. And painted on the yellow bricks, in letters that are invitingly cursive and also black so as to provide easy-to-read contrast, are the words Yo Hablo Espanol.
So since this is a title loan store, that means the target demographic is people who are so broke ass that all they have to their name is a raggedy-ass beater of a car. So in this case, what the words Yo Hablo Espanol essentially say is, “Welcome all our Spanish-speaking brothers and sisters who have nothing but a raggedy-ass beater of a car to their name. Please come in. We’ll be happy to ream you, too.”
But on the front entrance of the store is a great big step. And that’s why I am insulted. The proprietor sees Spanish speakers as a market worthy of accommodation and affirmative gestures of welcome. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t begrudge them the equal opportunity to be exploited when their circumstances get about as low as low can be. That’s all part of the American dream. But what about cripples? What are we, chopped liver? Apparently if this proprietor thinks about cripples at all, he/she sees us as so thoroughly and irreparably broke ass that for us, owning a raggedy-ass beater of a car is but a pipedream. No need for a ramp on this storefront.
This is yet another graphic example of how insignificant cripples are to some people in the capitalist free market. Well whatever. They snub us at their own peril. Someday a new breed of shark will evolve with a highly-sophisticated olfactory that can sniff out fresh new blood. And then we’ll see a new chain of stores designed exclusively to reel in the really really really broke ass. These stores will be in strip malls around the country, nestled cozily between Dollar Tree and Dollar General and kitty-corner from The Dollar Store. They will be called something like The Social Security Store and their sole purpose will be to give cash advances on Social Security checks.
These stores will be accessible as all hell. There will be automatic doors. There will be sign language interpreters on duty 24/7. There will be a fenced-off area in every store with fake grass so guide dogs can take a leak.
Yep, the proprietors of these stores will have to kiss up to cripples big time, unless they want to go out of business real fast.
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