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.

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