I’m a proud graduate of a state-operated boarding school for cripples which I affectionately refer to as the Sam Houston Institute of Technology (SHIT). If someone organized a reunion of my graduating class, it wouldn’t take much work. It could probably be held at the nearest Starbucks because there were only nine people in my graduating class. We were lucky to have a commencement at all. A lot of these state cripple schools don’t have a commencement because commencement comes from the word commence, which means you’re going somewhere. Cripples in state schools ain’t hardly going anywhere, which is why it makes me laugh when those places are often referred to as “developmental” centers. What the hell is any cripple dumped in a state school developing, besides butt callouses?
It’s too bad for me that cripple schools like SHIT don’t have commencements because I could turn it into a speaking circuit and cash in big. I could bill myself as a cripple school “success story.” I know that’s hilarious, but it’s a low bar to clear.
My speech would be entitled “Survival in the Wild.” What would I say to these commencing cripples to best arm them for life in the wild? Well, first I would tell them that they can do anything! All they have to do is try. And then I’d say sorry, that was a joke. Nobody can do anything. Not even the verts (which is short for verticals, which is slang for people who walk.) But if you poke around enough you might find something useful to do and maybe if you’re lucky it’ll even be sort of fun. And then I’d tell them that whatever it is they do, don’t fuck it up. Because all other cripples to come will be judged by whether they succeed or fail. If they fuck it up no other cripple may ever get another opportunity to try. So they’d better work twice as hard as all the verts just to prove they’re half as good.
And then I’d say sorry, that was a joke too. Not the stuff about all other cripples being judged. That shit’s for real. But the part about working twice as hard as a result. That's the joke. I’d say unto the commencing cripples that if anybody tries to put a stupid idea like that into their heads, there’s a mantra that has always served Smart Ass Cripple well when he needs to summon the strength to persevere. Two little words: bull shit. Or is that one little word? I can never remember if that’s one word or two. Same thing with the word asshole. Asshole sounds like it should be one word, but maybe it’s two. You’d think that as often as I write those words I’d have them memorized like my middle name. So hold on a minute while I look them up. Wow! Turns out bullshit and asshole are both indeed one word. I’ll have to figure out a way to remember that, some kind of mnemonic device or something.
So I’d tell the commencing cripples to always remember that one little word: bullshit. There will be many situations in the wild where that word will come in handy. Like suppose you want a job so vocational rehab gets you a position as a grocery bagger. Now Lord knows the world needs good grocery baggers. Grocery baggers are very much like toilet paper. We don’t fully realize how important they are until they’re not there. But suppose you suck at grocery bagging or you just don’t like it so you quit or you’re fired. Voc rehab will probably write you off as “unemployable.” The key to surviving a trauma like that is to remember the magic word: bullshit. If you suck at being a grocery bagger, it doesn’t mean you automatically suck at everything else. All it means is that you suck at being a grocery bagger.
So always keep that word nearby, I’d say to the commencing cripples, for you will encounter many such hostile attitudes in the wild. You will encounter many a beast who will try to convince you that if you demand respect and accommodation, you are unreasonable and, worse yet, ungrateful. They’ll try to convince you that you belong in a “developmental center.”
Just say it to yourself: bullshit. Say it over and over. Now say it out loud. Good! Now say it so everybody can hear it. Bullshit! That word will fortify you. It will keep you on course.
Ah but who am I kidding. There never will be such a thing as a state school commencement address speaking circuit. It’s all just a fantasy, my futile dream of riches.
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