Thursday, October 12, 2017

Holbrook's Cripple Nicknames


Holbrook was a guy who lived in my dorm when I was in college. He came from one of those teeny towns where there are no cripples, so I doubt that he ever got a good look at a cripple until he got to college. But he made up lots of funny nicknames for many of the crippled students he saw puttering around campus. The nicknames were sort of like smart ass secret service code names. To me that was a sure sign that he felt really comfortable around cripples or really uncomfortable. I’m not sure which.

There was one cripple that propelled his wheelchair by pushing it backwards with his feet. Holbrook called him Crawdaddy. There was another cripple Holbrook often saw eating in the dorm mess hall. This cripple tilted his head far back and his feeder dropped food into his open mouth. Holbrook called this cripple Baby Bird.

There was another cripple who always walked really fast and on the tips of her toes like she was walking on hot coals. Holbrook called her Hot Foot. And there was another cripple who also walked weird. He swayed from side to side and waved his arms around and did lots of involuntary fancy footwork. Holbrook called him Fred Astaire.

More than once I told Holbrook I wanted to know what his cripple nickname was for me. But he always insisted that he didn’t have one. “Come on!” I said. “You can tell me! I can take it!” But he just held up his hands, all innocent and shit.

When I asked other guys around the dorm what Holbrook’s nickname for me was, they all said he didn’t have one. I was convinced that they all entered into a secret pact to never divulge to a cripple his/her Holbrook nickname. It’s much funnier that way. But eventually I started to believe that maybe Holbrook really hadn’t come up with anything for me. I felt kind of insulted.

But as I look back, I can see where I might have been a stumper for Holbrook. As cripples go, I’m pretty one-dimensional. I ride around in a motorized wheelchair and that’s about it.

You can’t really call me Spazzo. And I don’t drool, at least not when I’m sober. I don’t walk weird. I don’t walk at all. And there’s nothing weird about the way I don’t walk.

I have kind of a big head. But that doesn’t have anything to do with me being crippled. If I was cured, I’d still have a big head. And it’s not grotesquely big. You can’t rightfully call me the Wizard of Oz or anything like that.

My trunk balance is poor, which makes me pretty floppy. Holbrook maybe could have riffed on that and called me Scarecrow or Jellyfish. My legs are thin and spindly. If Holbrook saw me wearing shorts, that might have inspired something in him. Flamingo Legs?

But that’s a real stretch. Try as he might, if Holbrook pondered a cripple nickname for me, he probably couldn’t come up with anything better than That Crippled Guy Down the Hall.




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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Your Incontinence Will Not Save You



I talked to this guy who’s as crippled as I am and he told me all about how he spent several years in prison. He said he was set up. Someone used him as a drug mule without him knowing it.

This guy needs as much help as I do. He needs someone to drag his ass out of bed every morning, lift him on and off the crapper, etc. But they still sent his ass to prison!

Damn! That’s cold! There are a lot of things that I figure being crippled will probably get me out of. Like for instance, carjacking. I wouldn’t be too worried if someone came up to me in my cripple van and said, “Get out of the car, motherfucker!” Because I would say, “Well okay, I’m happy to oblige. But just give me a sec while my driver here comes around and unhooks the safety restraints securing my wheelchair. Then we’ll deploy the ramp so I can exit through the sliding passenger door and you’ll be on your way. It shouldn’t take more than a couple minutes. Stand back now. I wouldn’t want the ramp to swing out and hit your tootsies.” By that time, the carjacker would say fuck it and go jack the next guy.

Being an incontinent cripple will get you out of even more stuff. Flaunting your incontinence comes in real handy in those moments in life when you want people to just back the hell off. Often I wish I had a t-shirt that says, I AM INCONTINENT, even though I’m not. If a carjacker saw me in that shirt he’d probably take off running before he could even say, “Get out of the car, motherfucker!” I would also wear that shirt when I’m sitting on a plane and the other passengers are filing in and I bet you a million nobody would sit next to me unless it was absolutely the last fucking seat on the whole damn plane. And even then they’d probably say to the flight attendant, “That’s okay. I’ll stand. I’m good.”

And I would for sure wear that shirt if I was in court being sentenced for a crime. I would hope it would make the judge and the prosecutor say to themselves, “Damn, this guy’s incontinent, too? We don’t want to deal with all that. Let’s just give him probation or something.”

Maybe that crippled guy who went to prison should have pleaded incontinence, even though he’s not. Maybe that would have saved him. But then again, maybe not. The judge and prosecutor might’ve said hell with it; he can go to prison and piss his pants. There may be times when even incontinence isn’t enough to get you off the hook.



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