I was rolling through the halls of a medical school when another guy in a wheelchair rolled by. I knew right away he was fake.
It must have been one of those cripple-for-a-day awareness simulations, where someone is assigned to roll around a in a wheelchair all day in a silly attempt to see what it’s like being crippled. As the student doctor rolled down the wide, smooth, obstruction-free hall, he had a tense look on his face like he was walking a tightrope. He should’ve had a sign on the back of his wheelchair that said STUDENT DRIVER.
But that’s not how I knew he was fake. I knew he was fake because both he and the wheelchair were way too clean. He looked like this weird pigeon I once saw. The pigeon looked weird because it had no scuffs or scars. It had no missing toes or matted feathers. No pigeon living in the city looks like that.
So here’s some advice for the FBI, if they happen to be reading this. If you’re planning to send a fake cripple agent provocateur to infiltrate a cripple activist group, have a little pride. Pay attention to detail. Otherwise you’re not gonna fool any real cripple.
You can’t make an instant cripple out of any old vert (which is short for vertical, which is what I call people who walk). You don’t just stick some pretty boy vert in a wheelchair and expect him to pass as a genuine cripple. This ain’t a Hollywood movie.
If your fake cripple spy is in a push wheelchair, make sure they have callouses on their hands. But whatever kind of wheelchair it is, make sure there are cracks and fissures in the upholstery. Make sure there are mud splatters on the frame. The chair needs to look like it wasn’t delivered from the factory to its crippled occupant 10 minutes ago.
It would really help, FBI, if your crippled plant was actually a cripple. It shouldn’t be hard to find people willing to stab their fellow cripples in the back for a few measly bucks. Just get a list of all the broke ass cripples living on Social Security and make some calls.
I imagine, FBI, that you probably won’t be slipping an agitator into a cripple activist group soon. Most cripple activist groups don’t do much more than write letters to legislators. And it’s probably not worth your time to send someone to cajole them into writing angry letters with swear words in them.
But if and when you do infiltrate us, heed my advice if you want to succeed. A professional cripple can smell an amateur a mile away.
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