Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Smart Ass Cripple Versus Disneyland

Every year at this time, right around the anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, you hear people carping about how after all these years the unemployment rate among cripples is still ridiculously high.

Just the other day I saw something in the newspaper about how crippled unemployment was 14.8 percent last year compared to 9.4 percent for everybody else. “Cripples have a hard time getting jobs?” I says to myself. “I could’ve told you that. I thought this was a NEWSpaper!” Hell, the crippled unemployment rate would probably be 99.999999999999999999999 percent if they didn’t count fucking store greeters.

Corporate America doesn’t have the balls to hire cripples. We’re too messy and complicated. Corporate America is too tight ass.

I’ll prove it. Ask yourself this: How many cripples in America could get a job being Mickey Mouse?

Answer: A big fat fucking zero!

Think about it. It’s probably a sweet gig bouncing around Disneyland and making public appearances all over the world dressed up as Mickey Mouse. I’m sure it’s great pay, health and dental insurance, a 401(k), the works. And being Mickey Mouse is probably a babe magnet too. What do you do for a living? Wouldn’t you rather be Mickey Mouse? Wouldn’t you have more money and sex?

But do you think Disney is going to hire a cripple to be Mickey Mouse? Ha! Mickey Mouse in a wheelchair or tapping around with a white cane? Are you insane? It wouldn’t matter whether a cripple could do the job or not. How hard can it be to be Mickey Mouse? All you have to do is wave and hug and pose for photos. Anybody can do that.

But if Mickey Mouse is crippled, children will ask questions like, “Mommy, what happened to Mickey Mouse? Why does he have a seeing-eye dog?” And Mommy will have to answer, “Well, Susie, Mickey Mouse has a genetic disorder known as retinitis pigmentosa, which means…” And then you’ve ruined their whole fucking vacation!

So there’s no way in hell Disney will take that kind of leap. They’ll say children come to Disneyland to have fun, not to be plunged into an existential crisis. But that’s just a bullshit excuse because every kid is going to have an existential crisis sooner or later. What better creature is there to break it to them softly than Mickey Mouse?

Hold on! I think I’ve just found a calling. Oh yeah, I’m going to do something useful to advance the cause of my fellow cripples by applying for a job being Mickey Mouse. I’m sure I’ll get an interview. I can wave and hug and pose for photos like a house on fire. I sure as hell am nurturing and I’m also a role model for children throughout the world. But when I show up for the interview in my motorized wheelchair, the Disney director of human resources will shit a gold brick (discreetly of course, so as not to provide evidence for a potential discrimination lawsuit).

When I’m turned down I’ll sue: Smart Ass Cripple versus Disneyland. It may go all the way to the Supreme Court.

But whether I win or lose I won’t give up until I shatter that glass ceiling. I will not rest until I’m Mickey Mouse.


  1. I love causing mental crises in small children by doing the amazing standing cripple act. I rely on a wheelchair because of paraparesis, dystonia, and an unknown progressive neurologic disorder (we are playing pin the tail on the disease). When I can't reach something in a store and there is a small child staring, I unbuckle all of my restraints and pull to a stand to grab the object. This totally mind fucks the little kid and brings me great joy. As for getting a job while crippled, hell I lost my job for becoming crippled!

  2. Here in the UK, one of the main presenters on the TV channel for very young children (Cerrie Burnell) has just one arm, despite some dumb-ass stuff being said when she started, she's brilliant at her job!

  3. Yo being a character at Disney sucks. Working in the heat in one of those costumes is a nightmare and you're not allowed to take your character's head off until you're underground. Despite them having mini-ACs inside the costumes they are hot and miserable in there.

    Plus Disney is INCREDIBLY STRICT about height + weight requirements for their characters, so crippled or not, if you're not the right height you're not gonna be a character. My friend wanted to be Alice (from Alice in Wonderland) but was rejected because her breasts were a cup size larger than they allow.

    Feel free to give it your best shot, but I doubt you could get away with trying to make it all about your disability.

  4. I don't know, man. Ed Roberts has been gone for 16 years, and he is still the leader of the club.

  5. I didn't know being crippled automatically meant you were an idiot and a complete asshole; way to represent a part of society well. Just because life is tough doesn't mean you have to rain on everyone's parade. Go try out for Cirque Du Soleil and sue them too. Thanks Roger Ebert for this link. Guys a joke -spotlight

  6. Actually, the staff at Disney parks are treated like garbage. There was a really good episode of Michael Moore's "The Awful Truth" about it (not to endorse Michael Moore, but the piece he did was quite illuminating)

  7. I'm in a bit of an existential crisis now. And I like it. Thank you for kicking me in my complacency.

  8. Agreed with the poster above who said character work can suck. Except no mini-AC's in those heads.

    As an ex-character myself, let me tell you, the pay sucks, there are no benefits (unless you get one of the rare full time gigs - which most people are there at least 5 years before that happens in the entertainment department. It's the land of "one hour short per week, so technically you're not full time.") You work all holidays and you get no vacations - need a day off? Be sure to request it at least 2 months in advance...even then you still might not get it off (I knew a person who couldn't get his wedding day approved as time off.)

    I did work with people in entertainment who would be considered "cripple" and had canes and I worked with plenty of people who had other physical disabilities (some of whom were still able to perform in certain characters) but if anyone couldn't meet the physical requirements of the character, they weren't put into those 25lb+ costumes. Those people who weren't in fuzzy costumes were still great hosts, entertainers or shift leads working as support for the characters and they were right out in front and interacting with all the park guests like anyone else.

    The audition to be a character lasts about 8 hours - if not longer, and you have to pass a few rounds of dancing and improv before you even get a chance at an interview, so if you can make it past those first cuts, go for it!

  9. Everyone walks around the Disney parks in those stupid mouse-ear hats. Who are they to judge?

  10. You're an idiot. They have guidelines for hiring characters such as hight and build. It's not discrimination. Would it be if they were casting an actor for a part in a movie? Well the lead calls for a 6'6" man in his 30s but since there's this civil disabilities act we're casting a 50 year old black woman in a wheelchair.

    You are just trying to find fault where there is none. Speaking of Disney and "cripples" I have a bone to pick. I got no problem with people who need those little carts to get around the park but whats with them getting on the bus first? 5 bus loads of people waiting to get on and up rolls a guy on his cart with his extended family. Screw those waiting for a half hour, they're first on the bus. Isn't the whole civil disabilities thing supposed to help make everything equal? that sure sounds like preferential treatment to me. They already get on the rides with no wait.

    1. On;y way to explain loading wheelchair first... As on city-bus. Sardine packed/loaded bus with standing ppl - how do you THEN load a 24-inch wide X 36 inch legth wheelchair when ppl are hip-to-hip/toe-to-toe??? Let's try out your idea and see how many ppl get feet run over, shins bumped into, etc before wheelchair turns around into forward facing direction AND bus driver has to bend over to tie-down/strap seat belt for safety with his butt all up in your face or reaching around/through your or your wife's legs cause you/she chose to stand nearest the Vacationing Cripple. Have a Magical Day!!

  11. Maybe if you don't get that you can apply for a job as a Segway instead. Just sayin'.

  12. Some anonymous folks need a sense of humor.

  13. Gosh, anonymous, I'll just bet those rides make up for all the times of not being able to do things YOU take for granted like walking, seeing, hearing, and yes, sometimes even breathing.

    But, hey, eff those cripples. Effers keep getting preferential treatment with all their fancy parking spaces and getting to go first once in awhile. Wah wah wah boohooo. You poor thing. The stress of it all must be unbearable for you. Maybe you should get some therapy. And medication. Seriously.

  14. To the guy bitching about handicapped people getting on the Disney World buses before everyone else:

    How the fuck are you supposed to load a wheelchair onto a bus overflowing with people?

  15. @Bethany In your shoes (Ha! Get it?) I wouldn't be able to resist going into fundamentalist churches, waiting for the opportune moment, and then standing up and screaming, "I'm HEALED!" Y'know, just for the shits and giggles...

  16. Wow, surprising how many people don't understand what "Smart Ass" means.

  17. as a cripple myself, I dont have any trouble finding work; I take what I can get, and rather than sitting in my chair, whining, begging, and bitching at the world, I settle for the fact that at least Im alive to enjoy my kids. Your only as "crippled" as you think you are, and you seem to have all your limbs, so you're ahead of most I know. I seen guys missing 3 limbs with severe brain damage go mountain climbing; and all you can do is whine and insult and beg on the internet? sure, your crippled, but its mostly from the neck up

  18. Jeez, people, the name of the blog is SMART ASS CRIPPLE! That means he's a SMART ASS! and he makes SMART ASS remarks! Find something real to do besides rain on his very funny and sarcastic(ever heard of it? Sarcasm?) parade.

  19. mickey isn't the "babe magnet" job, gotta go for the Jack Sparrow.

    girl- "mommy, how come Cap't Jack Sparrow is in a wheelchair and how come he has to blow in that tube to make it move"

    mommy - "well, honey, see he was fucking around doing trick dives off the plank and didn't realize the water was so shallow and snapped his neck on the bottom"

    girl - " can we get a churro?"

  20. My wife is disabled, and I can assure you that you still wait for rides. Not as long on some, but they do try to make it fair. Also just think, about owning a crippling disability where it's painful to stand, let alone walk, surrounded by people who can walk, run, jump who are constantly bitching about being healthy enough to stand in line. My wife WISHES she was healthy enough to just stand in the long line like you.

    Oh and you'll be happy to know that the California Adventure lines are wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs so there's no "super fast turbo lightning line" for disabled. Asshat.

  21. Uuum... no one has seen the Aladdin show at Disney California Adventure? There's definitely a young lady there that uses a wheelchair, and she is worked seamlessly into the show and is quite the performer.

    Seriously, smart ass or no, pick your battles.

  22. Smart Ass Cripple,
    You're setting your sights too low. Don't apply to be Mickey Mouse. Apply to be Tinkerbelle. Then you don't have to wear a hot heavy costume. Plus since all her flying is done via wires they should be able to pull you around with wires, too.

    And if they don't pick you, you can still sue (unless they picked a black girl instead of you - you might not have a case then).

  23. Smart-Ass Cripple, you're awesome. you'd think by now I would have learned that the internet is full of dumbasses, but I still manage to be amazed at people like the Anonymouses who post idiot comments.

  24. Smart Ass Cripple, I love you. You make us laugh, you make us think. I have a feeling that anonymous hater energizes you.

    Off to send non-anonymous hate-mail to John Boehner on your behalf. It's the least I can do.

    Suck it, anonymous.

  25. @ "kittens not kids," Mickey Mouse probably wishes he were one of the "Anonymouses," (or should that be "Anonymice"?) right about now.

    Smart Ass Cripple, your blog has always been and will always be the Smartest, Assiest Place on Earth. Thank you.

  26. The different wheelchair accessories makes the physically challenged people's life comfortable. They makes a lot of difference for them. For ex.
    wheelchair securement straps and wheelchair tiedowns etc.

  27. ~Sarah P.
    >>then standing up and screaming, "I'm HEALED!"
    Bwhaha, lol

    As for disables getting on rides faster, I believe they got rid of that policy some time ago, or at least instituted a policy that you wouldn't be able to get onto the ride unless you paid for one of their wheelchairs and then rode it around the park all day. Then again I haven't been to Disneyland in some time - when I found myself looking to buy sardine cans on the off-chance they might contain some fresh air inside, the park's too crowded.

    ~Pat C.
    >>Apply to be Tinkerbelle.
    I suddenly have an image of a cardboard Tinkerbell cut-out strapped to the side of a wheelchair hurling across a tight-rope hundreds of feet in the air, the motor staining to keep the chair hurtling across the line at break-neck speed.

  28. This is what happens when you combine cripples and Disney - total chaos. You can't fuck with Disney SAC; Mickey is sacred. I think you're hilarious and snarky. As a crippled vocational counselor for people w/ disabilities, I can relate to your piece in many ways. It's tough out there and despite "equal opportunity" policies, many people are afraid of what a crip will do to their Corporate image. I could go on and on and on, but in summary: You are awesome and keep up the great posts.

  29. As a former Disney character, I can definitely say the job sucks. Just like Anonymouse said (which, by the writing style, I'm pretty sure is a friend of mine lol)... there are no "mini-ac's" in the costumes, you are doomed to sweat it out in the 90+ degree weather.

    I don't know if this qualifies under your classification of crippled, but I know for a fact that Disney has hired many deaf cast members to perform in costume.

    And as for them "discriminating" against hiring cripples, it's just like any other physical job. You must be able to perform to be hired, because they will also need you to audition for shows and possibly parades in the future. So if that means that a perfectly able bodied person auditions, and they can't dance for shit, then sorry! Tough luck.

  30. Damn.... you are such an idiot.

    Wheelchair straps

  31. Remember the Disney character who died, getting hit by a float or something? I think he was playing Pluto (*singing* irony....) Never mind all the kids who cry, run, throw up, poop and pee, hit, kick, bite, and knock you in the family jewels. You might be able-bodied when you get hired -- and disabled when you get fired. By the way, I use to work for Feld Entertainment, which is close enough to Disney to spit, and I can testify -- the pay sucks, the benefits suck (even if you have them) and you get NO time off. I worked 80+ hours a week, no sick days, no vacations, no holidays -- 7 days a week. If you were sick, suck it up. The show must go on. Working for Ringling Bros actually MADE me a cripple -- I have FMS/MPS that's so severe I'm in a wheelchair half the time w/ a service dog. Disney is the anti-Christ anyway. And cripples aren't the only ones they discriminate against. Ask the Jews. *snort*

  32. OMG... the comments. Smart Ass Cripple, you're my favorite blog ever!!!! Fuck the haters!