Thursday, September 8, 2011

Arts and Crafts

Pine cones depress me. They mock me. They remind me of how dense I am and how much better my life would be had I only paid attention in arts and crafts at cripple summer camp.

Pine cones are definitive proof that I am not what anyone could remotely refer to as a visionary. Martha Stewart is a visionary. When she saw a pine cone, her pupils turned to dollar signs. She could make anything out of pine cones—a soufflĂ©, a wedding dress, a fully-functional lunar landing module. And from that she built an empire and now she’s a bazillionaire and I’m still a loser.

But I never trusted pine cones because I never trusted arts and crafts. One of the ways you were required to have fun at cripple summer camp was to go to arts and crafts. At arts and crafts your materials were stuff like pine cones and Popsicle sticks and they’d try to get you to make something out of them. But I balked because arts and crafts felt too much like therapy and even as a pup I was suspicious of therapy because therapy, by its nature, has a hidden agenda. Whenever a therapist handed us pine cones or had us toss a bean bag into a trash can or whatever, it was always a calculated move. They were trying to “develop” something in us, like our motor skills or our socialization abilities or, worst of all, our self-esteem. And somehow they thought making stuff out of pine cones was the best way to achieve that. But I was noncompliant because I feared that they were trying to “develop” me into one of those placid cripples whose self esteem is rooted in their ability to make stuff out of pine cones.

And the therapists also were always trying to get you to be “self-sufficient,” which meant they were always looking for ways to help you again do all the things you were happy you had a great excuse for not doing anymore because you were crippled, like changing light bulbs. They’d rig up your home with an elaborate pulley system that lifted you out of your wheelchair and you’d fly like Peter Pan up to light bulb level so you could once again experience the satisfaction that comes from changing your own light bulbs.

But screw that. Here’s a joke:

Q: How many cripples does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: None. You have a therapist do it.

So I ran away from anything that smacked of therapy, especially arts and crafts. But I sure regret it now, especially when every time I turn around I see crap for sale with Martha Stewart’s name on it. I was at a pet store last week and I saw a display of Martha Stewart crap for pets.

If I hadn’t been so instantly turned off by pine cones and Popsicle sticks, maybe today I’d have my own line of Smart Ass Cripple crap! I should have taken their pine cones and turned the tables on them! Like the old corny saying goes: When life hands you pine cones, make a cancer vaccine out of pine cone extract.

But I’m just an unvisionary loser.