Monday, January 23, 2012

The Feeble-Minded Football League

Well I guess I feel better now. At least I didn’t go to a school for the feeble minded.

Like I’ve said, the state-operated cripple boarding school from which I obtained my high school diploma is called the Illinois Children’s Hospital School. I called it the Sam Houston Institute of Technology (SHIT) because I hated the hell out of the real name. What college admissions department was going to take me seriously when my diploma said I was not just a child but a child who needed to be hospitalized?

But there used to be a whole bunch of state-operated schools called schools for the feeble minded. My favorite is the Massachusetts School for Idiotic and Feeble-Minded Youth.

So first off, what the hell’s with the judgmental names? Feeble minded? Idiotic? As if any human isn’t at some point. They could have at least had the decency to call them schools for the feeble mindedest and idioticer. Are those even words? See how feeble minded I am?

But when you’re hung with a label like feeble minded, it’s like being skunked. It’s pretty damn hard to get rid of it. By some miracle (or computer glitch), my diploma got me into Southern Illinois University. But if I went to a school for the feeble minded, even the University of Phoenix wouldn’t take me. I wouldn’t even get into that fashion design school I see commercials for when I watch the Three Stooges. (I suppose this is a moot point. Schools for the feeble minded don't sound like places from which anyone ever graduates anyway.)

We crips at the cripple school didn’t have any of the big extracurricular stuff high school students get excited about. We didn’t have a high school prom. You can argue about whether that’s good or bad, but we didn’t have one. I’m sure the same was true for the poor feebs at the feeble minded schools. Who in the outside community would step up to provide a venue for such an event? Would the local Holiday Inn be willing to have WELCOME PROM FOR THE FEEBLE MINDED posted on its marquee? Charity only goes so far.

At our cripple school, we didn’t have a yearbook. And we didn’t have a football team either. I hope they at least let them have football teams at the feeble minded schools. Hell, there were once so many schools for the feeble minded across America that they could have formed the Feeble-Minded Football League. Just about every state also had a “Lunatic Hospital” so if they too had their own football league, there could have been an annual championship game: Loonies versus Feebs. As grand a tradition as Army versus Navy.

I know it’s pie-in-the-sky to think the inmates at the schools for the feeble minded were allowed any extracurriculars. Their curriculars probably consisted of playing checkers and Go Fish and drinking warm milk laced with knockout drops. When you’re hung with a label like feeble minded, it’s like there’s a cowbell surgically attached to your tailbone. It clangs whenever you flinch, warning the villagers that the feeble minded might be on the loose.