Thursday, July 19, 2012


A revolution is coming! There’s no stopping it now! Soon will dawn that glorious day for which cripples of many generations have longed—the day when in every town and city, every village and hamlet, cripples will at long last be treated with the least possible amount of respect and dignity!

And oh what a joyous day that will be! It will be celebrated for decades to come as a day of true advancement for cripples! And it’s coming real soon. Because there’s currently a bill in Congress known as the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act (H.R. 3086). The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 allows the Department of Labor to grant employers exemptions from paying minimum wage to certain cripples within their employ. And a whole lot of businesses, both for profit and not, take the government up on that sweet deal. I looked into one of those businesses once. It was in Indiana and they paid one of their cripples 11 cents an hour.

But this bill will put an end to all those exemptions. So huzzah and hosanna! Soon cripples will live in a world where the prospect of scratching for the scraps of subsistence on the lowest economic rung will no longer be just a shimmering, tantalizing dream! Young criplets will no longer suffer from delusions of adequacy!

This has been a long time coming! The minimalist movement among cripples has been speaking out against this injustice for many, many years. I remember attending one of their annual rallies at the Washington Monument. What an inspiring day it was. Our raucous chant reverberated through the canyons of power: WE DEMAND THE MINIMUM! One cripple proudly and defiantly waived his homemade sign that proclaimed: I AM (JUST BARELY) A MAN! And I’ll never forget the arousing speeches. I practically rose from my wheelchair and roared when the cripple at the podium declared “I have a dream that someday, we will aaaaaallll be able to drink from the sweet, sweet fountain of the bare basics!”

That day is almost here! The Fair Wages Act will end all minimum wage exemptions just three years after enactment! But first it has to pass through the House and Senate. But before that can happen, it has to pass out of committee, which probably won’t happen in this Congress or the next or the next. The whole idea is still too much of a hot potato.

But when it finally does become the law of this land, cripples will ascend to our new social position, basking at the bottom of the heap.