Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pit Crew Members Say the Darndest Cute Things

Let us begin this tale with some great words of wisdom from Leonardo da Vinci:

“The penis does not obey the order of its master… The penis must be said to have its own mind.”

Truer words were never spoken. In addition to being an artist, inventor, etc., da Vinci was also a great penisologist, or whatever it is you call people who study the behavior of the penis. Because da Vinci spent a great deal of time contemplating penises, not just his own but those of other dead humans and even a mule. And in so doing he revolutionized our understanding of that random and mysterious phenomenon known as the erection.

This was probably da Vinci’s most significant contribution to humanity. And I probably never would have learned of it if I wasn’t crippled. Because I heared this fun da Vinci fact from a man named Brian Brady, who revealed it to me while he was giving me a shower. And if I wasn’t crippled, I never would have had Brian giving me a shower. Or at least the odds are against it. It’s nothing personal against Brian, it’s just that the only reason he entered my life for the purpose of giving me showers was because he was a member of my pit crew. And if I wasn’t crippled I wouldn’t need a pit crew to give me showers and such, so I wouldn’t have had a parade of young men coming in and out of my home throughout the years to give me showers. Or at least the odds are against it.

I spend so much time with my pit crew guys that we end up talking about all kinds of shit. And sometimes they say the darndest cute things. Brian was giving me a shower and somehow we got to talking about the Mona Lisa and Brian said that da Vinci also debunked the scientific belief of his time that an erection was caused by the penis filling with air, like a balloon. da Vinci came to the conclusion that this was all wrong, Brian said, after he saw a mule fucking a mare.  

So I looked it up and it’s true! da Vinci was always skeptical about the balloon theory of erection. He wrote, "Wind provides neither weight nor density but makes the flesh light and rarefied."  da Vinci was also an avid collector of human body parts and cadavers, strictly for research purposes of course. He was known to attend public beheadings so he could negotiate with the executioner for the head.

Beheadings weren’t the only public executions for which da Vinci had box seat tickets. He went to hangings too and wondered why so many hanged men remained erect long after their bodies were devoid of all oxygen. So much for the balloon theory.

And when he happened to encounter a winded but still horny mule, da Vinci wrote, "I once saw a mule that was almost unable to move, owing to the fatigue of a long journey under a heavy burden. On seeing a mare, suddenly its penis and all its muscles became so turgid that it multiplied its forces as to acquire such speed that it overtook the course of the mare, which fled before it and was obliged to obey the desires of the mule."

So now, thanks to former pit crew member Brian, in my mind da Vinci is synonymous not with the Mona Lisa but with erection.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Smart Ass 10-43

Species Homo sapiens has come up with all kinds of different names for cripples. I thought I heard them all.

But here’s a new one. When I ride Chicago Transit Authority trains, the Homo sapiens who work for CTA refer to me as a 10-43.

“I got a 10-43 at Chicago Avenue!”

A cripple shows up to ride the train. The train pulls up to the station.  The door opens. The station attendant puts down a yellow, fiberglass ramp that bridges the gap between train and platform. The cripple rolls in.   The attendant calls the attendant at the station of the cripple’s destination to alert the attendant that a cripple is approaching so be ready with the ramp.

“I got a 10-43 at Chicago Avenue!”

Some of the attendants really enjoy throwing around that 10-43 stuff. Maybe it makes them feel like a cop or a marine. Once, when the platform was crowded, the attendant walked ahead of me, clearing my path. “Everybody step back,” he said “There’s a 10-43 coming through!”

I bet I know how 10-43 came about. I bet CTA formed a committee with the mission of making recommendations on what to call crippled passengers. Cripples are really touchy about that stuff. It’s easy to piss us off. We can’t even agree on what to call each other.

Because all the commonly-used words for cripple are so tainted. You can't just say, “I got a cripple at Chicago Avenue!” That will piss some cripples off.

And you can’t say, “I got a handicapable individual at Chicago Avenue!” That will piss cripples like me off.

And you sure as hell can’t say, “I got an invalid at Chicago Avenue!” That will piss every cripple off.

No matter what you say, some cripple is gonna get pissed off. So about the only way to come up with a word that’s taint free is to coin a new one. Thus, 10-43. It’s simple. It’s to the point. It’s neutral-ish. There's no taint.

This could be a breakthrough. Because there’s a dire need in the marketplace for a universally acceptable name for cripples. There are a lot of thoughtlessly named products out there. Like once when I was in a hospital examining room, they needed to transfer me from my wheelchair to the exam table. So they rolled in this lifting device that looked like an assless hammock. And the device was called the Maxi Move

What the hell is that supposed to mean? Maxi Move? That sounds like some kind of crane constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers for the purpose of moving a beached whale! But what if they called the Maxi Move something like the 10-43 Toter? Doesn’t that sound much more civilized?

And the brand name of the wheelchair I’m sitting in is Invacare. There’s that word "invalid" again, which Miriam-Webster defines as not valid. But when used as a noun, it means crippled. Same difference. The Invacare brand is to cripples what the Washington Redskins brand is to Native Americans.  I’m surprised Invacare’s logo isn’t a cripple in traction wrapped in bandages like a mummy.

Invacare could call their wheelchairs 10-43 Mobiles instead. Nobody would balk, except maybe some eternal malcontents who might say, “I am NOT a number. I’m a human being!” For them I offer the Bronx cheer.

The more I think about this 10-43 jazz, the more I like it. It has a certain unstigmatized ring to it. Someday I might call myself a smart ass 10-43.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Defenseless Cripples

So it appears the final solution has been determined. In every U.S. state it’s now legal to carry a concealed gun.

I guess the idea is to build to a climactic shootout scene, like the fucking OK Corral, between the good guys, whomever they are, and the bad guys, whomever they are. And when the official final body count is calculated, certified and notarized, the good guys win!

Is that some kind of psycho Barney Fife shit or what?

But a fat lot of good being able to pack heat does for cripples like me who can't use our arms much. The concealed part is no problem. I can shove a gun deep down into the backpack that always hangs on the back of my wheelchair. But what happens when I have to use it, like to defend myself against a mugger? I’ll have to ask some Good Samaritan passerby to please get the gun out of my backpack. But even then I won’t be able to pull the trigger. I can’t even hold the damn gun up! So I’ll have to ask the kind Samaritan to please also shoot the mugger. I know people feel mighty charitable when they see a cripple in distress, but that’s really testing the limits.

But I have to do something to defend myself because I never want to be a defenseless cripple. And pretty soon the bad guys will figure out that the only ones who can’t shoot back are cripples like me who can’t hold up a gun. So they’ll attack us more and more.

About the only lethal weapon I could readily use would be poison blow darts.  But it has to be hands free poison blow darts, so I’ll have to rig up something like those beer drinkers’ batting helmets where there’s a beer can mounted on each side and straws running from the cans to your mouth. Except the straws will run from my mouth to dart launching cylinders atop the helmet so I can shoot poison darts with a mere puff. This will add an extra accessorizing step to my morning routine. After combing my hair, my pit crew assistant will have to dip my blow darts in deadly poison, load them into the cylinders and strap the helmet to my head.

I’ll mass produce these helmets so my fellow cripples can defend themselves in this wide open new world. Once we take down a mugger or two with poison darts, word will spread and the rest of the muggers will know not to mess with any cripple wearing a batting helmet with straws. Then, about the only cripples incapable of self-defense through lethal force will be the comatose. And so the muggers, desperate to find a new pool of defenseless victims, will break into hospitals and nursing homes looking for comatose people to mug. But the batting helmet could probably be equipped with some sort of sensors so comatose people could launch darts by using brain waves. Rigging up something like that can’t be too hard to do. I’ve heard stories about cripples operating stuff like computers and motorized wheelchairs using sensor caps and brain waves. So then the comatose person wearing one of my helmets with sensors cold just think something like “Shoot that sonuvabitch” and the darts fly! Let’s just hope the sonuvabitch they want to shoot isn’t some poor nurse’s aide who gives crappy sponge baths.

That will leave the totally brain dead as the only truly defenseless cripples. I’m afraid there’s not much I can do to help them defend themselves. We may have to throw them to the muggers.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Demand Hot Pink

The frame of Rahnee’s new wheelchair is hot pink. That’s a big deal. It wasn’t long ago that such a frivolity was severely frowned upon. Riding around in a hot pink wheelchair was considered as disrespectful as showing up to a funeral dressed like a drag queen wearing fishnets and a feather boa.

Wheelchairs came only in colors synonymous with infirmity or mourning. But then cripples started demanding jazzier color options. And so today’s criplets, when they order a wheelchair, get to choose from an ever expanding spectrum of colors with fancy names. Like for instance yellow, green and blue are called like finch, moss and cobalt.

You’re welcome, criplets.

Yes, we’ve come a long way, but there’s still much work to be done. Susan told me when she ordered a new chair, she wanted a leopard skin colored frame. But the wheelchair people told her there was no such thing, unless they made her something custom, which of course they would be more than happy to do for three or four extra buckets full of cash.

But that’s bullshit. Leopard skin should be standard, dammit. This is the 21st Century! So when the present generation of criplets emerges as a potent political force, it will be up to them to press that demand, so the criplets that follow them can have leopard skin in the standard color spectrum, as America’s founding fathers intended.

And of course there’s an even greater political frontier in dire need of conquest: upholstery. Wheelchair frames may come in all kinds of crazy colors, but the upholstery is always the blackest black. On the color spectrum, it would be called something like widow. But I dream of the day when wheelchair upholstery will come in all kinds of crazy patterns, like leopard skin, rainbow, acid trip and Picasso’s Blue Nude.

But our work still won’t be done until not only are all these choices standard but it’s all covered by Medicare and Medicaid. Right now, about the only wheelchairs Medicare and Medicaid will pay for are the ones made out of wicker and wood.

 Bringing about this policy shift will be the political frontier for the first wave of cripples who role around like cocky roosters in chairs with hot pink frames and gold sequined upholstery. They’ll be the cripple equivalent of drag queens. And they will serve the same vital political purpose as the drag queens by shaking things up, not just in polite society but among the assimilationist cripples as well. When the brash young cripples in their blaring wheelchairs show up for cripple lobby days at state capitols, the assimiliationist cripples will crap in their pants and spew their cappuccino. They know the Higher Power is easily spooked. The delicate negotiations could well be ruined by such militant upholstery.

But there’s no turning back now. Hot pink is only the start.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Free Money

As you know, I spent five of my adolescent years as an inmate in a state-operated boarding school for cripples, aka the Sam Houston Institute of Technology (SHIT).  Well I heard a rumor that one of my fellow inmates is now a multimillionaire. I checked into it to find out how the hell he managed to do that, because everyone wants to know the secrets of how the rich get rich. From what I heard, he pretty much became rich overnight. And anyone who’s really determined to get rich can do exactly what he did.

Here’s the story I heard:

My fellow inmate was born with cerebral palsy. A couple decades after leaving the cripple school, he took a vacation. He landed at the airport and a vehicle with a wheelchair lift was dispatched to take him to his destination. En route, the vehicle crashed. And because the driver did not tie down my friend’s wheelchair, he went flying, chair and all. My friend broke his neck and now he’s a cripple squared-- a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy.

But here’s the lucky part. His destination was a Vegas casino and the vehicle was the van the casino used for toting crippled guests. So I ask you, if you’re going to sue somebody for making you crippled, could you present a jury with a more unsympathetic villain than a Vegas casino? My friend collected $8 million, so I’m told.

Okay so who’s ready to get out there and strike it rich the same way my friend did? How about it? Let’s see a show of hands! Who’s with me? Anybody? Hello?

Come on! It’s easy! You’ll never have to work again! It’s free money!

There are some cripples who never worked a day in their lives and they get free money every month from the government. Anyone can get in on this scam, too. All you have to do is become crippled. You’ll receive about $550 a month from Social Security, so you’ll have just about enough cash to live a nice, spacious, wheelchair-accessible port-a-potty. Oh and in order to keep your checks coming, you also have to take a solemn vow that for the rest of your life you will remain as broke as a crack whore.

Any takers? And no, you can’t have the monthly check without the crippledness and the poverty. It’s the whole package or nothing.

Nobody? Going once, going twice...  Maybe it’s not such a sweet gig after all, eh? I know the feeling.  I’ll tell you which cripples used to make me jealous.  I’m jealous of the ones who get big fat book deals! Talk about free money! That’s got to be the sweetest gig of all! I used to think I’d do anything to land a big fat book deal. But then I heard about this guy who wrote a bestseller about how a bear ripped his face off. And it wasn’t fiction.

No thanks. I’d rather be a broke and obscure writer who never had his face ripped off by a bear.

That’s how it is with all those cripples and their free money. It surely ain’t free.