Monday, December 29, 2014

Slow Handicapped Child

I saw a sign on a quiet, suburban residential street that said Slow Handicapped Child. And that sign makes me wonder a lot of things. It’s like my blind friend who has a sign on her street that says Blind Person Area. The sign wasn’t her idea. Her mother arranged to have it put up, much to my blind friend’s embarrassment. But I wonder if there are more accidents on that block than on any other block because of that sign. Because if I was driving and I saw that sign I’d envision a blind person suddenly staggering into the street like a drunken Helen Keller so I’d slam on the brakes as a precautionary measure and probably get rear-ended. So I wonder if people freak out similarly when they see that Slow Handicapped Child sign. Or maybe they’re not sure what hell they’re supposed to do when they see a sign like that, just like no one knows what they’re supposed to do when they see those obnoxious Baby on Board signs: “Damn! I was going to randomly smash into that car but now I can't because there’s a baby on board!” Or remember when the government had that stupid color-coded terrorist threat warning system? I don’t think the threat level was ever anything other than orange but what if it ever switched to red? What the hell were we all supposed to do then? “Uh oh it’s red! That means I have to immediately….. um…….” But anyway, I wonder if the word Slow on the Slow Handicapped Child sign is intended to be an adjective referring to the Handicapped Child rather than an admonition of how to operate motor vehicles in his/her vicinity. And if so, was this Handicapped Child physically slow or mentally slow? Because when I was a criplet at cripple elementary school there were kids that were officially referred to as “slow.” But those were only the kids that were mentally “slow.” I mean, physically, I was slow as hell but nobody ever officially referred to me as slow. And nobody uses the word handicapped anymore so I wonder if the Slow Handicapped Child sign is really old and maybe the Child isn’t a child anymore. So then shouldn’t the sign be updated to read Slow Handicapped Adult? But in that case, would anyone still bother to slow down? And I wonder how one goes about getting a sign put up that says Slow Handicapped Child or Blind Person Area. If you want to get a sign put up that says Stop or Yield, I imagine you call City Hall and they have a bunch of those signs lying around in a warehouse somewhere. But there’s probably not much call for signs that say Slow Handicapped Child or Blind Person Area. That sounds like a custom-made order. Signs like that are probably made by either a) prison inmates or b) cripples in a sheltered workshop. They make a lot of license plates in those places so why not signs? Maybe the signs that say Slow Handicapped Child are made by other people who are “slow” and “handicapped.” How ironic would that be?

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Poker Chip in my Brain

When I discovered the Miracle Bidet it forever changed my life, but not in the way I expected.

The Miracle Bidet is an incredible machine that enables even the most crippled up person to wipe their own butt by simply harnessing the power of positive thinking. All you have to do is have a Miracle Bidet installed in your toilet and a computer chip implanted in your brain. Then, after doing your duty, you just focus your thoughts on the clean up and the computer chip transmits your brain waves to the sensor on the state-of-the-art bidet, triggering it to deliver a refreshing squirt of warm water to the desired region. It’s like magic!

The Miracle Bidet is the brain child of the Italian inventor Luigi Toro Merda. He said the inspiration for the Miracle Bidet came from none other than Professor Stephen Hawking. In an interview with Rolling Stoned, Toro Merda said, “I saw a documentary about this accomplished man and I said to myself, ‘There is only one thing missing in his life.’ Right then I vowed to create an invention that would empower him and others like him to do the one thing that, in spite of all the obstacles he had overcome, he still could not do. In other words, I would make him whole.”

So when word came out recently that the Miracle Bidet was ready for human trials, I eagerly and immediately signed up to be a guinea pig. I admit my motivation was strictly monetary. I was looking for a lucrative endorsement deal. My grandiose dream was to become the official spokesperson or, if you will, the face of the Miracle Bidet. If the Miracle Bidet worked for me, a guy who hasn’t wiped his own butt in more than 40 years, it could work for anyone! What an inspiring story of hope and of dignity restored that would be, like the crippled man who suddenly walks or the blind man who suddenly sees. Hell, they might even make my story into a Disney movie!

So first doctors implanted the computer chip in my brain. Two weeks later, after I fully recovered from that procedure, I attached a Miracle Bidet to my toilet and took my maiden dump. A camera was also installed in my bathroom so that back at mission control in Houston, the Miracle Bidet product research team could watch me on the giant screen as I did my business. When clean up time came, I took a deep breath to center myself. I focused my thoughts. I issued the telepathic command.


And it worked!


It worked again! Success! Rejoice! I pictured the boys at mission control throwing their papers in the air, hugging each other and popping open champagne!

But then things really got weird. What happened to me was even more miraculous than I imagined. Because I soon learned that I was part of the product test control group. That meant the surgeon had slipped me a placebo. It wasn’t a computer chip they implanted in my brain at all. It was just a poker chip! But yet I still operated the Miracle Bidet. How? Through the sheer power of desire!

This has altered my whole perspective on life. It used to be that nobody grated on my last nerve more than those cripples who preach the gospel of will power. They offer themselves as living examples of how anyone can overcome any obstacle and achieve anything if they put their mind and heart into it enough. It used to make me think, “Oh yeah? Try jumping out of the window and flapping your arms. You won’t fly, no matter how much you want to.”

But now I see that those cripples were right all along! If I can operate the Miracle Bidet using only my dogged determination, maybe I can do anything! The poker chip in my brain gave me the confidence I needed to believe in myself. That’s the most inspiring story of all! The Disney people ought to be calling me any day now.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

In the Land of Virtual Guide Dogs

I derive great comfort from knowing that many blind people still get around the old fashioned way, by using guide dogs. Because one day way back when I was in college, I went to the office where they served crippled student and there was a guy with a robot. I don’t know if he was an inventor or a robot salesman or what but the guy did a demonstration about how in the foreseeable future, robots will be able to aid cripples in all our household tasks.

It was hard to take the guy too seriously because the robot was a clunky hunk of aluminum and flashing lights that looked like it had failed an audition for the Jetsons. And about all it could do of use to me was open a door. I don’t even think it could get a beer out of the fridge. But it was sobering to consider that someday we might live in a society where robots do all the dirty, low-wage grunt work, like fighting wars and tending to the cripples. I wouldn’t like it much if all my assistants were robots. Of course robot workers do offer some advantages over some human assistants I’ve had. For one thing, robots don’t have fake grandmothers. So they won’t call me every other weekend telling me they can’t come to work because yet another of their grandmothers died. I swear to God, I don’t know how some people end up with 26 grandmothers.

But all things considered, I prefer humans. I imagine robots are pretty obstinate. There’s no negotiating with them. They’re programmed to do certain tasks and that’s it. “I am sorry but I am not programmed to do windows.” And talk about feeling uncomfortably conspicuous. Cripples get stared at enough in public, but imagine rolling down the grocery store aisle accompanied by a robot pushing your cart.

And humans are quirky too. I know that can be a pain in the ass sometimes but I would miss quirkiness if it was gone. I supposed robots could be programmed to be quirky but it wouldn’t be the same. Programmed quirkiness is an oxymoron.

Sometimes I get scared that that glorious age of fully-mechanized cripple assistance the man spoke of in the 1970s isn’t far away. Because technology is moving so fast. Pretty soon GPS will be able to do what a guide dog does. GPS can almost do it now. It can tell you exactly how to get from point A to point B but, unlike a dog, it can’t help you sidestep a pile of shit or avoid getting hit by a semi en route. And suppose there’s a 50-foot cliff between points A and B. A dog will stop and refuse to proceed. But a GPS won’t say a damn thing until after the unsuspecting blind person merrily steps over the edge. And the last words that poor, plummeting blind person will hear will be, “Recalculating! Recalculating!”

So as far as I know there is no such thing as a virtual guide dog app just yet. But there sure as hell must be a dastardly scheme to create one being carried out somewhere out there by an evil genius, one of those visionary fuckheads who can’t leave well enough alone. Don’t you just hate those types?

And when said app is perfected, guide dogs will shortly thereafter be obsolete. And then the evil visionary fuckheads will come after me and my human helpers next.

(Smart Ass Cripple is completely reader supported. Contributing to the tip jar, purchasing books and subscribing through Amazon Kindle keeps us going. Please help if you can.)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

My Exclusive Chat with Bono

It’s December and everyone is giddy and full of joyous anticipation. That’s because, as everyone knows, December is Smartass Cripple Appreciation Month (SCAM). This is the third annual SCAM, as established by President Obama in his 2012 SCAM executive order calling upon every American to “remember and honor the indispensible contributions Smartass Cripple has made to the enrichment of American society.” Thus, “government agencies, community organizations, schools, museums, cultural entities, institutes of higher learning , houses of worship and ordinary citizens are urged to organize displays, parades, exhibits, school assemblies and other events that honor Smartass Cripple.”

The president took this action for two reasons. First, it was right after he was re-elected and let’s just say he owed me big time. Second, he knows I have the worst recorded case of Attention Deficit Disorder. I can never get enough attention.

It seems the most common way people have chosen to show their appreciation for Smartass Cripple by erecting trees in their living rooms and decorating them with lights and ornaments. I’m not sure who thought of that one or how it’s supposed to show appreciation for me, but I’ll take it! Some people are organizing SCAM activities that are more smart ass in nature. For instance, throughout December, some students at the University of Northern North Dakota are wearing black armbands bearing the initials SAC. They’re mourning the fact that I’m still alive. Very funny, brats.

But here’s a big announcement. This year we have our first SCAM International Ambassador and it's the one-and-only Bono! This is truly a dream come true for him. He’s been bugging me for some time now to let him be my SCAM International Ambassador so I figured I’ll give him a shot. What have I got to lose? I recently took time out from my busy schedule to sit down and talk to him. Here’s a transcript:

SAC: Hello, Bono.

BONO: Hello, Mike! And may I say how utterly thrilled I am to meet you? I’m an enormous fan!

SAC: Please don’t gush.

BONO: Sorry.

SAC: So why are you so hot to trot about being the SCAM International Ambassador?

BONO: Well, as you know I’ve always been an activist. I’ve raised billions of dollars to feed children in Africa. But recently I had an epiphany. I thought, “Why should I raise billions of dollars to feed children in Africa when I can raise billions of dollars to feed Smartass Cripple?”

SAC: I like how you think.

BONO: So I’m organizing a huge rock concert called Smartass Cripple Aid. And I’m going urge everyone to contribute to the Feed Smartass Cripple Fund. I'll tell everyone we can ensure that Smartass Cripple gets plenty of food by contributing just two cents a day.

SAC: Wait a minute! Two cents a day? Where’d you get that figure? That sounds pretty cheap ass.

BONO: According to the World Food Pantry, two cents a day will purchase a child in Africa a full day’s supply of oat germ and bulgur wheat.

SAC: Oat germ and bulgur wheat? You call that food?

BONO: Well…

SAC: When was the last time you ordered up a heapin’ plate of oat germ and bulgur wheat? I take that back. You probably do that every day. Look, I like the pitch, just lose the two cents a day part.

BONO: Brilliant! And I shall tell everyone that I am contributing generously to the Feed Smartass Cripple Fund so they should too.

SAC. Hold on. If you put it like that people think, “Well hell, that Bono has more money than God so if he’s taking care of Smartass Cripple then I don’t have to worry about it.” Make it a challenge grant instead. Tell them you’ll give a billion dollars but only if they do first. I mean, you’ll still quietly slip me the billion either way, but this way people don’t know you let them off the hook.

BONO: Brilliant again! I wrote a song about Smartass Cripple Appreciation Month. It’s sung to the tune of Silver Bells.

SAC: Let’s hear it!

BONO: (Singing) City sidewalks busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style
In the air
There's a feeling
of Smartass Cripple Appreciation Month
Children laughing
People passing
Meeting smile after smile
and on every street corner you'll hear

Smartass Cripple Appreciation Month Smartass Cripple Appreciation Month
It's Smartass Cripple Appreciation Month time in the city
ring- a- ling hear me sing
It’s Smartass Cripple Appreciation Month.

SAC: I’m moved

(Smart Ass Cripple is completely reader supported. Contributing to the tip jar, purchasing books and subscribing through Amazon Kindle keeps us going. Please help if you can.)

Viva Stella Young

Check out this TED talk by Stella Young, who died last week.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Everybody in Heaven is a White Male or Inappropriate Things to Say at the Funerals of Oppressed Minorities

And then there was that time when a street corner preacher nearly beat the crap out me with his Bible. He was spewing the gospel and then he saw me and he said, “You better get right with Jesus or he ain’t never gonna make you walk!” What the hell kind of insulting comment was that? He might as well have walked up to me and kicked me in the balls. So I said to him, “You better get right with Jesus or he ain’t never gonna make you white!” That really pissed him off. I thought he was going to beat the crap out of me with his bible, right there on the street corner. Wouldn’t that have made a helluva headline?

But I couldn’t help it. I’d had enough. I wanted him to see how it feels. People say stuff like that when cripples die too. They come to the funeral and say to the cripple’s loved ones, “Well at least he’s not suffering anymore. He’s in heaven, where everybody can walk. He left his burdensome wheelchair behind.” Does anybody say that kind of stuff at funerals of other oppressed minorities? “Well at least he’s not suffering anymore. He’s in heaven, where everybody is white. He left his burdensome dark skin behind.” Or what about when a woman dies? “Well at least she’s not suffering anymore. She’s in heaven, where everybody is male. She left her burdensome vagina and mammaries behind.”

Or what about when a woman died in America a hundred years or so ago, before women could even vote? And suppose that woman was a suffragette. I wonder if anyone said to her loved ones at her funeral, “Well at least she’s not suffering anymore. She’s in heaven, where everybody is male. So she finally has the right to vote.” Now I know they probably don’t have elections in heaven. Or if they do God probably runs unopposed, like all good dictators do. Or maybe there are competitive elections for lesser offices like angels. I don’t know but please humor me on this one because I’m trying to make a point, okay? My point is, isn’t that a pretty fucked up concept of divine justice? God rewards you by homogenizing you, by transforming you into the superior other you failed to become in your mortal life.

If I was a praying man, my prayer wouldn’t be, “Dear God, when I get to heaven, please reward me for enduring all the shit cripples are forced to endure by making sure I’m no longer crippled.” My prayer would instead be, “Dear God, when I get to heaven, please reward me for enduring all the shit cripples are forced to endure by making sure I don’t encounter any more creatures like that street corner preacher.”

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

An Elite Twelvathlete

It’s hard to believe that Pavol Nezmysel is an elite athlete. He spent the first three years of his life in an orphanage in his native Slovakia. His biological parents abandoned him there as an infant because he was born deaf and blind and without any legs. He also has chronic eczema and is clinically depressed. Hell, with all that shit going on, who wouldn’t be depressed?

But Nezmysel was adopted by a Canadian couple, John and Mary Bland, who raised him to believe that in spite of his crippledness he could still achieve his dreams. And so he went on to become Canada’s most highly-decorated crippled athlete. But now, 20 years after arriving in Canada, Nezmysel is about to embark on a quest to accomplish what no other crippled athlete has ever accomplished before. And all the citizens of Canada are stoked with excitement and rooting hard for his success, because they know when a Canadian tries to do something big it usually doesn’t work out too well. Exhibit A: Look how they fucked up bacon.

But the biggest challenge Nezmysel faces is that it has become very hard to find something to do that no crippled athlete has done. These days cripples are even competing in the Iron Man Triathlon, where contestants swim 2.4 miles and then ride a bike 112 miles before running a 26.2-mile marathon, all within about 17 hours.

So Nezmysel has created the ultimate grueling athletic challenge known as the twelvathlon. After finishing all that wussy triathlon stuff, contestants must then dunk a basketball, kick a 40-yard field goal, jump on a horse and play a round of polo, perform figure skating and gymnastic routines, ski a grand slalom while singing the aria Ritorna vincitor! from the opera Aida and then wrestle an alligator. All this must be done within 12 hours. And in the twelfth and final event, which is perhaps the most brutal of all, contestants have five minutes to consume 50 hot dogs.

The Canadian government has announced that the first official twelvathlon will be held August 8, which is a national holiday in Canada known as “summer.” Nezmysel plans to be the first and only person to successfully complete the competition, or for that matter to even sign up for it. Right now he is relentlessly training.

But Nezmysel knows some day other cripples will successfully complete the twelvathlon and he’ll have to find a way to one-up them. That’s when he intends to become the world’s first reverse twelvathlete, which means he’ll eat the 50 hot dogs first and then go do all that other stuff.

(Smart Ass Cripple is completely reader supported. Contributing to the tip jar, purchasing books and subscribing through Amazon Kindle keeps us going. Please help if you can.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

There Once Was a Little Crippled Boy Whose Mother Found a Dog

There once was a little crippled boy whose mother found a dog. It’s was a mutt, a charcoal-gray mop of a dog, its body the size and shape of a football. Mother named the dog Binky. She said it looked like a Binky. Because the little crippled boy was a sucker for dogs, he quickly fell in love with the animal and made it his own. And the little crippled boy and his dog lived happily ever after, for about a week.

Then, one day, the doorbell rang. Mother answered the door. In walked a man with a little boy who was about the same age as the crippled boy, except this boy wasn’t crippled. The dog saw the boy and ran to him. The boy scooped up the dog and hugged him joyously. “Hello, Spike! I’m so happy I found you!” he said. The little crippled boy was sad. The man thanked the little crippled boy and the little crippled boy’s mother for taking good care of the dog. The man, the uncrippled boy and the dog all left.

But then, about an hour later, the doorbell rang again. It was the man holding the dog in his arms. The little uncrippled boy was not with him. The man told a harrowing tale about how, when they brought Spike back home, this greatly rankled the new dog the family acquired to fill the void created by Spike’s sudden departure. A vicious dogfight ensued. Therefore, the man returned Spike to the sole custody of the little crippled boy. The man wished all Godspeed and departed, never to be heard from again.

The end. Until about 20 years later, when the little crippled boy was a full—grown man (FGM). In fact, he was part of a pack of badass crippled protesters who disrupted public meetings and got arrested for blocking streets and snarling traffic. One day, whilst wistfully reminiscing with his mother about family dogs past, he remarked what a stroke of good fortune it was that Spike clashed with the previous family’s new dog. Mother shot him one of those mother looks that says, “Do you really still believe that bullshit story?” Mother then proceeded to recount from her point of view the story of the night Spike was briefly taken away. The events were exactly as the FGM remembered, except for the part where as the little uncrippled boy left with the dog, the littlie crippled boy sobbed and sobbed, almost to the point of hysteria. The FGM had no recollection of behaving in that manner. Perhaps he had blotted it out of his mind.

The FGM was mortified. As he pictured his child self crying inconsolably, he said to himself, “Damn, that was some big time Tiny Tim shit!” And he realized that somewhere on the loose out there was an uncrippled FGM who was the victim of his tantrum.

To this day, the crippled FGM still wonders and worries whatever happened to--- oh screw it! I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that the little crippled boy was me, dammit. And when that kid’s dad made him give up his dog for me, surely that tainted the kid's view of cripples for life. How did his resentment manifest itself later in life? I bet today he owns a chain of nursing homes and exacts his revenge on cripples by locking them up and intercepting their Social Security checks. Or maybe his seething, obsessive rage for cripples took the form of seething, obsessive pity for cripples. Maybe he’s one of those people on the street who drops a dollar in a passing cripple's lap like we're all beggars or who tries to cure us with the word of the Lord.

I fear my tantrum is having a destructive ripple effect on my fellow cripples even today. That Tiny Tim shit can be downright lethal.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

If I was a Little Person Watching the Kentucky Derby

If I was a little person, I don’t think I could watch the Kentucky Derby without getting all pissed off. I’d watch the winning jockey soaking in the adulation and I’d really want to celebrate the success of one of my own. But I would succumb to resentment because I couldn't ignore the potential political consequences of this moment. I’d know that somewhere out there some people are using this moment to reaffirm to themselves and others that there is no such thing as tall person privilege. In America, even a little person can make it big. All they have to do is try.

And I would know that this is all a bloody goddam lie. I’m not lazy and shiftless. I just can’t ride a horse going full gallop, which makes me like 99.9999999 per cent of little people or people in general. The existence of a few rich jockeys doesn’t let tall people off the hook for examining and dismantling the tallcentric society we live in! And now this guy wearing satin knickers and a beanie is only going to make it harder for our marginalized voices to be heard!

I know myself well enough to know that’s how I'd be. That’s one of the suckiest things about being crippled. It’s hard to cheer on your crippled brethren because doing so can be a slippery slope.

And if I was a little person, I wonder how I’d feel about robot jockeys. In the parts of the world where camel racing is a hot sport, these days the camels are almost always ridden by little robots specially designed for that purpose, instead of by little people. No doubt this will soon be the case with horse racing. If I was a little person, part of me would be saddened and outraged seeing a long line of forlorn jockeys at the unemployment office. But a part of me would say, “Welcome back to the ghetto, boys. Don’t worry, we’ll still take you in.”

But there is one employment advantage little people have over other cripples. I bet they have an easier time finding acting jobs. But that’s only because it’s a lot easier for a Hollywood producer to stick a big fucking star like Denzel Washington in a wheelchair or give him sunglasses and a white cane than it is to turn him into a little person. Although in the movie Forrest Gump they amputated the legs of Gary Sinise using computer tricks. So I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before they’ll use computer tricks to scrunch Denzel Washington down into a little person. And then Denzel Washington will win an Oscar for his amazing portrayal of Rumplestilskin.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Magical Healing Properties

Well now it appears that there’s a miracle treatment on the horizon for autistic people. But it involves consuming a shitload of broccoli.

I’m not kidding about this. It’s all true. It wouldn’t be nearly as funny if it wasn’t true. If you don’t believe me, check out the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences when it arrives in your mail. Apparently researchers fed some autistic people big doses of sulforaphane, which is found in broccoli. And a lot of these autistic guinea pigs showed dramatic improvement in their communication and social skills. I’m not sure how the researchers measured that. Maybe it was a Pygmalion sort of thing. Maybe the subjects started off all autistic and shit and after they consumed a whole bunch of broccoli over time they could recite “the rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain” and they had perfect table manners. Or maybe it was more of an instant Popeye sort of thing except with broccoli instead of spinach.

But my question is why is it that when scientists discover that a certain food has magical healing properties, it’s never a very interesting food? Why don’t they ever find magical healing properties in something like lasagna? I have nothing against broccoli. I eat a fair amount of it. And the subjects didn’t get their sulforaphane from eating tons of broccoli. They took a broccoli extract. But that’s my point. If it was lasagna, they wouldn’t have taken a lasagna extract. They would have eaten lasagna straight out.

The researchers found that once the subjects stopped consuming sulforaphane they reverted back to their old autistic ways. So now autistic people face that classic dilemma every genre of cripple faces sooner or later when some trendy cure or treatment pops up. How many flaming hoops are you willing to leap through in the name of becoming less crippled? Some cripples would eat bricks and wrestle polar bears all day if it might someday up the road make it easier for them to wiggle their toes. Some cripples wouldn’t cross the street if doing so would transform them into a track star. So how many autistic people will make the commitment to consume tons of broccoli and broccoli extract forever? That’s a big commitment.

And you know how these miracle drugs are. There’s always a huge side effect that emerges eventually. In 10 or 20 years we’ll find out that eating too much broccoli makes your scrotum fall off or something. And then a whole new breed of ambulance chasers will arise. Not too long ago I saw a big sign on the side of a city bus that said: Injured? Call 999-9999! Then I saw a big sign on the side of another city bus that said: Injured? Call 222-2222! Then I saw a big billboard that said: Injured? Call 444-4444! It seems there’s a bloody lawyer turf war going on. So maybe in 10 or 20 years on the side of a city bus we’ll see: Scrotum Fell Off? Call 666-6666!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

In a Turmoil Over the Special Olympics

I admit I’m all in a turmoil when it comes to the Special Olympics. On the one hand, there’s something anachronistically patronizing about it all. When I think of Olympic athletes, I think of Michael Phelps and LeBron James and whichever Kenyan won the last marathon. And let’s face it, if the Special Olympians took on those Olympians, the Special Olympians would get whupped.

On the other hand, so fucking what? The Special Olympics is people getting together and having fun. What’s wrong with that? Isn't having fun what sports is supposed to be all about? What kind of elitist prick am I?

On the other hand, everybody wins in the Special Olympics. If you don’t get a medal you get a ribbon or a certificate suitable for framing. And everybody gets a hug. But that’s not how life works. Everything in life isn’t one big happy tie. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Better get used to it. I’m sure Special Olympians can handle that reality. No need to shield them from it.

On the other hand, so fucking what? Isn’t that a nice break from the hypercompetitive dick-sizing that causes soccer fan riots? I don’t think there has ever been a Special Olympics fan riot. And people don’t turn over cars and set them on fire in gleeful celebration when their Special Olympics team wins either. And what wrong with ties? I call myself a socialist, don’t I? Isn’t that what socialism is all about—making sure the game ends in a tie? Or maybe that’s not what socialism is all about. I don’t know. I’m all in a turmoil.

On the other hand, if you can’t swim as fast as Michael Phelps or throw a javelin as far as Trinidad’s own Keshorn Walcott, isn’t it best to proudly own that deficiency? Because hell, there’s a whole lots of things you can do that they can’t. And you don't see them crying about it. So why try to be something you’re not? Why not be who you are? Back when I was in primary school for cripples, I was in the rhythm band. I played sticks. I banged two black wooden cylinders together. Other kids played stuff like shakers and triangles and bells on a bracelet. All the crippled kids were in the rhythm band whether we had any rhythm or not. There were spastic kids and kids with no arms. There were two kids who could only move their heads so they sat next to each other, each with a cymbal strapped to the side of their head. A teacher stood behind them and when the cymbal part came around the teacher banged their heads together. Okay, I made that last part up, but the point is neither I nor most of the cripples in the rhythm band had a lick of rhythm. I can’t even play a fucking triangle. But who cares? I’ve moved on. So why try hammering a square peg into a round hole?

On the other hand, who the hell died and left me in charge of deciding who has rhythm and who doesn’t? If you put a bell bracelet on a spastic kid and turn him loose you might hear things that give rhythm a whole new dimension. So maybe that’s what Special Olympics is trying to do. Maybe it's trying to redefine my stodgy old notion of what an athlete is. Maybe I'm the one that's stuck in the past!

On the other hand, oh hell I give up. I’m in such a turmoil.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Breaking My Father's Heart

We’re overdue for one of those father and crippled son stories in the press. One of those stories seems to pop up every year or so. Father and crippled son embark on a journey to raise awareness and inspire people. A father runs a marathon while pushing his son in a wheelchair. A father runs across the Great Plains with his crippled son strapped across his back. In towns along the way citizens hold rallies to cheer them on.

These stories make me think of my father and the relationship we had, which was pretty much zero. My dad wasn’t around much. We knew he was still alive when his monthly check arrived. One year I decided to send him a Father’s Day card. What the hell, I thought. Why not? So I set out in search of a card to express my sentiments. And boy did that turn into a task. One card said, “Happy Father’s Day to man who is always there whenever I…” Nope, can’t buy that one. Another card said, “Happy Father’s Day to a man who is my hero and…” Nope again. Nope nope nope again and again until I finally found a card that said something like, “Happy Father’s Day to a man who is… a father.”

Having a pretty much zero relationship with your old man sucks. I don’t recommend it. Don’t try it at home. But these father and crippled son stories make me realize that it had its upside. There was no chance in hell of my father ever saying, ”Hey sport, let’s run a marathon!” I’m so grateful for that, just like I’m grateful that my father never had a family business called Ervin and Son Funeral Home that he dreamed of turning over to me someday. In either case, I would have had to break my father’s heart by telling him thanks but no thanks.

I couldn’t play that crippled son role. It reminds me too much of those situations where people heap praise and admiration on me when I haven't done anything. It creeps me out. I imagine First Ladies often feel the same way. I feel like a prop. It's like back when I was a poster kid and people gushed but all I did was be crippled.

But there is one scenario under which I would have gladly let my father tote me around in public. Suppose my father received a letter from Medicaid refusing to buy me a wheelchair for any of the million reasons Medicaid might refuse to buy a cripple a wheelchair. And suppose my father then said, “Goddammit sport, I ought to strap you across my back and run across the Great Plains to raise awareness about how Medicaid fucks cripples over! We’ll call it the Look How Medicaid Fucks Cripples Over Tour!”

All along the route I would inspire citizens to grab their pitchforks and charter a bus for the capital. I’d happily be a prop for that. That would be putting my crippledness to very good use.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

FRS and Other Toxic Syndromes

Most pregnant women don’t drink alcohol anymore. That’s good. It didn’t used to be that way, but then we discovered that alcohol is toxic to fetuses and causes fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).

Most pregnant women don’t smoke during pregnancy either. That’s good too. It’s good that we’re a lot more enlightened than we once were about what’s toxic to fetuses.

But I think a lot more research in this area might be necessary. Someday we may see signs up all over the place with a black silhouette of a pregnant woman in a red circle with a diagonal red slash. Because I still often see pregnant women engaging in reckless behaviors that common sense tells me must surely be injurious to their poor fetuses. Like for instance, I was greatly alarmed when I recently saw on television a pregnant woman at a political rally for a republican! Talk about a toxic environment, with all that cynicism and paranoia! The woman was getting all frothed up too. She was jumping up and down and waiving a sign. Now surely getting all frothed up at a republican rally produces toxins in the bodily fluids that can’t be good for a fetus. I bet it stunts the growth of the fetus and greatly increases the odds that someday, when this fetus is human, it too will go to republican rallies and get all frothed up. What a terrible fate to inflict upon a child! Someday, when we are more enlightened, this will be known as fetal republican syndrome (FRS).

And I also saw a pregnant woman on television at a Celine Dion concert! That shouldn’t be allowed either, should it? Or at least not after the first trimester or so. Because fetuses aren’t stupid. They can hear what’s going on on the outside and they’re very easily traumatized. Need I say more?

And I even saw a pregnant woman coming out of a port-a-potty once. What the hell is that all about? All those noxious fumes! The fetus is probably in the womb holding its nose and pounding on the walls and screaming, “Please, please take me back to the fucking Celine Dion concert!”

But it’s still the republican thing that scares me most of all. You would think that they of all people would prohibit fetuses from attending their rallies, just to be on the safe side. But I guess they don’t want to shoot themselves in the foot when it comes to recruiting. It shows what hypocrites they are when they say how much they adore fetuses.

(Smart Ass Cripple is completely reader supported. Contributing to the tip jar, purchasing books and subscribing through Amazon Kindle keeps us going. Please help if you can.)

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Inspiring Story of the Crippled Man and His Really Hot Wife

The man on the cover of the book I saw on the rack in the hospital gift shop has no arms or legs. Not even stubs. He’s essentially just a torso with a neck and head. Fortunately for him it’s a handsome, well-groomed head.

And the head is smiling because this man is a happy man, in spite of everything. And this man has a message of hope and inspiration for us all.

You don’t even have to read the book to feel uplifted by this man. All you have to do is look at the back cover where you will see that this man has a hot wife—a very hot wife with four limbs that appear to be fully functional and exquisitely developed.

Say no more! Message received! If Joe Pedestrian sees this book it will change his worldview. The next time he passes someone on the street who is just a torso with a neck and head, his perception of that person will be much more positive. Because I think Joe Pedestrian thinks that one of the saddest things about being crippled is that they can only date their own kind. It’s like on that TV show where a little person is married to another little person. Joe Pedestrian has never seen a married little person who isn't married to another little person. Joe Pedestrian has never seen a real cripple with a hot wife on TV except for Christopher Reeve and some war vets, but that doesn’t count because they were married before the guy was crippled. They were grandfathered in. Joe Pedestrian must think it’s some kind of law or something that cripples can only date their own kind. And so a man with no arms and legs must be limited to cruising dating websites or kinky bars that are exclusively for people with no arms and legs. And that’s so sad.

But apparently that’s not the case because look at that author’s hot wife. That’s so uplifting! Joe Pedestrian never thought he’d see the day when he would actually be jealous of a man who is just a torso with a neck and head.

But there’s one other thing Joe Pedestrian can’t help but wonder about men who are just a torso with a neck and head. He can’t help but wonder if they might also be missing their….. well, you know. It’s a fair question. I wonder about that too, though I dare not say it out loud. But look at the beaming smile of the author’s hot wife. That’s the smile of a satisfied woman, which tells us that it doesn’t matter whether or not the author is missing his….. well, you know. He still has a tongue that licks, a nose that burrows, eyelashes that gently tickle and a mouth that makes motorboat noises. So he can still make women happy.

This is the most uplifting message of all. It brings Joe Pedestrian great peace of mind to know that there is always hope, even if he should lose all his limbs or suddenly become a little person or even if, God forbid, something terrible should happen to his….. well, you know.

(Smart Ass Cripple is completely reader supported. Contributing to the tip jar, purchasing books and subscribing through Amazon Kindle keeps us going. Please help if you can.)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Cops and Cripples and Cripples and Cops

I hear scary stories all the time about cripples getting roughed up at the hands of cops. Like for instance, a deaf person is driving and a cop pulls them over and the deaf person starts doing sign language and the cop assumes they’re flashing gang signs or something and roughs them up. Or someone who’s schizophrenic or has PTSD gets stressed out and has a shit fit because a cop is ordering them around and so the cop roughs them up.

It almost happened to my friend Jay way back when, way back in the 1970s, when he was a long-haired hippie freak. He was out cruising one night with his long-haired hippie freak buddies. His buddies lifted him into the front passenger seat of the car. They put his wheelchair in the trunk. Late that night in a Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot, a cop car squealed up behind them. Two cops jumped out. “Get out of the car!” they barked. Jay’s friends got out of the car. “Open the trunk!” It seemed these cops were convinced that these long-haired hippie freaks must have had three tons of cocaine in the trunk. One cop saw Jay still sitting in the car so he went around and whipped open the passenger door. “I said GET OUT OF THE CAR!” As the cop prepared to drag Jay out of the car, the trunk opened. There wasn’t three tons of cocaine. There was only a wheelchair. The other cop called his agitated partner off and they scurried away.

Some say the problem is cops don’t understand the complexity of dealing with cripples. They need more training. That may be true. But I’ll still always be afraid of the cops because no matter how extensively trained they are in the proper care and handling of cripples, there will always be some crazy scenario where they freak out and don’t know what to do. Like for instance, there’s this concert place called Lincoln Hall. It’s an old movie theater that was gut rehabbed into a concert venue. And when they gut rehabbed it they installed an “”””””elevator.”””””” I put the world elevator in six quotes because it’s really just a lift that goes up a 15 foot shaft. You roll into a lidless box that’s just big enough for a standard wheelchair and you feel like you’re in solitary confinement. And when the box goes up it sounds like gears crunching and the shaft shakes. And the box moves soooooooooooooooooooo sloooooooooooooooooowly. I swear it takes an hour to go 15 feet.

Lincoln Hall isn’t the only place with an elevator like this. And whenever I go up or down in one I dread that it’ll get stuck right in the middle and then what? The police will be summoned to rescue me but what can they do? It’s like trying to rescue a grown man in a motorized wheelchair who somehow managed to fall down a well.

Here’s the safest and simplest scenario for rescuing me: The police cut a hole in the roof of Lincoln Hall directly above the lift. A police helicopter hovers above and drops a giant U-shaped magnet attached to the end of a rope down the hole. The magnet attaches itself to the metal of my chair and the helicopter lifts me up out of the box and through the hole in the roof and sets me down gently and safely on the sidewalk outside. A crowd of gawkers has gathered as they do when there’s someone out on a ledge. They all cheer! The television news crews capture every dramatic moment on camera.

But that ain’t gonna happen. Instead some hapless and bewildered cop will lasso me and assemble every able-bodied male in the vicinity to pull on his end of the rope like they’re dragging a dead elephant out of a ravine. That’s bound to end badly.

Cops will never be totally prepared for cripples. We’re just too whacky.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The World's First Schizophrenic, Bipolar Store Mannequin

I never thought about it before but I guess it’s true. You can measure the level of inclusiveness and egalitarianism of a modern, advanced society by examining the diversity of its store mannequins.

Store mannequins pretty much all look alike except the female ones have boobs. None have genitalia. Store mannequins are all about the same height and weight. This summer the JCPenney store in Manhattan decided to shake things up by featuring some crippled mannequins in its windows, including one in a wheelchair and one double leg amputee. They weren’t the first store to do something like that. Kohl’s has had mannequins in wheelchairs before.

This was a noble and laudable attempt to challenge and radically change all the fucked up notions there are out there about cripples and our bodies. But I’m sorry to report that this grand social experiment was a giant failure. I know so because according to the JCPenney people, public reaction to the crippled mannequins was overwhelmingly positive. That’s a real shame. Because radical change never occurs without pissing somebody off. The more fucked up a notion, the harder it dies. That’s what makes it so fucked up. I believe it was Frederick Douglass who first said that.

And some notions about cripples and our bodies are so monumentally fucked up that surely they won’t die without considerable backlash. It can’t be that easy. These notions are rooted in supremacy and when supremacy feels threatened it attacks. So I would have felt much more encouraged had someone firebombed the windows featuring the crippled mannequins or busted the windows and stolen the crippled mannequins and hung them in effigy or dragged them through the town square tied to car bumpers. Then I’d know we were really getting somewhere. Then I’d know we were getting down to the root of it all.

Nevertheless, I appreciate the effort and it has inspired me to open a store of my own someday so I can pick up where JCPenney left off. I’ll feature the world’s first schizophrenic, bipolar mannequin. I’ll make a big deal out of it. I’ll have the mayor come for the great unveiling. And when the shroud is removed it’ll be just an ordinary mannequin wearing ordinary clothes. It looks just like the guy next door or the guy in the next cubicle. It looks like you and me. And maybe the assembled crowd will be pissed off at me for teasing them like that, for promising them a freak show and turning it instead into a cheap lesson on acceptance. Maybe they’ll feel so cheated that they’ll riot! Won’t that be great?

Actually, if I want to truly and accurately represent the full human spectrum of schizophrenic, bipolar people, I’ll have to have two mannequins. One of them with have to have boobs.

(Smart Ass Cripple is completely reader supported. Contributing to the tip jar, purchasing books and subscribing through Amazon Kindle keeps us going. Please help if you can.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My Life is Ruined

I’ve always known that a lot of cripples don’t trust hands-free, voice recognition technology. Voice recognition technology is half deaf. You tell your computer or phone to go to and it goes to or or or God knows where the hell else.

I know voice recognition technology can still be a pain in the ass. But I never knew it could ruin my life.

But it all began when Fiona, one of the pit crew members here at Smart Ass Cripple HQ, saw what appeared to be a cockroach in the kitchen. I called my building manager to report the roach sighting and my building manager called an exterminator.

This was right after I got my first cell phone, which is mounted in a removable bracket to my wheelchair. And the phone is trained to recognize my voice so I don’t always have to touch the screen to make calls or look stuff up. And it’s trained to ignore everything I say until I first say, “okay google now." Then the screen lights up and the phone awaits further instructions. And I tell it to call so-and-so or look up this and that and it makes a sound like “bleeeooop” and it obeys my command.

The problem is, my phone either has impacted wax in its ears or it’s not too bright or it’s possessed by a smart ass demon. Because I’ll tell it to do something like call Manny and sometimes it will first try to call Greg or Doug or Fred or Maria of Rahnee or Sullivan or my Aunt Gerry or my bank or my building manager or every damn person in the universe except Manny. And sometimes it doesn’t even wait for me to say “okay google now." Once I was talking to some people and my phone went “bleeeoop” and for some reason it performed an internet search of the words, “I’m a little girl.”

The exterminator diligently inspected my kitchen counter. My building manager and I watched from behind. I told the exterminator Fiona saw a big black bug.

“Bleeeooop!” went my phone. Except it thought I said big black butt. And it took me to a porn site displaying several pictures of large black women shaking and flaunting their bare butts. My building manager maintained a poker face and pretended like he didn’t see a thing. But I know he did. And he probably said to himself, “Damn, can’t this pervert wait five minutes until we leave?”

And that’s not the only time my phone has done that. Sometimes I tell it to go to so I can check the baseball scores. And it’s taken me to and You can imagine what those sites are like.

So now my life is ruined because we live in an age where there is no privacy. Everything you do on the internet becomes part of your permanent record, just like your grade school principal warned. It’s all forever stored in a computer of an evil spy apparatus like the NSA or Google. And anybody with the determination and wherewithal to dig it up can dig it up. So if I ever run for public office my opponent will unearth my visit to the big black butt porn site and put it in an attack ad. How will I ever defend myself? “Well you see, one day Fiona discovered a cockroach and…” Who’d believe it?

And I’ll never be able to get a job or apartment that requires a background check. The only jobs I’ll be able to get are ones where they consider the fact that I've searched the internet using the words big black butt and I'm a little girl to be a plus.

Either way my life is ruined.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I Just Want to be Treated Like the Quarterback Who Won the Super Bowl

It seems a bunch of families with crippled kids are suing Disney and dammit, I want to join them! I wonder if I could file an amicus brief on their behalf in the name of Smart Ass Cripple. That ought to help their case.

These parents are hoppin’ mad because Disney instituted new rules that make it a lot harder for crippled kids to avoid waiting in long lines for the attractions at Disney theme parks. There once was a glorious time when any family with a kid who was or claimed to be crippled could pretty much cut right to the front of Disney waiting lines. But now you have to get what’s called a Disability Access Service Card. And to get one of those you have to wait in line. One of the suing parents said she waited in line for 90 minutes to get a card for an autistic 6 year old. And then if you flash your card at one of the rides you don’t have to wait in line but you can’t just proceed ahead to ride the ride either. You’ll be given a return time based on current wait estimates and you can go wait somewhere else until that time comes. But you still have to wait.

The Disney people said they had to make this change because there were too many cases of fake cripples abusing Disney’s generosity. I don’t know if there are any confirmed cases of anyone pretending to be an autistic six year old just to avoid waiting in line.

But all this has me hoppin’ mad too. I’m vehemently against anything that undermines my ancient, unwritten right to cut to the front of waiting lines just because I’m crippled. It used to be, way back when I was a criplet, that I would be whisked to the front of just about any waiting line anywhere like I was a damn sultan or something. But in the ensuing decades activists demanded that the dominant power structure treat cripples equally with everyone else. And the dominant power structure has proven itself all too happy to meet our demand for equal treatment when it comes to waiting in line.

When I go to Disneyland or Disney Whatever, I don’t want to be treated the same as everyone else. I just want to be treated the same as the quarterback who won the Super Bowl. You know damn well the Disney people don’t make him wait in any stinkin’ line. I’m sure he prances right on in and gets a big wet tongue kiss from Goofy. No one makes him go to guest services and sign up for a Quarterback Who Won the Super Bowl Access Service Card.

If Disney prevails in court and this once-great refuge of cripple line crashing fades away like the setting sun, all those who are determined not to wait their turn in line will have to try another scam. They’ll have to fake like they’re the quarterback who won the Super Bowl.

(Smart Ass Cripple is completely reader supported. Contributing to the tip jar, purchasing books and subscribing through Amazon Kindle keeps us going. Please help if you can.)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Smart Ass Cripple Celebrity Challenge (Inspired by Petty Jealousy)

The people who thought up this Lou Gehrig’s disease Ice Bucket Challenge thing sure had a rare stroke of genius. It sounds like the kind of brilliant idea a stoner would have while really stoned. And then upon further reflection the next day, in a state of sobriety, it still really is a brilliant idea. That’s what makes it so rare.

“Hey guys, I got an idea. Let’s get a celebrity to dump a bucket of cold water over their head and then give us money to do it!” And the guilt/peer-pressure card is brilliantly played too. Who is going to say no to a challenge and come off looking like a soulless, Lou-Gehrig’s-disease-lovin’ Scrooge?

The goal is to raise money and awareness re Lou Gehrig’s disease. Money’s good. Can’t have enough of that. I’m not sure how necessary the awareness part is. Everybody knows about Lou Gehrig’s disease. Lou Gehrig pretty much took care of that part.

But anyway, my reaction to this brilliant idea that I didn’t think up is the same as my reaction to all brilliant ideas that I didn’t think up. I’m consumed with petty jealousy. But that's okay because petty jealousy is a powerful motivating force in my life. In this case, it has made me single-mindedly determined to come up with my own even brillianter idea to raise tons of money and awareness for the Feed Smart Ass Cripple Fund. Thus, I’ve been getting stoned a whole lot lately. But I believe I’ve struck gold!

Announcing the Smart Ass Cripple Celebrity Set Yourself on Fire Challenge! It works just like the ice bucket thing except the celebrity donates money to the Feed Smart Ass Cripple Fund instead of to Lou Gehrig. And instead of dumping ice water over their heads they dump gasoline over their heads and then set themselves on fire.

Oh and another difference is that after a celebrity completes my challenge, I get to issue the next challenge. I’ve also thought long and hard (while stoned) about the perfect celebrity for me to issue my first challenge. And I’ve decided it should be none other than Bill O’Reilly! He’s the perfect choice, since he is such a well-known symbol of that smug libertarian mentality that thinks the proper response to inequality is charity. Here’s his chance to give ‘til it hurts!

So come on, Bill. I challenge thee! Consider this to be a slap across your cheek with my glove! Imagine how many zillions of hits an internet video of you accepting my challenge will get. You’ll be a real hero!

And after O’Reilly, next up will be Sarah Palin and then Le Grand Douchebag Trump. And pretty soon Smart Ass Cripple will have raised a ton of money and awareness. I don’t even care about the awareness part. As long as people give me money, I don’t care if they know what it’s for. As a matter of fact, it’s probably best if they don’t know.

Contact Bill and tell him to accept the Smart Ass Cripple Celebrity Set Yourself on Fire Challenge at

(Smart Ass Cripple is completely reader supported. Contributing to the tip jar, purchasing books and subscribing through Amazon Kindle keeps us going. Please help if you can.)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Smart Ass Friend With Circus Mirrors

Someone is playing a mean and elaborate joke on me. I bet it’s one of my smart ass friends.

It seems like every mirror I pass these days is a circus mirror. And these circus mirrors make me look like a crippled old man. There I am looking all Picassoesque—twisted and refracted. Or I look limp and amorphous like those melting Salvador Dali clocks. I look like I’m about to ooze right on out of my wheelchair onto the floor like a blob of dough with two terrified eyeballs bobbing and floating on top.

The circus mirror distorts who I really am. It makes me look as if I have one of those ballooned-out bellies quadriplegics develop over time. It makes me look surreal.

But I know it’s all a sick joke because I don’t really look like that. In my mind’s eye I’m sturdy and upright and clear-eyed and strong. And my mind’s eye wouldn’t lie. It’s amazing how my smart ass friend keeps one step ahead of me. It’s like he/she knows exactly where I’m going and just before I get there she/he replaces whichever mirror used to be there with a circus mirror. Like the other day I went to one of those fancy high-rises where the elevators are full of mirrors. And all the mirrors had been replaced with circus mirrors. And when I see myself looking all squiggly in the circus mirror it’s a jolt, just like it’s a jolt when you hear your recorded voice. And you know that can’t possibly be your voice because that recorded voice doesn’t sound anything like your real voice sounds when listening to it from inside your own head.

I don’t know what my smart ass friend is trying to accomplish. Maybe he/he is trying to make me feel like I’m one of those crippled old men that were in the adult cabins at Jerry Lewis Summer Camp when I was a kid. Those were some starchy old dudes. But I’m not one of them! I mean sure, I’m about the same age now that they were then but that’s not the point, dammit!

If I want someone to make me feel like a crippled old man I’ll go see a doctor who specializes in my specific type of crippledness. Those kinds of doctors love to remind cripples how crippled we are, just in case we forgot. The doctor orders a series of tests and then the conversation goes pretty much like this:

DOCTOR: Well, the results are in from all your tests and it’s pretty clear that you’re a crippled old man.

ME: I want a second opinion!

That’s why I avoid going to doctors who specialize in my specific type of crippledness. For me, the key to survival as a crippled old man is to mightily deny I’m a crippled old man for as long as I possibly can. If I convince myself that I’m a crippled old man, I might start acting like one. And I fear it’s all downhill from there

Friday, August 22, 2014

Spontaneous Combustion and Other Perils

There are two kinds of cripples in the world: 1) those that try to ride up and down escalators in their wheelchairs and 2) everybody else.

I belong firmly, squarely and resolutely in the latter category. If I feel like engaging in high-risk behavior that puts my life on the line, I don’t have to pop and maintain a wheelie on an escalator. All I have to do is any one of the following:

Call a cripple cab. You never know. I might get picked up by that cab driver named Madame Curie (Smart Ass Cripple alias.) Madame Curie dresses like a lumberjack. Whenever she picks me up, she hugs me and says something like, “I’m so happy to see you, sweetie! How are you, honey? God really blessed me by sending me here to pick you up today!” And then she loads me into her cripple cab and squeals away from the curb like we just robbed a bank. And sooner or later she gets into a near-miss rear-end or broadside or sideswipe situation with another driver and she rolls down the window and screams something like, “YOU STUPID ASSHOLE! CAN’T YOU SEE I’M DRIVING THE HANDICAPPED HERE? ROT IN HELL YOU SCUM!” And then Madame Curie turns to me and says, “Are you okay, precious?”

Ride the rapid transit train. You never know. One time the blue line train was merrily rolling through one of the tunnels downtown and a fire broke out. And so they evacuated the train by sending all the passengers down this emergency escape walkway in the dark tunnel. But that walkway is about a foot wide. It ain’t hardly cripple friendly. If I would have been on that train, I would have been just plain screwed.

Sit quietly in my wheelchair. You never know. My motorized wheelchair might spontaneously combust. Hey, it happens. I hear stories about it all the time. There was a guy in San Antonio last year who got so damn sick of waiting for Medicare to buy him a motorized chair that his family bought him one at a flea market. And then the damn thing caught on fire. A few years back, the company that makes my wheelchair had to recall a whole bunch of chairs because some caught on fire out of the blue.

Go to bed. You never know. Hospital beds have also been known to spontaneously combust. Between 1993 and 2003, the Food and Drug Administration received 95 reports of electric hospital beds bursting into flames because of shorts or fucked up power cords or too much dust in the mechanical parts or whatever. So when a cripple like me gets out of bed in the morning, we say to ourselves, “Whew! Thank God I survived another night of sound and peaceful sleep!”

Who the hell needs escalators? A cripple like me can tempt fate and flirt with death without even getting out of bed.

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Call to Arms!

As a lifelong, card–carrying, USDA-approved member of the crippled race, I must say I’m delighted to see that it’s getting easier and easier for ordinary U.S. citizens to carry loaded guns. I feel safer than I’ve ever felt before!

I used to be afraid of paranoid people. In fact, I was so afraid of paranoid people that I rarely left the house. Because paranoid people are all over the place and they’re sneaky. You never know who just might be one. The guy in line ahead of me in the grocery store might be paranoid. The UPS guy might be paranoid. Hell, my dog might even be paranoid. And you never know when a paranoid person might have a gun and start shooting the place up. So since I can’t avoid paranoid people, at least now I can arm myself against them. And now I don’t have to be afraid to go out of the house.

And let’s face it, you can’t always count on the police. There are just too many criminals and too few police. It always has been that way and it always will be. It says so in the Bible. But when I have my gun, I can do the job of the police for them. For instance, if I hear on the news that the police are looking for a young black man of average height and build, I take my gun and go out looking for one myself. And it never takes me long to find one.

I’m particularly inspired and gratified when I see bold, patriotic citizens who display their loaded firearms in public. They go to movies and restaurants with automatic rifles strapped across their backs. I told my blind friends about this and they’re so excited that they’re going to do the same. Because blind people are the easiest targets of all for criminals on the streets and these blind people are sick of being passive victims. They’re fighting back! So they’re going to go around with loaded automatic rifles strapped across their backs. That will make those damn criminals think twice!

I know some pimple-faced little pissy liberals will scream about all this. But I’ll tell them to go blow a horse because the Constitution is on my side. The Second Amendment is absolute! It says every citizen has a right to carry around every loaded gun they can get their hands on. Period! It doesn’t say “every citizen except cripples and blind people.“ Not even children are exempted. If you’re old enough to pull the trigger, you’re old enough to carry a gun. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and if everybody is carrying a loaded gun except blind people and cripples, then cowardly criminals will prey all the time on blind people and cripples.

I’m sure my gun-loving brothers and sisters who are not crippled will back me up on this one, eh? I’m sure when my blind friends march through town proudly brandishing their loaded rifles, these patriots will march with them in solidarity, shoulder to shoulder. We know who our friends are.

(Smart Ass Cripple is completely reader supported. Contributing to the tip jar, purchasing books and subscribing through Amazon Kindle keeps us going. Please help if you can.)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Smart Ass Cripple's Perfect Secret Plan for Kissing the Government Teat Goodbye

I just had a revelation! Up until just now, I was always convinced that there was no way I would ever be rich enough to afford to pay for all the cripple stuff I need, like assistance and contraptions. I resigned myself to a lifetime of sucking the government teat and all the bureaucratic degradation that comes with it.

But I just had a revelation! I don’t have an aversion to being rich. I just have an aversion to doing all the shit one usually has to do to become rich. I’m terrified I’ll turn into a miserable, greedy shithead like Trump. If I could win the lottery or cash in at the roulette table or something, then I’d be super cool with being rich. Winning the lottery is the American dream. I don’t care what they told us in school, the American dream isn’t working your ass off so you can be rich. Who wouldn’t skip the working your ass off part if they could?

But I have discovered a way to put my talents to use to make myself fabulously wealthy. It requires no moral compromise on my part and, if I really put my heart into it, it should pay off pretty quick. However, I will need investors because there will be significant start-up costs. But I am supremely confident that the return on their investment will be swift and sweet. I believe in myself.

I will use the money my investors put up to purchase courtside tickets for NBA basketball games. And from that perch I will heckle the hell out of LeBron James. I will follow him everywhere he goes and heckle him hard. And I have faith that sooner rather than later he will snap, charge into the stands like an agitated antelope and strangle me. And that will be the money shot—a video of LeBron strangling a poor wheelchair cripple. Note how the cripple’s eye pupils are shaped like dollar signs.

And that video will go so viral that CDC will have to step in and quarantine it. And I’ll be sure to wear a cervical collar during my press conferences with my barracuda lawyers. And I’ll eventually agree to a hefty out-of-court settlement. And I’ll be set for life. And I’ll tell the government to kiss my ass!

It’s nothing personal against LeBron. It’s just business. He’s the one who happens to be sitting on a mountain of money. But if by some miracle he has the iron will and Zen-like composure it takes to absorb my barbs and walk away, I’ll start hanging around golf courses and heckling Tiger Woods. It doesn’t take much for a heckler to fuck up a golfer. All you have to do, pretty much, is sneeze or fart or crack your knuckles at precisely the right time. It shouldn’t be long before Tiger boils over with rage and wraps a nine iron around my skull.

Basketball season is coming soon. I’m so excited! I can’t wait to embark upon this new chapter of my life!

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Human Spirit

There’s a certain look cripples like me often get from uncrippled people we pass on the streets. The people shooting us the look don’t think we notice but we do. And we know exactly what that look means. We’ve seen it a thousand times.

It’s a look that combines equal parts pity and fear with a pinch of panic. And what that look says is, “Damn, I bet that poor sap can’t even jerk off.”

Now it would be foolish for me to attempt to put forth the rosy facade that having limited or no use of one’s hands and arms doesn't present any significant challenges in the arena of self pleasuring. It does. And the free market has done little to address the problem. When cripples need assistance in carrying out our activities of daily living, we often turn to assistive technology. And I swear to God there is a piece of cripple technology designed to assist in executing every imaginable ADL from nose picking to screwing in light bulbs. But I don’t know of any cripple technology that is primarily designed to assist in the execution of self pleasuring, which is something I don’t understand at all. Why is there this universal assumption that cripples are the only humans for whom self pleasuring is not an activity of daily living, or at least an activity of two-or-three-times-a-weekly living?

And traditional sex toys aren’t much help either. They’re either too heavy or too bulky or the on/off switch is too tight or whatever. Mainstream sex toys aren’t designed with people who can’t use their arms in mind, which is another thing I don’t understand. Here we are nearly 25 years after the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act and there still isn’t anything on the market like a vibrating dildo that is operated by voice command. But why the hell not? Was the sex toy industry exempted or grandfathered out of the ADA? Surely we have the technology to create such a device. All we lack is the political will! Somebody ought to sue! Don’t get me started on this subject!

But even though the deck is decidedly stacked against many cripples when it comes to self pleasuring, cripples are nothing if not inventive. I cannot speak for the women, but I’m here to tell you that men can execute this ADL hands-free. It works sort of like meditation. You sit quietly and concentrate all your attention and energy on a single point of focus until you achieve a state of exhilarating release. Like meditation, this technique takes time and devotion to master. And it doesn’t always work. Sometimes you just fall asleep. But with perseverance, it can be done.

When I get that look on the street, I feel like taking the pedestrian aside and telling them I know what they’re afraid of but rest assured-- if they ever become crippled like me all hope is not lost. And then I’ll tell them what I just told you. It’s another example of the triumph of the human spirit. That ought to make them feel better.

Friday, July 25, 2014


When the crippled beggar up there on Congress Street shakes his paper cup, the jingle jangle is rich and resonant. It sounds like his business is booming.

Or maybe it’s a front, like when your real estate agent pulls up in a BMW he/she can’t begin to afford, just so you’ll think he/she is super successful. Maybe the beggar’s cup is full of rocks and bottle caps just so he’ll sound like he's a super successful beggar. But then again, you would think that a crippled beggar trying to drum up business would put up the opposite front. I’m more inclined to feel obligated to fill a cup that sounds empty.

I have to admit that sometimes I’ve been tempted to take up crippled begging. It’s a quick and easy way to become an independent businessman. No start-up costs. No lining up of investors. No overhead. All you need is a paper cup and, if you really want to get fancy, a scrap of cardboard and a pencil. I can set my own hours. No office politics. Some folks say begging is demeaning, which I suppose is true. But so was a lot of other stuff I was hooked up with by the vocational rehab agencies that help cripples find jobs. One time way back when I was sent on a telemarketing interview for Time-Life books. The interviewer had me do a mock phone call. I read from a script announcing the exciting news about the new volume in our series of books entitled The Old West. This volume was The Gunfighters and it was “handsomely bound in genuine simulated leather.”

But anyway, the best indicator that the profit margins in cripple begging still aren’t that high is the fact that nobody appears to be shaking crippled beggars down. I haven’t seen or heard anything about mafia thugs approaching crippled beggars and demanding a cut of the take. And I haven’t heard reports of crippled beggars on corners being gunned down in drive-by shootings because they refused to play along.

If there was big money to be made in cripple begging, you know this would be going on. And there would be competing begging cartels, each headed by an uncrippled kingpin controlling his/her own batch of crippled beggars. Sort of like a pimp. And there would be bloody turf wars with the kingpins battling for control of lucrative begging corners.

Either that or crippled beggars would get shaken down in a more legal and civilized manner. Some shrewd entrepreneur, smelling an untapped profit center, would enter into an exclusive begging franchise agreement with the city council. And then crippled begging would become tightly regulated. Any crippled beggar (franchisee) would have to sign a contract with the shrewd entrepreneur (franchisor). The cripple agrees to pay all fees associated with acquiring a crippled beggar franchise plus a percentage of the monthly proceeds to the franchisor in exchange for the right to beg on a certain corner. Sort of like a pimp.

But so far you don't hear much about this stuff happening. So far crippled beggars are pretty much allowed to set up shop wherever they want and everybody leaves them alone, which makes it all the more tempting to become one.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

African History Dropout

I was about 14 or so and my mother was hoppin’ mad. She found the taboo adult literature I was hiding. I thought it was in a safe hiding place, buried way down deep in the underwear drawer of my nightstand in my room at the state-operated boarding school for cripples, which I affectionately refer to as the Sam Houston Institute of Technology (SHIT).

My mother demanded to know how an adolescent cripple in a sheltered environment like SHIT could have acquired such adult reading material. It was not one but two books. One was On Contradiction by Mao Tse Tung. The other was Mao’s Little Red Book.

I cracked under the heat of interrogation and confessed that one of the houseparents, which is what they called the aides at SHIT, slipped the books to me on the sly. The houseparent was Brady, the guy with the big Afro haircut. Brady looked like the kind of guy the people in my snow white neighborhood referred to at the time as a “black militant.” (Note: The more worldly people in my neighborhood, such as my mother, acknowledged that not all black people were black militants. There were some blacks who had jobs, kept up their property and looked after their kids. These blacks were “the good ones.”)

My mother confiscated the books, lest I fall under the corrupting communist influence of the black militants. I didn’t tell her that it was too late. I dared not say so when I went back home to the neighborhood but I thought the black militants were super cool. And it didn’t have anything to do with the Mao books. I didn’t understand them. I just thought the way the black militants protested was so cool. I wasn’t even sure what they were protesting about but it was so cool.

In fact, I really wanted to BE a black militant. And it pained me greatly to know that I would never be able to achieve that revered status, just because I happened to be born the wrong color. So I did the next best thing. I took part in a student protest at SHIT demanding that an African history course be added to the curriculum. There were a lot of student protests in those days demanding African history courses so some SHIT students organized one too.

The SHIT principal responded very shrewdly by giving us exactly what we asked for. African history was added to the curriculum. I signed up right away. But the first indication that our great protest triumph would go terribly wrong came when Mr. Bodean, our regular history teacher, was assigned to teach the class. That wasn’t how it was supposed to work. African history was supposed to be taught by someone who looked like Cornel West or Frederick Douglass. But Bodean was white. He was way smart, too smart to be teaching at SHIT. He should have been teaching at Harvard or something but he was crippled. He had an enormous bald head and he walked funny. He’d be walking along just fine and all of a sudden his feet would skip a little. It was as if his feet were fucking with him just for a laugh. In those days, about the only place a guy who was crippled like Bodean could get a teaching job was at a place like SHIT.

And Bodean had a really screwy idea of what an African history course was supposed to be about. He thought it was supposed to be about the history of the continent of Africa. What a goofball! He never once talked about the protesting black militants. One day Bodean’s lecture was about indigenous crops of Rhodesia, or one of those 12 million African countries. At the top of the hour, he talked about millet and sorghum. I fell asleep. I work up at the end of the hour. He was still talking about millet and sorghum.

I dropped out of African history.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Cripple with a Care Plan

There are two kinds of cripples: 1) Those have a care plan and 2) those that don’t.

The ones that don’t have a care plan are the truly liberated cripples. Whenever I see one of those wheelchair athlete cripples with upper body muscles like a juiced-up lumberjack, I say to myself, “I bet she doesn’t have a stinkin’ care plan!” It’s the same with the rich cripples, who ride around in their chauffeured, air conditioned, amphibious, fabulous flying cripple vans. Nobody makes them have a care plan either.

Cripples who live in nursing homes, however, are the most unliberated cripples of all. And they have care plans up the ass. I have a friend in a nursing home and he asked me to come to the meeting where the nurses, therapists and social workers put together his care plan. Now the thing about care plans put together by nurses, therapist and social workers is that they always contain lots of goals, but it’s never about anything fun or interesting. It's never about anything that's good for the soul. Getting blotto drug and waking up in a tattoo parlor in Reno is never a goal on these care plans. Trying to get laid is never a goal on these care plans. But why not? If every adult human was required to submit a self-care plan to the state, trying to get laid would be a high-priority goal on pretty much every one. The care plan for my friend in the nursing home contained goals like getting up out of his wheelchair and walking 20 feet down the hall twice a week and socializing more with his neighbors and some such stuff I don’t even remember. All I know is that the goals of his nursing home care plan were way different than the goals of his personal self-care plan would be.

I’m one of those cripples with a care plan, which places me more among the unliberated cripples than not. I’ve been required to have a care plan pretty much my whole life. First it was because I was an inmate in a state-operated boarding school for cripples. Now it’s because the state pays the wages of my pit crew, which is what I call the guys who get me dressed, put me on the crapper, etc. Thus, I am required to have a care plan. Except in this case it’s called a service plan. My service plan allots me X number of hours per month for getting dressed and X number of hours per month for taking a leak and so on. It does not allot me any hours for getting blotto drug and waking up in a tattoo parlor in Reno or for trying to get laid.

The lumberjack cripples don’t need a pit crew and the rich cripples can afford to pay their own. I guess I’ll always be a cripple with a care plan unless I suddenly get either rich or cured. I know for sure one of those things is never ever going to happen. So I’ll just keep hoping I get cured.

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

I Have Naked Issues, Dammit!

There’s this annual event called the World Naked Bike Ride. Thousands of people all over the world ride their bikes en masse and in public, naked. It’s meant to be a political statement in rejection of pollution caused by vehicles and also of body shame.

Every year I think about joining my local ride. I think it could be therapeutic for me to merge into the pack riding along naked in my motorized wheelchair. I wish I could be free and easy with my naked body like that, but I can’t. I have naked issues, dammit!

But who could blame me? Remember, I’m a graduate of a state-operated boarding school for cripples, which I affectionately refer to as the Sam Houston Institute of Technology (SHIT). It’s pretty near impossible to escape a place like that without having naked issues.

I’m real particular about who gets to see me naked. I can be a real Nazi about it sometimes. It’s not a shame thing. I’m not ashamed of my body. Why should I be? My body hasn’t done anything wrong. It hasn’t committed any heinous crimes, unless I made it do so.

My naked issues are more of a political thing. As inmates at SHIT, anybody might see us naked at any time. Like one of the houseparents, which is what they called the aides, might be getting you dressed or undressed in your room and God knows who might prance on in. No knock no nothing. Maybe another houseparent or a nurse or a janitor emptying the trash can. Or sometimes they’d line us up naked in the bathtub room, waiting for our turn to be put in the tub.

And then there were the “clinical sessions” at SHIT. We didn’t have to get naked for those but I sure felt like I was naked, psychologically. We’d wait in the hall outside the physical therapy gym wearing only underwear and a robe. And then they’d call us into the gym one-by-one and have us do something like walk in the parallel bars while a bunch of observers looked on and took notes. The observers were doctors and therapists and nurses and houseparents and social workers and teachers and I swear I saw some food service people in there observing once. Probably not really, but that’s what it felt like.

I didn’t gain full control over who sees me naked until I got to college. (Ironically, during my college days, I soon discovered that not too many people wanted to see me naked anyway, but that’s another story.) To this day somebody on my pit crew sees me naked every day, either when they help me go to bed or help me get up. But at least I determine who those people are. Before someone gets to see me naked, they must go through a process (spoken or unspoken) which goes something like:

PERSON: Request permission to see you naked, sir!

ME: Permission granted.

Once permission is obtained it is blanket unless rescinded.

If I ever get up the balls to join the bike ride I won’t do it alone. Because bikes are much faster than motorized wheelchairs and after about a half a block I’d be left in the dust and there I’d be in the middle of the public plaza, alone and naked in my wheelchair. And that would surely whip up a whole new grizzly batch of naked issues for me.

What I need to do first is organize a simultaneous World Naked Wheelchair Ride in solidarity. That ought to turn some heads.

(Smart Ass Cripple is completely reader supported. Contributing to the tip jar, purchasing books and subscribing through Amazon Kindle keeps us going. Please help if you can.)

Friday, June 27, 2014


I am not a visionary. It’s hard to admit but it's true. A visionary to me is the guy who invented urinal cakes. One day he was in a public bathroom just merrily pissing away when all of a sudden a light bulb lit up in his head. And then he was visionary enough to follow through, to assemble a team of scientists with the expertise to turn his urinal cake vision into reality, to build a urinal cake manufacturing facility and to press on despite the inevitable ridicule of the small-minded naysayers. And thus he became a urinal cake tycoon.

There are evil visionaries too, like Stalin and the guy who thought up the idea for Hooters. One day he was sitting around thinking, “If I only had the right gimmick, I could sell these crappy-ass chicken wings by the boatload.” And a diabolical light bulb lit up in his head.

Some people are visionary only about certain things. I guess they could be called visionary savants. Like I have a friend who loves to get stoned. He gets stoned pretty much every day. If he doesn’t have papers or a pipe handy, he can make a pipe out of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. I saw him bore a couple of intersecting holes into an apple and convert it into a pipe. But he says he could do the same with a potato or most any hard vegetable like jicama, sweet potatoes, maybe even an eggplant or a very large radish. He could probably even turn a banana into a pipe if he was desperate enough. Probably not a grape.

Some cripples are visionary as all hell when it comes to solving their own cripple problems. They drop their keys on the floor and there's nobody around to pick them up so they say to themselves, “Hmmm. How can I solve this cripple problem and in so doing make life easier for my fellow cripples?” And then they invent something like a satellite-powered, voice-activated suction hose with which to pick up keys. Ralph Braun was one of those visionary cripples. When he became too crippled to push his wheelchair in the early 1960s, there were no motorized wheelchairs. So he invented a motorized wheelchair for himself. It looked like a humongous, car-battery-operated skateboard with a seat mounted on top. And a few years later, when he wanted to be able to drive a vehicle while sitting in his wheelchair, he bought an old mail truck and rigged it up with a homemade wheelchair lift to hoist him and his chair up and in. From there Ralph Braun went into the vehicle conversion business. That's why, whenever you see a wheelchair-accessible minivan on the road, you’ll probably see the name Braun on it somewhere. Ralph Braun died a wealthy, happy man.

I’m not visionary at all when it comes to solving my own cripple problems. When faced with a cripple problem, such as dropping my keys on the floor, I say to myself, “Fuck it. Have a beer.” And I have a beer while I wait for someone who can bend to come around and pick up my keys.

I’ll never invent anything useful for my fellow cripples because I don’t think I’ll ever transcend “Fuck it. Have a beer.” I’m permanently stuck in my unvisionary rut.

(Smart Ass Cripple is completely reader supported. Contributing to the tip jar, purchasing books and subscribing through Amazon Kindle keeps us going. Please help if you can.)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sex, Drugs, Money, Bodily Waste, Flatulence, Death and Cripples (to Name a Few)

Slang. Humans need slang. Humans would have a hard time coping with the vastness of life if there was no slang.

Humans need slang to defend ourselves. We turn to slang to help us deal with those phenomena in life that are just too real, those things that frighten us because they are overwhelmingly alluring or repulsive or, paradoxically, both. We can’t avoid or eliminate these dangerous things so we have to try to define them. Thus, we have to make them digestible. Slang is the enzyme that breaks them down. Slang demystifies. Slang ridicules and eviscerates. Slang sanitizes. Slang satirizes.

Some examples (to name a few):

Sex. Sex = fucking, humping, screwing, grinding, getting laid, doing the nasty, doing “it,” etc. Body parts associated with sex = dick, cock, wanger, pee pee, joystick, pussy, beaver (archaic), muff, love canal, tits, boobs, jugs, casaba melons, hooters, etc. Masturbation (male only) = jacking off, jerking off, tugging, pulling taffy. waxing the whale, spanking the monkey, etc.

Drugs. Drugs = crack, smack, meth, pot, weed, grass, percs, vikes, booze, brewskis, etc.

Money. Money = cash, bucks, bananas, bills, bones, Benjamins, clams, smackers, smackaroos, samolians, etc

Bodily waste. Bodily waste = shit, piss, pee pee, crap, turd, doo doo, dookie, poop, etc. The act of eliminating bodily waste = taking a dump, crap, leak, whiz, etc; going bowling, pinching a loaf, retiring to the library, making a boo boo, etc.

Flatulence: Flatulence = farting, passing gas, breaking wind, squeezing out an SBD, singing soprano, etc,

Death. To die is to pass, pass away, pass on, transcend, met your maker, expire, move to a better place, croak, kick the bucket, cash in your chips, etc.

Cripples. Cripples = disabled, cripples, gimps, handicapped, lame, differently-abled, handi-capable, physically challenged, mentally challenged, visually challenged, physically impaired, mentally impaired, visually impaired, the “r” word, invalids, etc.

What does all this say about cripples? I know it says something. Something big. Hell if I know what.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Autism Hat

I see where the Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning that there are a lot of fake products and therapies popping up that claim to treat or cure autism.

I never knew there was so much big money in curing autism. And now I feel like a real chump because I can see that I was suckered by one of these autism snake oil pitchmen. I should have known better. The commercial about the new miracle cure for autism that reeled me in came on during the Three Stooges. When researchers at Johns Hopkins University find a miracle cure for something, I don’t think the next thing they say is, “Now let’s announce this to the whole world by putting a commercial on the Three Stooges!”

It was a commercial for the amazing new autism hat. Just put it on and your autism is gone! The breathlessly excited announcer said, “Do you have autism? Are you embarrassed? Well your troubles are over thanks to the amazing autism hat!”

I must admit the autism hat looked rather dopey. It looked like a 10-gallon cowboy hat with two radio antennae protruding from the top. Wearing it in public would certainly make a person conspicuous. But I guess anything’s better than having autism, right?

And the testimonials on the commercial were compelling. There was a smiling man wearing an autism hat. He looked like a regular Joe. And then he said, “I have Asperger Syndrome. But when I wear my autism hat, I’m a normal person! Thank you autism hat!” A young woman wearing an autism hat said, “I have autism and I never left my house because people on the street would stare. But now that I have an autism hat, people won’t stare at me anymore! Thank you autism hat!”

The announcer said, “What would you pay for this miracle cure for autism? Five million dollars? Two million? One million? Well with this special TV offer the incredible autism hat can be yours for three convenient payment of just $19.99! But that’s not all! Call within the next 20 minutes and you’ll receive a second autism hat absolutely free! Call now! Operators are standing by!”

I was so excited I called right away! I couldn’t wait to own my very own autism hat! And I don’t even have autism! But you never know what life may hold, I thought. Wearing an autism hat might keep me from catching autism in the future. It could be like an autism prophylactic.

But now, thanks to the FDA, I can see I was duped. Now what the hell am I supposed to do with my autism hat? I guess the only way I’ll get my money’s worth out of it now is if I dress up on Halloween as a cowboy from Mars.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Ruminations on Krazy Glue

In this case the word crazy is spelled with a k. That makes it the cool kind of crazy, the marketable kind. Crazy isn’t all bad. Crazy connotes the unique power of iconoclasm. Crazy connotes boldness. Crazy always connotes different but sometimes different is better. Sometimes different is strong, stronger than the rest. Strength is an admirable quality when it comes to glue. This must be the kind of crazy that’s spelled with a k.

But no one would ever think of making a product called kripple glue. Who the hell would buy it? Anything that you glue with kripple glue is bound to fall apart right away. Cripple connotes weak weak weak weak weak, no matter how you spell it. It cannot be salvaged with a k. Cripple is beyond redemption, even more so than crazy.

I used to feel sorry for those people we all call crazy. I used to think they were even more frowned upon and shunned than physical cripples. But I don’t feel that way anymore, ever since I fully considered the connotations of krazy glue

There are two marketing scenarios that call for spelling a word that begins with a hard c with a k instead. The first is if you want to be katchy, as in Kool cigarettes or Kars4Kids. The second is when something isn’t quite what it claims to be and you want to cover your ass, as is krab. A krab kake probably contains more rubber than fish. But the FDA can’t say shit about it because there are no regulations defining what constitutes a krab.

This later scenario presents the most plausible rationale for spelling cripple with a k. A kripple is a fake cripple. And there are plenty of kripples out there. Kripples all over the place in movies and television shows. And the actors who play kripples usually win awards. And according to the republicans, the streets are teeming with kripples who are trying to scam Social Security and Workers’ Comp.

And continuing along this line of logic, a strong case can be made for spelling the word courage with a k, or at least the type of courage a lot of people ascribe to cripples. They say we’re brave and courageous just because we’re not dead, which means I guess that when we die we’re being chicken shits. This is fake courage. Kourage. Maybe someday the president will award fake medals for this type of fake courage. Call it the Kongressional Medal of Kourage.

(Smart Ass Cripple is completely reader supported. Contributing to the tip jar, purchasing books and subscribing through Amazon Kindle keeps us going. Please help if you can.)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Dignity of Work

Deep down in this deep red republican state, you just might see men and women in orange jumpsuits working alongside the highway. And if they look like they have Down syndrome, it’s probably because they do. But don’t be alarmed. It’s all part of a bold new social experiment designed to make it possible for every cripple in this state to experience the dignity of work, whether they like it or not.

Because let’s face it, this is the 21st Century and perceptions of cripples have changed. Everyone knows that just about every cripple is quite capable of working, if given the right opportunity. Thus, the legislature in this deep red republican state created the Dignity of Work Service Corps, through which cripples receiving public assistance are required to perform community service jobs.

So those people with Down syndrome working alongside the road probably live in a group home. And in exchange for their room and board they must participate in this “day program” known as the Roadkill Chain Gang. Because somebody has to clean up those smashed critters that don’t make it across the road, eh? So instead of just sitting around their group home all day watching the tube and rotting their brains, these residents are put to good use and also feel the satisfaction of earning their keep.

Not all those in Dignity of Work Service Corps perform public service jobs. Some work serving the needs of the most vulnerable citizens of their state. And when I say most vulnerable, I am referring, of course, to the ultra rich. The ultra rich are very much under siege these days. Their lifestyle is increasingly threatened by the growing jealousy of their success and calls to seize and redistribute their wealth. But the good news is that this simmering class hostility has led to the creation of additional jobs as servants for the ultra rich. Here are a couple job descriptions:

Food taster: As resentment of the ultra rich reaches new heights, so does their need for food tasters. These jobs are perfectly suited for the Dignity of Work brigade. These tasters spend their workdays lounging in palatial estates and eating gourmet meals that are really really enjoyable, 99.9 percent of the time.

Predator chaser: Low class humans aren’t the only beasts encroaching upon the ultra rich. As their palatial estates expand and absorb the habitats of other wild species, the ultra rich are finding their properties being intruded upon by everything from coyotes and mountain lions to hyenas and zebras. Nothing puts a damper on a garden party more than a hyena invasion. The key to shooing away predators is to remember that one animal’s predator is another animal’s prey. So members of the Dignity of Work brigade patrol the perimeters of the garden parties but they don’t wear orange jumpsuits. Instead they dress up like gorillas or bears or other such fierce predators. And if an unwelcome animal approaches, these plucky patrolers growl and charge the animal while frantically banging two pots together like cymbals. And if this fails, another member of the Dignity of Work brigade is always perched on a nearby roof dressed up like an insane rabid pterodactyl. And the giant bird leaps off the roof and takes flight, using an elaborate assembly of pulleys and wires like Peter Pan on a Broadway stage. This never fails to send even the most brazen predator into retreat. Because nobody wants to fuck with an insane rabid pterodactyl frantically banging two pots together like cymbals.