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.

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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.

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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.