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.

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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!

(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.)