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.