Friday, January 30, 2015

Please Give Generously to Project I Don’t Know What Makes You Think You’re so Goddam Superior.

When I heard the story of little Juanito, it really touched my heart. Juanito is a crippled boy who lives in a remote village in the mountains of Guatemala. Juanito is a typical, fun-loving, energetic little boy but because of a genetic abnormality he was born with webbed fingers and toes like a duck. Cosequently, other children are afraid of Juanito and even many adults shun him. Juanito spends his days looking longingly from the window of his family’s mud hut while other children romp and play outdoors.

Juanito needs your help. If he could come to America, he could receive an elaborate operation and several months of grueling rehab that might restore his hands and feet to something resembling normal.

But fuck all that assimilationist crap. Why should Juanito jump through all those flaming hoops just to be accepted? The problem isn’t his webbed fingers and toes. The problem is all those people around him who think they’re so goddam superior just because they don’t have webbed fingers and toes.

This is a common problem. All over the world there are crippled children and adults who are isolated and marginalized by others who think of themselves as so goddam superior. It even happens here in America. This is where Project I Don’t Know What Makes You Think You’re so Goddam Superior comes in. We teach victims like Juanito how to say, in so many words, “Hey, it’s not up to me to get rid of my crippledness. It’s up to you to get rid of your goddam superior attitude!”

We accomplish this by dispatching teams of smart ass missionaries to troubled regions such as Juanito’s village. First, our volunteers give all the victims of other people's goddam superior attitudes a pep talk: “Hey, screw those ass holes! Nobody’s fucking perfect.” Then our highly-trained smart asses help people like Juanito craft retorts that bust people who think they’re so goddam superior down to size. It could be something like, “I may have webbed fingers and toes but look at your humongous ears!” Or maybe, “You’ve got a lot of room to talk. Everybody knows your old lady is banging the local shepherd.”

The goal of Project I Don’t Know What Makes You Think You’re so Goddam Superior is self-sufficiency. We strive to build the confidence and self-esteem of crippled people like Juanito to the point where they don’t need anyone’s help telling all those who think they’re so goddam superior to fuck off. We attack oppression at its root by reminding us all that everybody is freak in some way so we all need to lighten the fuck up a little.

So please call the number on your screen and give generously to Project I Don’t Know What Makes You Think You’re so Goddam Superior! Little crippled boys like Juanito are counting on you!

(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, January 23, 2015

Invasion of the Fake Cripples

Apparently there are some new super-sensitive, high-tech glasses that only republicans wear. These glasses make it possible for them to see fake cripples where everyone else sees thin air.

Fake cripples are everywhere! They’re at the corner drug store, up in the trees, behind the couch and under the bed! And they’re all sucking up Social Security!

Senator Rand Paul (R-Mars) recently spoke about this. And once again he demonstrated a depth of knowledge of subject matter that can only be described as Wikipedic. Here’s what he said: "Everybody in this room knows somebody who's gaming the system. What I tell people is, if you look like me and you hop out of your truck, you shouldn't be getting a disability check. Over half of the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts -- join the club,"

As everybody knows, the ultimate republican wet dream is to cut the crap out of and privatize Social Security. The people who receive Social Security are old people and cripples. And everybody knows how worked up old people get when someone comes after their Social Security. So maybe the republicans are hoping the old people will get so worked up about the fake cripples that they’ll all have strokes and die. What a brilliant way to reduce the roles! Either that or maybe the old people will rise up and demand that all the fake cripples be kicked off.

All I can say to that is fuck you, old people! You can drop the “oh we’re so innocent” act. I know as well as you that there are lots of people falsely collecting Social Security by pretending to be old! I know it because my wife’s third cousin’s stepson’s orthodontist shared a cab with a guy who heard on the radio that there’s a guy in Jersey whose neighbor’s friend dresses up like an old person just so he can collect Social Security. That guy saw it with his own eyes!

I decided to investigate this for myself so I went to a Social Security office. I’d never been to a Social Security office so I didn’t know what to expect. I was greeted at the door by a man in a tuxedo. He bowed and said, “Welcome to the Social Security office, sir! I am Pierre, the maitre’d. Are you a party of one?” I said yes. Then Pierre said. “I’m dreadfully sorry, sir, but you may have to wait a bit before someone can see you today. You may have to wait as long as three or four minutes. Please accept my deepest apologies and have a seat in our lounge.” I was perturbed about the prospect of waiting so long. But the lounge was posh and the soothing music of the live string quartet calmed my mood. I also thoroughly enjoyed the wide assortment of hors d’oeuvres brought around by servers with silver platters. Especially tasty was that stuff on a cracker that looked like orange caviar. I never realized that they treat you like a king at the Social Security office. No wonder everyone wants to be on Social Security!

But across from me sat a suspicious-looking old couple. Her gray hair looked like a cheap wig. He had a gnarled wooden cane and a hunchback. A Social Security worker came up to them.

“May I help you?” she said.

“We’re old!” snapped the woman.

“And we demand Social Security!” said the man.

“Well you certainly look old to me,” said the Social Security worker. “So here’s an envelope full of cash.”

The old woman snatched the bulging manila envelope. The couple walked out all hunched and arthritic.

I decided to follow them but when I went out to the street they were long gone. And there in a nearby trash can was a cheap gray wig and a gnarled cane! There was also a football, which explains how he got the hunchback effect.

But I soon found the scammers exactly where I thought they would be. They were around the corner in a fancy steakhouse-- two people in their mid-30s chomping on porterhouse, drinking martinis and laughing it up.

What is this country coming to?

(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, January 18, 2015

The Submissive Position

It’s no wonder cripples have a hard time getting jobs, what with so many people spreading harmful propaganda about us. And these are people who are supposed to be on our side.

I’ve heard people say a million times that study after study shows that cripples make good employees because we’re very loyal and thus we don’t call in sick or take vacation days or complain or try to unionize or move on to other jobs like uncrippled workers do.

People ought not to be spreading that kind of stuff around about us, especially if it’s true. It makes us sound so desperate and clingy. It’s such a turn off. It’s like the cripple is saying, “Please hire me because I have such a hard time getting jobs that I’ll gladly take any damn job I can get and I’ll never ever let it go no matter what!”

Look at it like this. The other thing cripples have a hard time getting, besides jobs, is laid. So suppose we took the same approach when it comes to that harrowing quest. A cripple’s profile on a dating site would read, “Please date me because I have such a hard time getting laid that I’ll gladly go out with any damn body that will have me and I will never ever let you go no matter what!”

You know who will answer that ad? A dominatrix. Either that or one of those Mother Teresa types who love to take in strays so they can groom them up nice and put little pink ribbons in their hair. But both scenarios require the cripple to assume and forever maintain the submissive position. Now if that’s what you're into, then I guess you’re good to go. But personally, I like having some negotiating leverage.

So it goes with the submissive strategy for finding cripples jobs. The dominatrix responds, which explains why so many cripples end up working at Walmart.

There’s nothing sexy about the submissive approach to job searching. That’s the problem. Whether trying to get a job or trying to get laid, you gotta let yourself be sexy. You gotta be at least a little bit hard to get. You gotta make the other party want work a little to earn you because they might miss out on something big if they don’t.

If you’re a cripple looking for work, instead of sending that pathetic clingy message to employers, put on some smooth music and your best Barry White voice and try a message like this: “Hey baby, have you ever hired a cripple? You really ought to try it. You don’t know what you’re missing. Hire me and I will take you to a place you’ve never been. Hire me and you will see fireworks. If you hire me once, I promise you will want to hire me over and over and over again.”

(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.)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Perhaps Mama Misunderstood the Fortune Teller

Here’s what I figure must’ve happened: It must’ve been like in those blues songs where the blues singer’s mama went to see the gypsy fortune teller back when the blues singer's mama was still pregnant with said blues singer. And the fortune teller gets all excited and tells the blues singer's mama she’s got a boy child coming and he’s gonna be sunuvagun!

That must’ve been what happened because back when my sister and I were criplets my mother frequently told us that she expected big things from us. She expected us to go to college and go on from there to do great things. Why possessed her to put crazy ideas like that in our heads? College? Didn’t she know that colleges didn't admit cripples? This was the 1960s. College?

But I figured what must’ve happened was that the fortune teller told my mother, "Your children will attend a very excluuuusive school!" And that got my mother excited. And the fortune teller was right. We ended up in a state-operated boarding school for cripples I call the Sam Houston Institute of Technology (SHIT). That acronym describes well the quality of the education there. And yes, it was very exclusive. Only the most excluded cripples went there. At least our mother took us home for weekends, holidays and summer and such. Most of the inmates didn’t even have families.

And I bet the fortune teller told my mother I would graduate from the exclusive school at the top of my class! Right again. I was Salutatorian of my graduating class almost by default. It was a class of eight graduates. I was second best but I was also sixth worst.

Everything the fortune said came true. So I pray like hell that the fortune teller never told my mother I would someday live in a gated community. For the average bipedal pedestrian, that means a pristine subdivision protected by an imposing fence and a dutiful proletarian in a guardhouse. But for the average cripple, that means a nursing home. It don’t get much more exclusive than that.

(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, January 4, 2015

Belly Dancer Etiquette

A Moroccan restaurant on a Monday night. I was having a quiet dinner with Chris, one of my pit crew guys.

And all of a sudden, recorded music played— snake-charmer music. A belly dancer shook and shimmied into the dining room. She twisted and spun. The tiny cymbals on her fingers rang out. Her sequins shimmered.

She bumped her hips. She shimmied her way up to my table. She gyrated about a foot in front of me, all the time looking me dead in the eye, as if presenting a challenge. But a challenge to what? What was I, the chosen one among the customers, supposed to do in response to being chosen? I’m not up on my belly dancer etiquette!

I felt enormous stress! But it wasn’t her fault. It was my damn ambassador complex kicking in again! Damn that thing! I’ve worked hard to overcome it but it never really goes away. The ambassador complex is this psychological state cripples frequently find ourselves in where we think we are the de facto spokesperson for all the cripples in the world. It comes from years of being told that every interaction with the uncrippled majority is an opportunity to educate and break down barriers. Thus, we must make a positive impression because other cripples will be judged by our actions.

This was one such encounter. Out of all the customers, the belly dancer shimmied without hesitation right up to me. That’s not how it usually works. Usually, when given options, people will avoid cripples. When someone is passing out promotional flyers on the street touting free Subway sandwiches or 10 per cent off on aluminum siding, they usually offer it to everybody but me. Sometimes homeless people don’t even ask me for money.

But the belly dancer was different. She was open-minded, progressive. My first instinct was to tip her. Stuff a dollar somewhere. But is that appropriate? I wished she was a stripper. Then I’d know exactly how to react. Everybody knows stripper etiquette. Stuff a dollar anywhere you can stuff one. Make it rain! But this was a belly dancer. Belly dancers are classier than strippers, aren’t they? Don’t you have to go to school to learn how to belly dance? If I tried to tip her, she might slap me and say, “What do you think I am, a common stripper?” And then she would think every cripple in the world is a low-class pervert! But what if I didn’t tip her? Then she might think every cripple in the world is a cheapskate! It was a lose/lose situation. It wasn’t fair! There was no notice posted anywhere warning that there would be belly dancers! I felt ambushed! I desperately wished for something that I could interpret as a sign from above, a divine clue if you will. Like when you go to catered event and there’s a snifter on the bar with cash stuffed in it, that’s a hint. But no such luck here.

I was paralyzed with indecision. That’s what’s so insidious about the ambassador complex. In the mind of the possessor, it exponentially increases the stakes of every encounter.

Finally, the belly dancer shimmied away. For the rest of the evening and well into the next day I wrestled with remorse. When called upon to take quick and resolute action, I choked! “Dammit I should have tipped her!” I scolded myself. “No!” I barked back. “Better to err on the side of cheapskate.”

Finally I told myself that, like it or not, it was a decision I could not take back so I should find a way to make peace with it. And it was highly unlikely that because I didn’t tip the belly dancer, she now sees every cripple in the world as a cheapskate. The only cripple she sees as a cheapskate is me.