Monday, July 27, 2015

The Cripple Nobility Spectrum

All cripples are noble. Society deems it to be so, so it is so.

This means that if you are or become crippled, along with it comes an automatic assumption of exalted moral character. This nobility cannot be renounced. It’s part of the package, whether we like it or not. But it can be squandered. And not all cripples are equally noble. Some are nobler than others. And the nobler we are, the more charity society is willing to bestow upon us.

For the status of noblest of the noble, it’s pretty much a tie between crippled war vets and Down syndromes types. War vets are noble because they became crippled in such a selfless and heroic manner. Down syndrome types are noble because they’re just so gosh darn innocent. Nobody can speak ill of crippled war vets and Down syndrome types without sounding like a real asshole.

In the middle of the nobility spectrum are physical cripples like me who we’re born this way or acquired our crippledness via disease or unfortunate accident. The noble trait we share with the war vets and Down syndrome types is that we are crippled through no fault of own. But we lose nobility points when pitted against war vets because crippledness just came our way. We didn’t do anything heroic to bring it on. And we can’t compete with the Down syndrome types because whereas yes, technically, we too are innocent, we aren’t gosh darn innocent.

On the next rung down are those who became crippled because they did something stupid or reckless, like somebody who is a quad because they tried to win a bet by skateboarding standing on their head. These cripples are not innocent. They brought crippledness on themselves by taunting it. Also in this category are gangbangers who get shot in a drug deal gone bad and become crippled. No hero point there.

And the least noble of all are the psychologically crippled like schizophrenics. No points for innocence here either. I don’t know why this is. There seems to be this idea that it’s a matter of will, like if you try hard enough and take more personal responsibility you won’t be schizophrenic anymore. Thus, these are the least noble and therefore least sympathetic cripples of all. There are certain times when hordes of cheery volunteers with slotted cans invade the streets of Chicago soliciting funds for this village for Down syndrome types. But I’ve never been approached by a cheery volunteer with a slotted can soliciting funds for schizophrenics.

Nevertheless, we live in a compassionate society where every cripple automatically receives at least some benefit of the doubt and some degree of nobility. We squander it by acting uppity. And the less nobility we have the easier it is to squander. All schizophrenics have to do is say boo and that’s it, no more sympathy for you guys! On the other hand, if the Down syndrome types wanted to squander their vast reserves of nobility, it would pretty much require a million of them marching on Washington and taking a shit in unison on the White House lawn. The same is true for war vets. If that ever happened, then it would finally be socially acceptable to speak ill of them without sounding like a real asshole. And no more cheery volunteers with slotted cans.

(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.)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Why Cripples Shouldn't Get Restaurant Discounts

Old people get a lot of free or discount shit just for being old, as if they did anything to achieve that status other than not die. Cripples also get some free or discount shit just for being crippled, even though some of us achieved our status by doing stupid stuff, like diving drunk and naked into a shallow creek.

But old people get a whole lot more free and discount shit than cripples do. It’s no contest. Like restaurants give old people discounts all the time but I’ve never been to a restaurant that offered a cripple discount.

At first it doesn’t seem fair but when you look at it from a business perspective, it makes sense. Offering discounts to cripples could open a nightmarish Pandora’s Box. Old people are much more cut and dried than cripples. It’s much easier to tell who they are. They look a certain way and if you’re not sure if they’re old enough you can check their IDs. Case closed

But with cripples everything is much fuzzier. Like suppose an albino walks into a restaurant and demands the cripple discount. Is an albino crippled? A reasonable person would think not but you never know these days. There’s probably a court case somewhere where an albino sued for discrimination and won a million bucks. So every restaurant owner will have to have a law degree just to keep track of who’s legally crippled and who’s not. And what about keeping track of all the correct language? Is it okay to ask an albino if they are indeed an albino or do you have to call them something like pigmentally-challenged?

And it’s hard to fake being an old person. I suppose if someone wanted 10 percent off on a tuna melt or a free dessert bad enough they could put on a gray wig and make their voice all creaky and get an underground fake ID that says they were born in 1935. But any joker off the street can hop into a wheelchair in a flash and pretend to be paralyzed. It isn’t hard for somebody to pretend to be deaf and do some voodoo sign language by waving their arms around like they're being attacked by bees. About the only cripples you can trust to be authentic are the Down syndrome ones. That’s pretty hard to fake. But you can’t even be sure about that these days. I’ve read stories about kinky people who think it’s cool to be crippled so they have a surgeon saw off one of their limbs or something to make them crippled. It’s like getting sexual reassignment surgery. So there are probably some really kinky people out there who think it’s cool to have Down syndrome so they have a surgeon inject an additional chromosome into them and it turns them into a Down syndrome. Hey, stranger things have happened.

A fake old person can be easily exposed by sneaking up behind them and snatching off their wig. But suppose a suspicious restaurateur sneaks up behind a cripple and dumps him/her out of their wheelchair. What if it turns out to be a real cripple? There’s one whopper of a lawsuit right there.

So that’s why cripples shouldn’t get restaurant discounts. It would lead to economic chaos and the collapse of Western civilization

(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.)

Monday, July 13, 2015

Another Cutting-Edge Innovation from Smart Ass Cripple

People come up with a lot of cutting-edge innovations that are supposed to make life easier for cripples. But there’s usually a catch. Like for instance, I once saw a guy demonstrating this robotic arm that you can attach to your wheelchair and if you couldn’t use your arms anymore this arm could perform all the essential functions of the arms and hands for you. Two problems: First, it cost something like $40,000. And B, the hand was not designed to give the finger. So I don’t know how this guy could claim that his invention performed all the essential functions of the arms and hands when it couldn’t even give the finger. I should have reported him to the FDA.

But I had a brilliant idea recently for a cutting-edge innovation that I know, based on my extensive experience as a cripple, will really and truly make life easier for millions of cripples worldwide. And I hope some visionary venture capitalist or hedge fund hedgehog will see the universal usefulness of my cutting-edge innovation and put gobs of cash behind developing it.

My idea is a designated driver smart phone app for cripples. There have been times when I’ve had a few too many and I worried that I wouldn’t be able to drive home. I’m not talking about driving my car. I’m talking about driving my wheelchair. Now this isn’t too much of a problem for cripples in wheelchairs that they push themselves. If they're shit-faced, somebody else can just push them home. But it’s a serious problem for those of us who use motorized wheelchairs. These things are a bitch to push. So cripples who download this app would pay a monthly subscription fee but it will bring them great peace of mind knowing that if they reach the point where they can’t drive home, all they have to do is tap the app. And then a designated driver will be promptly dispatched to their location whereupon this driver will sit on the drunken cripple’s lap and drive their wheelchair home.

These designated drivers will receive extensive training in wheelchair operation. Most everybody who has never driven a motorized wheelchair thinks any old mope can just hop in one and take off. That’s what they think until they actually try to drive one and immediately proceed to smash a hole in the wall. It takes time and practice to learn how to drive a motorized wheelchair, especially whilst perched upon its passed out occupant.

Go ahead and laugh. But I’ll have the last hearty laugh five years from now when the sight of designated drivers sitting on the laps of wasted cripples and piloting them home is commonplace. And who’ll be the one laughing when my cutting-edge innovation wins me the Nobel Fucking Peace Prize, huh?

So okay now all you visionary venture capitalists and hedge fund hedgehogs out there. It’s your move.

(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.)

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Saddest Cripple in the Coop

The ushers put that poor young woman here in the cripple coop with the rest of us. And the look on her face says, “Where the hell am I? How the hell did I end up in a place like this?”

The cripple coop is the new wheelchair section in the new bleachers at Wrigley Field. And I call it a coop because for some reason they put this black screen all around it. So the view sucks. It’s like trying to watch a game while wearing a fencing mask.

I can tell the young woman is a cripple of the temporary variety. Her wheelchair is the standard-issue institutional model, as sleek and maneuverable as a covered wagon. Her leg is in a cast and it’s jacked up straight out in front of her. She has two female companions but none of them look happy. It looks like some sort of somber bachelorette party.

This is why out of all the endless varieties of cripples, I find temporary cripples to be the saddest of all. They experience the bad stuff that comes with being crippled without any of the good stuff. Like for instance, she’s probably the only cripple here in the coop who can’t get a license to smoke pot legally. In Illinois, possession of just about any crippling condition makes you eligible for medical marijuana, everything from traumatic brain injury to irritable bowel syndrome. But temporary cripples need not apply.

The same goes for Social Security. She’s probably the only cripple in the coop who isn’t eligible for free money. If she could be crippled long enough to qualify for stuff like this she might not be so sad. Some people think legal pot and free money is all anyone needs in life.

So when this woman is up and walking again, she’ll say to her friends, “I know what it’s like to be crippled and believe me, it’s hell!” When she returns to the bleachers she’ll look down on the cripple coop and she’ll thank God she was one of the lucky ones able to escape.

But here’s another valuable lesson about being crippled the poor woman won’t be crippled long enough to learn: It pays to bitch. Rahnee and I bitched. We told the ushers that watching baseball through a dark screen is giving us carsick headaches. We want more out of life than legal pot and Social Security. We want a good view at the ballpark, too

So the ushers took us to a secluded corner of the bleachers which we could have all to ourselves. It had a clear, clean view. We were happy.

Walking out of life's many cripple coops isn’t the only way out. You can also bitch your way out.

(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.)