Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Sympathy for Dick

It used to be that I could never understand why any guy would call himself Dick. Because any guy who called himself Dick had ample opportunity to avoid calling himself Dick. Because odds are 99 out of 100 that if a guy called himself Dick his real name was Richard. So he could just as easily call himself Rich or Richie or Rick or Ricky or he could stick with Richard. There are more variations on the name Richard than on any other sturdy American male name-- even more so than William with Bill and Billy and Will and Willie or Michael with Mike and Mikey and Mick and Mickey. (Smart Ass Cripple factoid #18: Did you know that Mickey Mouse’s real name is Michael Mouse? It says so on his birth certificate. Look it up.)

So when I made jokes about guys named Dick, I didn’t feel any guilt about it because I figured it was their own damn fault. It was a matter of free will. All humans have free will, especially in America, and we all must live with the choices we make. Anybody who calls himself Dick knows full well that in so doing he is painting a bull’s-eye on his ass for the jokesters.

But I’ve changed my mind. I think it’s because somewhere along the line I changed my perspective on this idea of free will. Somewhere along the line I guess I wised up about the bull shit notion that all humans are necessarily choosing from the same menu. For some guys, it may be their destiny to be a Dick. They may have very little control over it.

Like for instance, suppose a guy comes from a long line of Dicks. His father was a Dick and grandfather was a Dick and his great-grandfather was a Dick and so on and so on. Imagine how stressful it would be for this guy to call a family meeting and say, “I have an announcement to make. From now on, I will only answer to the name of Ricky.” He’ll probably be cut out of the will and disowned.

And even if a guy is perfectly free to call himself something other than Dick with little or no personal consequence, why should he? Are we all supposed to lives our lives so as not to give dumbasses ammunition for making jokes? Screw those idiots. Cripples know how that feels. A lot cripples just kind of mope around the house all day because they’re ashamed to go out where somebody might stare or make fun. At some point you just have to say screw those idiots.

The same is true for guys named Dick. I understand that now and I’m sorry for the jokes I made. I now see guys who call themselves Dick as men of great courage and conviction. I hope that very soon we live in a society where no man is ashamed to call himself Dick, even if his last name is Head.

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