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.

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