Tuesday, November 17, 2015

For Those Who Can't

I don’t know how to feel about those events where people raise money for a certain genre of cripples by getting together and doing something those particular cripples really suck at doing.

I’m talking about events with names like The Third Annual Walk for Those Who Can’t. People walk a mile or so and collect pledges and give the money to an organization serving cripples who can’t walk. If they do the walk on a Saturday, which is a slow news day, it might get a 15-second spot on the local news.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association sponsors events called Muscle Walks. Their online store is called the Muscle Shop and there you can buy stuff like backpacks, t-shirts and coffee mugs that say Make a Muscle on them. People with muscular dystrophy, like me, come in all shapes and sizes. You’ll find us in all walks of life, in every socioeconomic stratum. But the one thing we all suck at is making a muscle.

So I’m not sure how those of us on the receiving end of this goodwill are expected to react. I think the goal is to help us feel better about ourselves and our situation. Maybe we’re supposed to feel relief. “Don’t worry, pal. I know you can’t walk but I got you covered. You just relax.” But it might have the opposite effect. When people dwell upon that at which you so thoroughly suck at doing, it can make you self-conscious and ornery.

Do people organize these types of events for other cripples, like blind people? The Third Annual Cross a Busy City Street Without Getting Hit by a Bus for Those Who Can’t. What about medical problems, like infertility? The Third Annual Get Pregnant and Give Birth to a Beautiful Healthy Child for Those Who Can’t. What about for political issues? The Third Annual Get a Job that Pays a Woman the Same Thing a Man Gets Paid for Doing the Same Damn Job for Those Who Can’t.

But maybe I’m just a big fat whiner. These people mean well. I should just shut the hell up and get with the spirit. I may not be able to walk, but there are plenty of things I can do well and I should use whatever abilities I have to help those who aren’t as fortunate. So I’m going to raise money for men with erectile dysfunction. The First Annual Get it Up for Those Who Can’t. I’ll gather a bunch of my most virile friends and we’ll sit in a circle. I’m not sure exactly how it will work from there. I don’t know how the pledge part will work either. And I don’t think the local news will cover it.

But I’ll figure it all out. I just want to help men with erectile dysfunction feel better about themselves and their situation.

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