Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A Deaf Registry to Promote Harmony Among Cripples

I don’t think we should be so quick to pooh pooh this idea of registries, where certain groups of people are entered into a government data base so the rest of us can keep better track of who and where they are.

A lot of people talk about a Muslim registry. I think we should be talking about a deaf registry where all deaf people are required to sign up so we, the hearing majority, can keep better track of who and where they are. I think this could really promote harmony among different factions of cripples. Because what’s the point of these registries? The point is to make those of us who aren’t members of the group we think needs to be registered feel more secure about living among them. That way they can’t sneak up on us as easily and take us by surprise. Deaf people are like that. Any hearing person who has ever been to a party where there are a lot of deaf people knows what I mean. Deaf people are really sneaky in the sense that unlike most other cripples, they look perfectly sane and normal, unless they look insane or abnormal for some reason besides being deaf. So when deaf people are mixed in with a bunch of hearing people, I feel off-balance and awkward because I never know whom I can just step up to and talk to. And forgot about trying to figure out who’s deaf by who’s talking sign language. That guy talking sign language could be an ASL interpreter or a deaf person’s hearing brother or something. And whenever I talk to a deaf person I talk all rubber-faced, exaggerating my enunciation so as to make it easier for them to read my lips. I’m real considerate that way. But sometimes at a party full of deaf people I start talking to someone all rubber-faced and it turns out that person can hear and I feel like a real bozo. And then when I see that person over in a corner later talking in sign language with others, I’m convinced what they’re saying is, “That bozo over there was talking to me all rubber-faced.” So then I’m afraid to talk to anybody until I know for absolute sure if they’re deaf or not.

But suppose deaf people were all required to wear a government–issued identification marker of some sort, at least when they’re out mixing with hearing people. I know that would sure make me feel more secure around them and I’d be a lot more relaxed at their parties. The identification marker can be something stylish, like a nice necklace or bracelet. It doesn’t matter, just so it makes it clear to the rest of us that these people are deaf. And in the spirit of full inclusion, the deaf identification marker would have to emit a periodic sound, so as to be accessible to blind people. Because when blind people go to places where there are a lot of deaf people, I bet they’re as off-balance as me times a zillion. Because they can’t even see who’s talking sign language. So the only way for them to figure out who’s deaf is via audio cues. The audio cue can be something pleasant, like chirping birds. Actually, maybe not chirping birds, because then a blind person might be embarrassed to learn that they’ve been trying to talk to a parakeet. And that would make their insecurities about being around deaf people even worse. But if the sound is too irritating and grating, it may cause hearing cripples who aren’t blind to avoid deaf people altogether. So maybe the sound can be on a high frequency that only blind people can hear.

Man, promoting harmony among cripples sure is complicated.

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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Love Crimes

A hate crime is a very specific thing. A hate crime occurs when somebody commits a crime against somebody who’s black or gay or Jewish or Muslim or whatever just because that person is black or gay or Jewish or Muslim or whatever. You can be sentenced to more time for committing a hate crime than you would be for committing a regular crime.

But a love crime is an even more specific thing. A love crime occurs when someone murders a cripple. It officially becomes a love crime if the killer claims the love defense by saying, “I really loved her/him and it broke my heart to see them all crippled up like that. So I took mercy on them and killed them.” Quite often you can be sentenced to a lot less time for committing a love crime than you would be for committing a regular crime. And it helps if the cripple you kill is a relative.

Love crimes happen all the time. In 2013, Dorothy Spourdalakis killed her 14-year-old autistic son, Alex. With the help of Alex’s caregiver, she stabbed Alex in the chest repeatedly before slitting his wrists. She claimed the love defense. She was sentenced to only four years in prison and was released last week six months early.

And she ain’t the only one. In 2009, Kim Yarbrough of Austin, Texas, put a lethal dose of prescription drugs into the feeding tube of her husband, Lloyd, who had brain damage from encephalitis. But she claimed the love defense so she was convicted of “injury to a disabled individual” and received 10 years probation. And this was in Texas, where they execute litterbugs.

And she ain’t the only one. It goes on and on and on.

The love defense seems to only apply to crimes against cripples. I don’t think anyone has ever killed a Jewish person, for example, and then said, “I really loved her/him and it broke my heart to see them all Jewed up like that. So I took mercy on them and killed them.” Good lock selling that one.

And the love defense also seems to apply only to the crime of homicide. I mean, suppose somebody commits a lesser offense against a cripple, like stealing their lawnmower. That person would get laughed out of the courtroom if they said, “I really loved her/him and it broke my heart to see them all crippled up like that. So I took mercy on them and stole their lawnmower.”

So if you ever get a hankering to commit a hate crime, you might want to play it safe and make sure your victim is a cripple. And always remember that if you want to claim the love defense, make sure you kill that cripple.

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Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Proper Way to Piss Off the Riot Cops

The way things are going, it sure looks like there’s gonna be a whooooooooooooooole lotta street protesting going on in the upcoming years.

There’s gonna be a lot of scenes of tense standoffs where a frothing mob marching behind a banner encounters a line of cops wearing turtle-shell chest protectors and riot helmets. And that means things are gonna get ugly. There’s gonna be a whooooooooooole lotta skull busting going on.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s possible for protesters to piss off the riot cops without getting their skulls busted by them. Yep, protesters can have their protest cake and eat it too.

So here’s a key tip for anyone organizing a frothing mob of protesters: make sure that frothing mob includes a whoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooole lotta cripples. Because we still live in a world, so far, where it’s considered uncool to bust the skulls of cripples, even if they’re protesting. This causes riot cops to have existential identity crises when confronted by cripples. “If I can’t bust skulls, then what’s the point in being a riot cop? I don’t know who I am anymore!” When confronted by cripples, riot cops feel emasculated and powerless. And that really pisses them off.

So it’s vitally important to not only hustle up as many cripples as possible for a protest but also to put them all at the front of the march. But even then there’s no guarantee nobody will get their skull busted. When the riot cops can’t bust the skulls of cripples, they do the next best thing. They bust the skulls of the nearest verts (which is short for verticals, which is slang for people who can walk). I pity the poor verts standing directly behind the frontline cripples.

But there’s a way around that dilemma. Again the solution is to round up as many wheelchairs as possible. The wheelchairs don’t have to have cripples in them. As a matter of fact, it’s best if most of the wheelchairs are unoccupied. There should be a wheelchair for every protester. So if there are 10,000 protesters, 10,000 wheelchairs should be rounded up. And every protester should get in a wheelchair. That’ll really piss off the riot cops because they’ll know damn well that a lot of the protesters must be verts faking like they’re crippled. But they won’t be able to tell for sure who’s faking it and who’s not so they won’t know for sure whom to single out for a good skull busting. I realize that rounding up a shitload of wheelchairs like that can be logistically and financially prohibitive. But fortunately there are other easier ways for protesters to pretend to be crippled. They could tap a white can around or use crutches. Or they can flash a bunch of hand signals and pretend like it’s sign language.

But whatever you do, if you want your frothing mob to piss off the riot cops without getting everybody’s skull busted, don’t forget about the cripples!

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Monday, December 5, 2016

Is Katherine Hepburn a Scumbag?

So if somebody cheats and pretends their pet dog is a service dog just so they can get that dog into a public place, does that automatically make that person a scumbag?

Most moral, decent, God-fearing people would answer this question with a resounding. “Hell yes!” This is a crime against crippledom that ranks right up there with parking your car in their special parking spaces or hogging up their bathroom stalls.

Fake service dogs will eventually blow their cover. We’ve all heard stories like about a guy who got his dog into an art museum by swearing it was a service dog and then the stinkin’ mongrel went and pissed all over Rodin’s The Thinker. Real service dogs don’t do stuff like that. In order to become official service dogs, they must survive a rigorous etiquette boot camp.

The service dog fakers ruin it for the real cripples with real service dogs. And service dog faking is big business. Anybody can go online and buy a service dog vest, no questions asked. Law-abiding citizens are starting to get pretty pissed off. There’s a bill in the Colorado legislature that would impose a fine of up to $1,000 for anyone faking like their dog is a service dog.

So yeah, passing your dog off as a service dog is a scumbag thing to do. But really, aren’t there other forms of cripple impersonation that are a lot more scumbaggy? Like how about faking like you’re a make-a-wish kid? That’s the height of scumbaggery right there. I’ve never heard of an actually case of that happening but I’m sure some scumbag out there has tried it. It’s inevitable. Are those make-a-wish kids vetted at all to make sure they’re legit? They probably have to furnish a doctor’s note or something. But hell, if you can get a fake service dog vest online, you can probably get a fake doctor’s note declaring you to be an official make-a-wish kid.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not defending scumbags. I’m just saying that maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to judge. Take the case of an actual woman I know who confessed to me that she once committed service dog fraud. She’s a strong, intelligent, successful and beautiful woman. And since I just exposed her as a service dog faker, I will give her an alias so as to protect her from the mob. I’ll call her Katherine Hepburn. Anyway, one day this strong, intelligent, successful and beautiful woman named Katherine Hepburn was out zipping around in her wheelchair accompanied by her per Chihuahua on a leash. Katherine Hepburn passed a grocery store. Picking up groceries was on her to-do list for the day. She knew that taking the dog home and then returning to the store unaccompanied was the morally upstanding thing to do. But she also knew that since she was in a wheelchair, everyone might just assume it was a service dog. So, when faced with a weighty moral conflict, Katherine Hepburn did what millions of humans throughout the centuries have done. She said fuck it. She took the dog into the store and nobody said a word.

Now granted, she didn’t misrepresent her dog per se. It was more of a case of don’t ask don’t tell. But I ask you, does this make this strong, intelligent, successful and beautiful woman named Katherine Hepburn a scumbag?

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Monday, November 28, 2016

How the Oppressor Expresses Remorse

Who says the oppressor doesn’t have a conscience? Evidence abounds of his attempts to express remorse and make amends to those he fucks over. But it’s subtle because the oppressor is like a spouse abuser. He apologizes not with words but with gestures. The spouse abuser beats the hell out of you and then buys you flowers. The oppressor fucks you over completely and then eventually acknowledges your nobility by allowing shit to be named in your honor.

The oppressor must really feel awful about how he fucks over American Indian tribes because look at all the shit that's named as a tribute to them. It’s everywhere. There’s Winnebago motorhomes, Tillamook brand cheese, Shasta soda pop, etc., etc., etc. There are also natural wonders, like bodies of water, named to honor tribes. How about Lake Erie and Lake Huron? (However, the oppressor continues to insist that the largest of the Great Lakes remains named in honor white people: Superior.) The oppressor must feel especially shitty about fucking over the Shasta tribe because they have a soda pop and a mountain named after them.

But notice how it doesn’t work that way for cripples. Yep, the oppressor fucks over cripples on a daily basis as well, but we receive no such symbolic restitution. Now in all fairness to the oppressor, cripples don’t have tribes, which makes it a lot harder to figure out how to name shit in honor of us. The closest thing cripples have to tribes are diagnoses. Instead of Apache, Cherokee and Sioux, we have Muscular Dystrophy, Spina Bifida and Osteogenesis Imperfecta. And nobody goes to the deli and says, “Gimme a pound of Polio brand cheddar.” Nobody spends a romantic honeymoon on the soothing shores of Lake Cerebral Palsy.

But why not? Could it be that when it comes to fucking over cripples, the oppressor feels no remorse? Or could it be that the oppressor hasn’t even thought it through that far? Maybe fucking over cripples is such a matter-of-fact constant in the oppressor’s daily routine that it hasn’t even crossed his mind that his treatment of us might officially qualify as “fucking over” and thus deserving of amends.

Or maybe it’s just a matter of marketing. Maybe there are no Fibromyalgia brand motorhomes because cripple tribes are not perceived as tribes of honor and pride. Cripple tribes are perceived as tribes of shame. And nobody wants to associate their product with that. But is that not still the fault of the oppressor? Did he not create the concept of cripple shame for his own fun and profit?

My self-esteem will not improve until I see something named in tribute to a cripple tribe. Just one thing. It doesn’t have to be anything big. It can be a pair of Lou Gehrig’s Disease brand shoe laces. I won't be picky about it. It’s the thought that counts.

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Send a Gay Cripple to Washington

It’s was the mid 1990s or thereabouts. It was Anna, my late first wife, and me. And Mark was with us. He was an itinerant activist. Tall and thin with long hair halfway down his back. He probably wore jeans with the knees worn away like he always did. He was a vegan, a cancer survivor. It seemed like every weekend he attended some “grassroots” fundraiser of some sort. And this weekend we went with him to a fundraiser so a group of gay cripples could send some people to Washington. I believe the event was in the backroom of a bar. And there was a silent auction. I know how these “grassroots” silent actions work. I’ve been a part of many a one. Some people hustle up donations from their neighborhood mom and pops. And so you end up with a lot of gift certificates from laundry mats, dry cleaners and liquor stores.

One of the auction items at the fundraiser for gay cripples was from a store called Mexican Folk Arts. Anna put in a bid for that. Mexican Folk Arts was a new place just a few blocks down the street from where we lived. She figured she could get something cool with a gift certificate from there. Another auction item was a coupon good for a free weekend at the Melrose Hotel. I wondered who the hell hustled up that donation. The Melrose Hotel was a fleabag flophouse. Weekly and daily rates. I'd like to see the look on the face of the poor sucker who won that prize when he shows up with his suitcase at the Melrose Hotel.

So after a potluck supper and some speechifying, it was time to announce the winners of the silent auction. “And the Mexican Folk Arts winner is—“

Anna! She was excited. She rolled her wheelchair up to claim her gift certificate. But the auctioneer instead reached under the card table and proudly presented her with a sculpture of a skunk. The sculpture was about the size of a dachshund. I think the sculpture was made of cement. It must’ve weighed at least 10 pounds. The skunk had a rough texture like cement. You could strike a match on it. And the skunk had a badass look on its face, like it was staring you down. It was in full attack mode, its tail raised like a curled plume, like a question mark.

“And the winner of the free weekend at the Melrose Hotel is---“

Me! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? How the hell did that happen? Mark leaned over and told me he felt bad that nobody wrote in a bid so he put me down for ten bucks.

So those were the souvenirs we took home from the send-a-gay-cripple-to-Washington fundraiser: a cement skunk and a coupon for a free weekend at a flophouse.

But it’s amazing when you think about it. When cripples go to Washington, we’re fighting against assholes that, when they need to buy politicians, hold fundraisers where people pay $10,000 for bacon and eggs. And the silent auction items are original Van Goghs.

But somehow, the cripples who go to Washington have managed to get the Americans with Disabilities Act passed and a whole lot more. So whatever we’re doing, it works, so far. I don’t know how or why it works but who cares? It works.

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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Baby Chick Ass Wipes

Well hell, now that the election is over, I’m going for it, goddammit! I’m going for it all!

And I don’t give a sweet flying fuck what anybody thinks! Why should I? I got this great business idea not long ago. It was a brilliant idea but it was vulgar. I held back moving forward on my business idea because I thought maybe it was just too vulgar to fly. But after that election, shit, I feel like nothing’s too vulgar anymore! Vulgar won big from coast to coast. Vulgar is cool. Vulgar is hip. Vulgar is chic. The more vulgar the better. If you’re not a graceless, self-indulgent, pathologically self-absorbed prick, you ain’t shit.

The people have spoken! So fuck everything. I’m going for it! I see now that the reason my business idea is so beautifully brilliant is precisely because it’s so beautifully vulgar. So I’m investing all my money in live baby chicks. And at just the right moment, I’ll kill them. Now before anybody gets all blubbery and outraged about killing baby chicks, I’ll have you know that I plan to kill them humanely. I’ll inject them with honey or something. I don’t know. I’ll figure that part out later.

And then I’ll immediately pack the freshly-killed baby chicks into special refrigerated containers that’ll look like fancy hat boxes. And I’ll quickly ship the dead baby chicks off to the richest people on earth, so they can wipe their asses with them.

Yep, then we’ll all know a truly classy bathroom when we see one. A servant stands outside the entrance and opens a hat box.

“Baby chick, madam?”

“Are they fresh?”

“Oh most definitely, milady. They were flown in this morning.”

So then the rich shitter carefully selects just the right baby chick, maybe two, maybe three. It’s okay. Servants are sworn to secrecy. After performing her duty, madam feels the luxurious stroke of baby chick down, so exquisitely sort and absorbent. So deliciously vulgar. But most rewarding is the rush of superiority she gets from exerting her Biblical dominion over the animals.

I’ll mark up the price of my baby chicks a thousand percent, maybe even ten or twenty thousand percent and I bet the rich fucks will still happily pony up. Because apparently the way to get ahead in the new world order is to be the most vulgar shithead of all. They won’t want to be left behind.

And soon I’ll be more rich than any of them. So fuck it! I’m going for it! Who cares anymore?

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Saturday, November 5, 2016

As Long as I'm Still Entertainable

I doubt that I’ll ever reach a state where I think life is not worth living. Because to me, the purpose of life is to be entertained. Even if you’re and entertainer, the person you are ultimately entertaining is yourself. There would be no point to being an entertainer if you didn’t find entertaining others to be entertaining.

That’s how humans are. That’s all we’re doing here. We’re all just trying to be entertained. Life consists of those moments when we find ourselves entertained and all the stuff in between. The blessed life is the thoroughly entertained life.

That’s why I feel sorry for the bungee jumper types. Something about them creeps me out. They’re not happy unless they’re jumping off some high cliff in Cypress. It must be sad to be so hard to entertain. I hope I’m never that way. On the other hand, I also feel kind of creeped out when I see nursing home people sitting around the day room playing bingo or something. It seems like those poor folks are clawing more desperately for a nugget of entertainment than the bungee jumpers. I hope I’m never that way either.

I find a lot of things to be entertaining so hopefully that will help me handle whatever bullshit the future may hold. I don’t think I’ll ever be ready to give up and pull the plug until I’ve reached a state of utter and complete unentertainability, which means there is no entertainment left in my future. I don’t think that’ll happen.

What if I end up in some state of infirmity where pretty much all I do is sleep all the time? That’s okay. I find sleep to be very entertaining. Sleeping is my favorite hobby. I’ve gotten to be really good at it.

What if I have to eat through a stomach tube? Now that’s a tough one because food to me is vastly, wildly, endlessly entertaining. The prospect of never tasting food again would be pretty depressing. But it hardly seems worth killing myself over. What the hell would that prove anyway? With whom would I be getting even? And besides, even if I have to eat through a stomach tube I still might be able to drink beer. I knew a guy who drank beer through a stomach tube. He’d just fill up the feed bag with beer. And he’d get pretty buzzed. So if I could still drink beer that would expedite the feeding tube adjustment process a lot because drinking beer is highly entertaining.

What if I’m in hospice? Well, when my aunt was in hospice they gave her what they called a “comfort kit,” which was a variety of painkillers. Taking those drugs seemed to provide her with some entertainment. It made me wonder what other stuff I would have in my comfort kit to entertain me if I was in hospice. I know for sure I’d include the movie Blazing Saddles. Even though I’ve seen that movie a million times it always cracks me up. And if I was in hospice, my hospice team would definitely include a belly dancer. I’d have her on 24-hour call in case I have an emergency need for entertainment and she can come shimmy around my sick bed.

And even if all these things cease to entertain me, I’ll probably keep going anyway just to say fuck you to death. There’s got to be something entertaining about that.

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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Smart Ass Cripple's Imaginary Commencement Address to all the State Schools for Cripples

I’m a proud graduate of a state-operated boarding school for cripples which I affectionately refer to as the Sam Houston Institute of Technology (SHIT). If someone organized a reunion of my graduating class, it wouldn’t take much work. It could probably be held at the nearest Starbucks because there were only nine people in my graduating class. We were lucky to have a commencement at all. A lot of these state cripple schools don’t have a commencement because commencement comes from the word commence, which means you’re going somewhere. Cripples in state schools ain’t hardly going anywhere, which is why it makes me laugh when those places are often referred to as “developmental” centers. What the hell is any cripple dumped in a state school developing, besides butt callouses?

It’s too bad for me that cripple schools like SHIT don’t have commencements because I could turn it into a speaking circuit and cash in big. I could bill myself as a cripple school “success story.” I know that’s hilarious, but it’s a low bar to clear.

My speech would be entitled “Survival in the Wild.” What would I say to these commencing cripples to best arm them for life in the wild? Well, first I would tell them that they can do anything! All they have to do is try. And then I’d say sorry, that was a joke. Nobody can do anything. Not even the verts (which is short for verticals, which is slang for people who walk.) But if you poke around enough you might find something useful to do and maybe if you’re lucky it’ll even be sort of fun. And then I’d tell them that whatever it is they do, don’t fuck it up. Because all other cripples to come will be judged by whether they succeed or fail. If they fuck it up no other cripple may ever get another opportunity to try. So they’d better work twice as hard as all the verts just to prove they’re half as good.

And then I’d say sorry, that was a joke too. Not the stuff about all other cripples being judged. That shit’s for real. But the part about working twice as hard as a result. That's the joke. I’d say unto the commencing cripples that if anybody tries to put a stupid idea like that into their heads, there’s a mantra that has always served Smart Ass Cripple well when he needs to summon the strength to persevere. Two little words: bull shit. Or is that one little word? I can never remember if that’s one word or two. Same thing with the word asshole. Asshole sounds like it should be one word, but maybe it’s two. You’d think that as often as I write those words I’d have them memorized like my middle name. So hold on a minute while I look them up. Wow! Turns out bullshit and asshole are both indeed one word. I’ll have to figure out a way to remember that, some kind of mnemonic device or something.

So I’d tell the commencing cripples to always remember that one little word: bullshit. There will be many situations in the wild where that word will come in handy. Like suppose you want a job so vocational rehab gets you a position as a grocery bagger. Now Lord knows the world needs good grocery baggers. Grocery baggers are very much like toilet paper. We don’t fully realize how important they are until they’re not there. But suppose you suck at grocery bagging or you just don’t like it so you quit or you’re fired. Voc rehab will probably write you off as “unemployable.” The key to surviving a trauma like that is to remember the magic word: bullshit. If you suck at being a grocery bagger, it doesn’t mean you automatically suck at everything else. All it means is that you suck at being a grocery bagger.

So always keep that word nearby, I’d say to the commencing cripples, for you will encounter many such hostile attitudes in the wild. You will encounter many a beast who will try to convince you that if you demand respect and accommodation, you are unreasonable and, worse yet, ungrateful. They’ll try to convince you that you belong in a “developmental center.”

Just say it to yourself: bullshit. Say it over and over. Now say it out loud. Good! Now say it so everybody can hear it. Bullshit! That word will fortify you. It will keep you on course.

Ah but who am I kidding. There never will be such a thing as a state school commencement address speaking circuit. It’s all just a fantasy, my futile dream of riches.

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Smart Ass Cripple Inspires Youth with his Courage

At first, when I received the congratulatory call, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I thought maybe it was a joke. And if it wasn’t a joke, should I be insulted?

“Congratulations! The Low Standards Society has selected you as its 2016 Man of the Year!”

But once I understood the unique, humanitarian mission of the Low Standards Society, I realized that this was indeed a unique honor. I would play and integral role in helping carry out the that mission, which is simply “to make all young people feel better about themselves.” Who can argue with that?

And the Low Standards Society strives to accomplish this lofty goal by “working tirelessly and diligently to lower the standards by which human society defines achievement. We seek to inspire youth, our greatest natural resource, to work to realize their full potential by making achievement more achievable.”

I know exactly what they mean. The writers that have always most inspired me are not the great writers but the ones that really suck. Like suppose I go see a play that’s really great. Afterward, I’ll say to myself, “Jesus, I’ll never be able to write as well as that guy. I’m might as well give the fuck up!” And I go home feeling all daunted and intimidated and shit. But if the play sucks big time, I say to myself, “Jesus, I could write something better than that piece of crap with one hand tied behind my back. So could a chimp on barbiturates.” And I go home feeling all inspired to write. Maybe getting a play produced is much easier than I thought.

So, when viewed through that lens, it makes perfect sense that the Low Standards Society would choose me as its Man of the Year. According to the selection committee, I was chosen because I am a “symbol of courage” who “finds the inner strength to tackle the challenges of each new day.” I’m not sure what they mean by that. The challenges I tackle most days are pretty much stuff like eating, talking on the phone, writing silly shit on my laptop and taking a dump. But when you’re crippled, I guess that’s good enough to make you a courageous overachiever.

So youth from all over the world will see me and feel motivated and inspired. They’ll say to themselves, “Well hell, if that guy’s courageous, I must be Superman. If that’s all it takes to win, deal me in!”

It will be my job as the reigning Low Standards Man of the Year to conduct myself in a manner that lowers the standards by which we measure courage and achievement even lower. I’m sure I’ll be up for the task.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Endless Cripple Bread Lines

The problem with cripples is we don’t riot enough. I don’t think we’ve ever rioted at all. I’ve never read any accounts of a pissed off gang of cripples rioting in the streets. Have you?

What causes riots is resource shortages and rationing. People get tired of waiting in bread lines or whatever kind of waiting lines and they start rioting. There’s nary a cripple in America that isn’t waiting in some sort of waiting line. And it’s not as if it’s a waiting line for cotton candy. We’re waiting for important shit, like food and shelter.

Every year United Cerebral Palsy puts out a report called The Case for Inclusion, which measures how well Medicaid programs in different states are serving cripples. The report that just came out says almost 350,000 people are on a waiting list for home and community-based services, which is 28,000 more than last year.

That means that when cripples went last year to the state agencies that spend Medicaid money and asked for assistance so they can live somewhere other than a goddam soul-crushing nursing home or in the crawl space of the house of their 90-year-old parents, the agency told more than a quarter of a million of them to go sit in the corner and shut up and wait. Wait for how long? Five years? Ten years? Maybe. Maybe longer.

A quarter of a million cripples is a whole lot of cripples! That’s almost as many as it takes to screw in a light bulb. So yeah, cripples have been waiting in our own unique bread lines for as long as there have been cripples. They’re just not the kind of bread lines that people who aren’t waiting in them can see. These a bureaucratic bread lines. And those are the worst kind. It means that the odds of anyone besides those of us waiting getting worked up enough to riot about it are small.

So we can’t rely on others to do our rioting for us. We have to do it ourselves. I know that rioting, like everything else, is a much more perilous task when you’re crippled. It’s hard to throw a Molotov cocktail with any accuracy if you’re spastic. Rioting is physically and emotionally exhausting. But so is waiting in line. It seems to me that uncrippled people have a much lower breaking point when it comes to waiting it line. Hell, I’ve seen them snap after five minutes in the grocery checkout line. But cripples wait patiently for decades. And the lines are getting the longer. I don’t know what it is about us. Maybe it’s evolution. Maybe our crippled ancestors spent so much time waiting that modern Homo sapiens crippleus have an overdeveloped waiting gene.

Whatever it is, I think it’s time to consider some rioting and maybe a little looting too. A horde of cripples rampaging through the Apple store is bound to get somebody’s attention, or certainly a lot more than politely waiting ever has.

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Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Association of Bedridden Skydivers

I’m so excited! Soon I’ll be jumping out of an airplane for the first time as a member of the Association of Bedridden Skydivers!

I’m not really bedridden, but I’m faking like I am so they’ll let me join. Because I might be bedridden someday. You never know. Anyone might be someday. And I’m a proactive type of guy so I think it’s important that I practice a little at being bedridden. I should build up my callouses, so to speak.

Now if you’re like me, when you first hear about the Association of Bedridden Skydivers it conjures an image of cripples in special parachute-equipped hospital beds being shoved out of airplanes. But don’t worry. The Association of Bedridden Skydivers doesn’t put cripples, society’s most vulnerable citizens, in harm’s way. Bedridden skydiving is the only skydiving that’s 100 percent safe because they Skype you in. It’s like when you take your first skydive and you’re strapped to the body of a pro skydiver. The Association of Bedridden Skydivers buddies up a pro skydiver with a bedridden cripple and that skydiver jumps out of the plane wearing a helmet with a special camera embedded in it and that's how the bedridden cripple goes along for the jump without leaving the bedroom. If the bedridden cripple wants to enhance the experience, she/he can wear a helmet and jumpsuit while lying in bed. But it’s certainly not required.

There was a time when I wouldn’t be caught dead doing something like bedridden skydiving. I had a strong aversion to doing the virtual stuff a lot of cripples do, like going to college on the internet for example. If I can’t do the real thing, I said to myself, I don’t want to do it at all! To me, doing virtual stuff was akin to masturbation. But that was back at a time when I had a much lower opinion than I do now of masturbation. Things began to change when I allowed myself to consider the virtues of masturbation. For one thing, masturbation is always consensual. And there’s never any trafficking involved. So if you can see past the shame conspiracy surrounding masturbation, you’ll view it guilt-free sex fun. That’s why a lot of super religious people are so freaked out about masturbation. They don’t want anyone to believe that there can be such a thing as guilt-free sex fun.

That’s how I came to change my perspective on masturbation. And I figure I’ll come to change my perspective on doing the virtual stuff a lot of cripples do in the same way. I’ll convince myself that if I really want to do it, I ought to just do it. Why let foolish pride get in the way of having fun?

This change of attitude will probably expedite my period of adjustment should I ever become bedridden. I’ll spend less time lying there stoic, proud, uncompromising and bored out of my fucking mind.

And if I really enjoy the Association of Bedridden Skydivers, I’ll probably sign up for the Association of Bedridden NASCAR Drivers and the Association of Bedridden Bullfighters.

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Friday, September 30, 2016

Sugar Daddy Quarterback

There was this war veteran who became crippled and so he needed this fancy new motorized wheelchair. But the wheelchair was super expensive so one of the war vet’s buddies decided to help. He made a life-size cardboard cutout of the crippled war vet. He took the cutout to a pro football training camp and he caught the attention of the star quarterback and the star quarterback bought the fancy new motorized wheelchair for the crippled war vet.

I saw this story on a daytime television show. Everybody agreed that this story was truly inspiring. It sure inspired me. It inspired me to look for a sugar daddy quarterback of my own. Because things are getting tight. States are cutting back on the shit they’ll pay for to help support cripples. You have to get creative to get your needs met. I sure would rest easier knowing I had a sugar daddy quarterback ready and willing and proud to help me out with everything I need. I don't even have to give him sex in return. I just have to be a grateful cripple.

But I’m afraid. Having a sugar daddy quarterback might seem like a comforting notion, but it could easily backfire and I could end up living in my worst nightmare. Because the competition will be fierce. I imagine millions of other cripples just like me were inspired by that story and they too are trying to think up the right gimmick to get the attention of a sugar daddy quarterback. And there are only so many quarterbacks to go around. So a mope like me could probably only win over a college quarterback at best. And even then probably only one from Division XII-B.

But it doesn’t matter because people are nuts about their football. And what’ll happen is someday I’ll drop my fork and nobody will be around to pick it up for me. But I’ll remember my sugar daddy quarterback telling me if I ever need help just call, anytime and anywhere. So I’ll send him a text that says HELP. And just my luck it’ll be right in the middle of the big game. And because I don’t give a shit about college football I won’t know it’s right in the middle of the big game. And when my sugar daddy quarterback sees my text he’ll remember his solemn promise to me and he’ll abruptly exit the stadium and flag down a cab. And the second string quarterback will come in and fuck everything up. And when the furious fans find out that the starting quarterback left so he could go pick up a cripple’s fork, those fans will send a posse to round me up so they can draw and quarter me in the town square.

So I’ll have to enter witness protection because pissing off football fans is like pissing off the mob. And being in witness protection is my worst nightmare because how can anyone successfully disguise a conspicuous old cripple like me? You can’t just stick a girl’s wig on me and call me Michelle.

Sometimes people in witness protection get surgery to alter their appearance. But there’s no surgery that can alter my appearance enough, unless they figure out a way to cure me. The only surgery that might work is gender reassignment surgery. I suppose if a surgeon could actually turn me into a crippled woman (with very hairy legs), I might be able to fool enough people to get by.

Having your own private sugar daddy quarterback may seem like the answer to every cripple’s prayer. But it doesn’t come without considerable risk.

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Friday, September 23, 2016

It’s so Stupid it’s Inevitable

Before I go to an unfamiliar place, I usually call ahead and make sure it’s accessible. I ask a bunch of specific questions because some people’s idea of an accessible venue is any place that it has 25 stairs or less.

On those occasions when I receive assurance that the place really and truly is accessible, I tell that person thanks. And I wonder if there’s ever a time when someone calls and asks if the place is accessible and when they’re assured that indeed it is they say, “Well in that case, screw you! I’m not coming!”

It would be stupid for anybody to feel that way, which means there must be some people out there who do. There always are.

There’s an organization called Little People of America, which, among other things, is dedicated to “raising positive awareness about dwarfism and addressing misconceptions about dwarfism.” It would be stupid for anybody to be threatened by that, so there must be some people who are. “Raising positive awareness about dwarfism and addressing misconceptions about dwarfism? Them there’s fightin’ words!”

Some people are very easily threatened by everything. It’s usually the white supremacy types. Those guys are always so miserable, which doesn’t make sense because being supreme is supposed to make you giddy, isn’t it? Isn’t that the whole point of being supreme?

But I guess they’re worried that anything can happen at any moment that can render them not so special anymore. This stuff about building ramps all over the place and addressing misconceptions about dwarfism, those are more examples of what’s it going to looks like when we're all living in the socialist dystopia that’s coming any day now. Everybody gets to go everywhere and do everything together! Everybody’s the same! Nobody’s special anymore!

Has anybody ever picketed outside a Little People event with a sign that says Tall Lives Matter? Is there a backlash organization called Normal Sized People of America?

Maybe not, but you can bet there are people thinking about it for sure. Maybe they don’t have the guts to say it out loud just yet but someday somebody will. Maybe it’ll be one of those rabid radio show guys. And as is always the case, when the first idiot dares to speak their mind, the closet idiots feel liberated. “Somebody’s finally speaking the truth!” And the idiots mobilize.

That’ll be the day when the restaurant hostess proudly declares to a caller that everything is fully and marvelously accessible and that caller curses her out and hangs up.

It’s all so stupid that it’s bound to happen soon.

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Friday, September 16, 2016

In the Mainstream

A lot of cripples aspire hard to be in the “mainstream.” We’re not even sure what and where the hell the mainstream is, but we figure trying to get there is worth a shot. Whatever and wherever it is, it sounds like it’s got to be a whole lot different from where we are now, so what have we got to lose?

Now me, I’ve always had mixed emotions about jumping into the mainstream. Mainstream sounds dangerously synonymous with normal and I’ve always been allergic to too much normal. Normal is a very good thing to aspire to when you’re talking about stuff like blood pressure and cholesterol levels. But becoming normal in every way isn’t always a step up to a higher wrung.

But then I received a letter from the Federal Bureau of Cripple Management. The letter announced a great new national initiative to mainstream every cripple in America. All I have to do, the letter said, is enroll in the program by calling the toll-free number below. And if I do enroll, within a matter of days I will be mainstreamed.

So I figured what the hell. Why not? I’m up for an adventure. I’m curious to see just where this mainstream is. And I’m glad the government finally recognized my right to be in the mainstream. So I called the toll-free number. And the next day there was a knock on my door. It was a man dressed like a limo driver. He said he was here to take me to the mainstream. But his vehicle wasn’t exactly a limo. It was an unmarked moving van with a wheelchair lift on the back.

The driver loaded me into the back of the truck, pulled down the door and latched it. There were several dozen other cripples inside the truck. None of us knew where we were going but we didn’t care. We were excited that at long last we were going to be mainstreamed. As we rattled down the highway in our stuffy, windowless cube, we sang songs like happy campers—100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall!

We picked up more cripples along the way and finally we arrived at our destination. It was a secluded, pristine, wooded area with a narrow river gently flowing through it. The air was cool and crisp. Several smiling employees of the Federal Bureau of Cripple Management were on hand to welcome us. The cripples were unloaded from the truck one by one.

“Where am I?” I asked the limo driver.

“You’re in Maine,” he replied.

“And what river is that?”

The limo driver chuckled. “That’s not a river. That’s a stream.”

And one by one the cripples were taken down to the water’s edge and dumped out of their wheelchairs into the stream.

But fortunately for me, I escaped because I know karate.

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Saturday, September 3, 2016

Alaskan Bear Stories as they Pertain to Coattail Access

Everybody from Alaska has a crazy story about a time when a bear suddenly appeared out of the blue. Here are my two favorite Alaska bear stories I’ve heard:

Scene: A grocery store. The manager sees a bear bounding through the parking lot, headed for the store entrance. The manager panics because the entrance door will automatically open when the bear steps on the magic rubber mat. So the manager pushes back with all his might against the inside of the entrance door, hoping he can stop the door from springing open for the bear. The bear steps on the magic rubber mat of the exit door instead. Nothing happens. The bear bounds away. Happy ending.

Scene: An emergency room. The automatic doors spring open and a bear enters. The emergency room staff lures the bear into a side room and locks the door. Somebody then calls the people you call when you need someone to sedate and remove a bear, while in the background the sound is heard of a furious bear trashing a locked room. The people from the bear sedation and removal service respond quickly and successfully do their job. Happy ending.

Both of these bear stories involve automatic doors. And because automatic doors are readily associated with cripples, this could be used to whip up a lot of anti-cripple backlash. “If it wasn’t for all these demanding cripples and their access laws, we wouldn’t have all these automatic doors all over the place, which present an open invitation for bears to waltz right on in!”

But that would be bullshit. Because back when I was a criplet, long before there were access laws, there were automatic doors on grocery stores and emergency rooms. Those were about the only places where there were automatic doors. Most cripple access was coattail access. It was accidental. If a place was accessible, it was done for something more important than cripples. And cripples got in on the coattails.

An example of something that was more important than cripples would be shopping carts. Automatic doors made it easier for people with shopping carts to get in and out of grocery stores so cripples got lucky and they could sneak in also. Another example of something more important than cripples back in those days was garbage. If a public building had a ramp, it was probably around back in the alley and it was there not for the purpose of letting cripples in but for taking garbage out. So the astute cripple could sometimes gain access via the garbage ramp. Although some security guard might stop you and say, “Hey, that ramp’s not for you. It’s for garbage.”

There used to be an elevator in the Cook County building in downtown Chicago and on the door it said HANDICAPPED AND FREIGHT. But it should have said FREIGHT AND HANDICAPPED because it was there first and foremost to haul freight, not to haul cripples. Although I guess one could argue that cripples do, technically, qualify as freight and therefore deserve to be treated with the same respect.


Smart Ass Cripple is taking some time off. Will post again the week of September 12

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Friday, August 26, 2016

The Voice of a Crippled Generation

Paul Zielinski always dreamed of being a rapper. But everybody always discouraged him. It wasn’t just because he was white and Polish. It was because he was born with cerebral palsy. He talks all slurry and people think he’s drunk. He walks funny, too, like a drunk trudging through high snow. He's even been known to drool on occasion. So who would take him seriously as a rapper?

But all that negativity didn’t dissuade Paul. As a matter of fact, it inspired him. And today, not only is he a successful rapper, he is a groundbreaking artist who is revolutionizing the genre. He’s invented a style of rap where the words don’t rhyme. His raps have no repetitive rhythm so you can't dance to them either. His raps are structured more like prose than poetry. And there isn’t any music.

Paul’s style of rap is very cerebral. That’s why he calls himself Cerebral Paul Zee.

Like every artistic pioneer and innovator, people either love him or hate him. Rap purists accuse him of heresy. New York Times rap critic Ice Pik describes Cerebral Paul Zee’s raps as “nothing more than sophomoric monologues.” But the famous rap blogger Cussin’ Cousin lauds Cerebral Paul Zee as “the Charlie Parker of rap,” referring to the revered alto saxophonist who freed jazz from the stifling constraints of Glenn Milleresque swing by ushering in the bebop era.

Cerebral Paul Zee himself seems to delight in ruffling the feathers of old schoolers. In a recent interview, he said, “Who says all rap has to have the same old rhythm and rhyme? It’s not a fucking Hallmark birthday card!”

Cerebral Paul Zee has legions of adoring fans. They packed the house for his most recent concert. Sitting on a simple folding chair on a bare stage, he delivered his most popular rap, entitled “Talk to Me, Bitch!”

I went to a restaurant with my friend Chloe. The waitress asked Chloe for her order. Chloe said, “I’ll have the poached salmon and a glass of petite sirah.” And then the waitress said to Chloe, “And what will he have?” And I said to that waitress, “Talk to me, bitch! I ain’t deaf! I ain't contagious! Talk to me, bitch!"

Cerebral Paul Zee may be an iconoclast, but his work still retains many of the elements of tradition rap. First of all, he uses the word bitch. And he writes about the alienation and anger he feels living as a crippled American. Here’s the title rap from his latest release, “Asshole Cabbie Just Blew Right Past Me!”

I was standing on the corner waving my arms like a maniac. “Taxi! Taxi!” Asshole cabbie just blew right past me! I bet he thought I was drunk and gonna puke all over his cab! If I ever see that asshole cabbie again, I WILL puke all over his cab! I’ll puke all over him too!

Also in keeping with the great traditions of rap, Cerebral Paul Zee is embroiled in bitter feud with another rapper. His arch enemy is the east coast crippled rapper Autistic Freedom. Both crippled rappers accuse the other of being responsible for the tragic shooting death of the one-legged rapper Ampu T.

Cerebral Paul Zee is a man who raps to his own unique beat. He’s the voice of a crippled generation.


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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Back in the Days When Going to Purchase Tokens to Pay for Your Dial-a-Ride Could Make You Late for Your Dial-a-Ride

This was back in the days of payphones, bus tokens and dial-a-ride. Man, did those days suck for cripples in Chicago who wanted to get around on public transit. The buses and trains weren’t accessible so the only option was dial-a-ride. Call and make your reservation at 5 a.m. the previous morning, 30 hours in advance. And when the cripple bus arrives, don’t be late! The cripple bus only waits five minutes then it leaves. And then you’re SOL. Better learn how to hitchhike. And worse yet, they marked you down as a No Show! There was great shame associated with being a No Show. When you were a No Show, brace yourself because the next time you called dial-a-ride to dial up a ride you first got the dreaded No Show lecture: “Mr/Miss (Fill in the Blank), last time you were a No Show! It’s very inconsiderate to be a No Show. You keep the driver waiting, you keep the passengers waiting…” Being a No Show earned you several thousand years in Purgatory!

So on this particular day I had my dial-a-ride pickup all scheduled and ready. But just before the cripple bus was due to arrive, I realized I was all out of bus tokens to pay for the ride I dialed up. So I hustled over to the currency exchange around the corner. I purchased a roll of tokens from the women in the room behind the service window. I was the only customer and I couldn’t open the heavy front door to leave. (This was back in the days before there were a lot of automatic doors, too.) The woman came out from the room behind the service window to open the front door for me. When she heard the door to the room behind the service window lock behind her with an ominous click, the woman stopped in her tracks, ran back to the door and shook the knob furiously! Locked! The woman ran to the front door of the currency exchange. It was locked, too! “Oh no!” the woman cried.

Apparently she forgot to push a button or something before she came out from the room behind the service window. And if you didn’t push that button, when the room behind the service window was left unattended, all doors automatically locked. It was some sort of security thing. And the only person with the magic key to unlock the door was the boss. But she couldn’t call him because the phone was in the locked room behind the service window.

What now? We were trapped! The cripple bus was due at my house in two minutes! I was going to be a No Show! But wait! A customer! He tried to open the front door! Locked! The woman ran up to the door and waved her arms. “The doors are locked! We’re trapped!”

The man looked perplexed? “What?” he mouthed. The woman held up one finger! Wait! Don’t go away! Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease don’t go away! The woman patted herself down in a futile search for pen and paper. I happened to have both those items on me so she dashed off a note: Call the boss at 555-5555 and tell him to come unlock the door. She slid the note under the door. The man read the note and then held out his upturned, empty palms as if to say he had no money for a payphone. Of course he was broke. He was probably coming to the currency exchange to cash a check so he wouldn’t be broke.

The woman patted herself down again in a futile search for change. I happened to have change. The woman slid my change under the door. The man scooped up the change and left. He returned a few minutes later and gave us a big thumbs up. After a little while the boss came and unlocked the door. I shot out of the currency exchange and scurried home. It was way past the ETA for the cripple bus. And when I arrived home, there was nary a cripple bus in sight! Dammit! I was SOL! And worse yet, I was a No Show! I would have to go sit in the No Show corner with all the other No Shows and wear my No Show dunce cap.

But I was feeling ornery. I told myself when they try to give me my No Show lecture, I’ll lecture them right back! I’ll say, “Cripples have lives, too, you know! And in life, shit happens that makes you late for dial-a-ride. Sometimes you go to the currency exchange to get tokens to pay for your dial-a-ride and you get trapped inside. So deal with it!”

But then the cripple bus chugged up to my door, arriving half an hour late.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Personal Responsibility

The problem with this country is that nobody takes personal responsibility for anything anymore. Everybody wants to blame their problems on “society.” People who take personal responsibility for solving their own problems aren’t rewarded for taking initiative. As a matter of fact, they’re punished.

I know because it happened to me. I tried to take personal responsibility for improving my own life and I was shit on for doing it. One of the things that has always bugged the hell out of me is that I can’t get into my local butcher shop. There’s a big old step on the front door. So I am reduced to window shopping, staring longingly at the sausage chains and carcasses on display within. The owner is an Italian guy named Luigi. He’s round and wears a blood-spattered white apron. I called his shop and tried to convince him to build a ramp. I said, “You are required by law to provide reasonable accommodation so customers like me can access your store. But more importantly, providing access is the right thing to do. And it’s good for business! You’ll mine a rich, untapped vein of new customers!” But Luigi just said, “It’s a notta my problem.” And he hung up.

For months I sat home and seethed over Luigi’s callous indifference. When I sit home and seethe, I watch a lot of TV. And when I watch a lot of TV I see a lot of those scolding, personal responsibility pundits who tell us to stop acting like whiny little victims. This is America! You’ve got to seize the bull by the bootstraps!

I was finally convinced! Luigi was right! If I can’t get into his store, it’s not his problem. It’s up to ME to deal with my situation without bothering him about it.

So I took personal responsibility. I happen to have a couple buddies who are really into amateur carpentry. So we gathered up some wood and hammers and nails and went to the butcher shop to build a ramp on the entrance. Well we barely got the first plank in place before Luigi appeared.

“What the hell are you doing?” he snarled.

“Don’t worry, Luigi,” I said. “I’m taking personal responsibility for getting into your store. You don’t have to do anything. I realize this is my problem, not yours.”

“Get away from my store or I kill you!” Luigi raised a cleaver and my amateur carpenter buddies scattered like cockroaches. Some friends they are!

So much for the butcher shop. But I didn’t give up. Another thing that always bugged the hell out of me is this big curb on the corner down the block. The curbs all around it are ramped but not that one. I’ve complained to city hall a million and one times. So I decided to take personal responsibility.

I happen to have another buddy who owns a jackhammer. I didn’t think it was legal for a private citizen to own a jackhammer but apparently it’s protected by the 2nd Amendment, according to my buddy who owns a jackhammer. So one fine summer afternoon we went to that corner and commenced to making our own curb ramp. My buddy was happily jackhammering away at the curb for only about two minutes when a police wagon to showed up. The cops cuffed my buddy, threw him in the wagon and confiscated his jackhammer. “Hey,” I said, “you’re violating his 2nd Amendment rights!” But did the cops care about that? No!

So I’m sitting home seething again. Whatever happened to the good old days when taking personal responsibility solved every problem?

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Friday, August 5, 2016

Rats in my Engine

The guy wore a Walgreens shirt so I figured it was okay to ask him.

“Excuse me,” I said. “Do you sell nylon stockings?”

“You mean like for ladies?” he said.

I said yes. I fought back the strong urge to explain to him that although I needed ladies’ nylons, I needed them for a very manly reason.

He led me to the back of the store where assorted packages of nylons hung on hooks. “What size?” he said.

I hadn’t anticipated that question. So I said I’ll take the smallest. And all along the Walgreens guy maintained his professional poker face as he took the package of nylons down off the hook and carried it to checkout for me. But I just knew that inside he was dying to know what this hairy old cripple was going to do with this pair of ladies’ nylons. I figured that he ruled out that I was a) buying them for that special woman in my life or b) going to rob a back. People don't give a hairy old cripple credit for being able to pull off feats like robbing a bank or snagging a woman. And he also probably ruled out that I planned to wear them myself. Hairy old cripples don’t do that kind of kinky stuff either. Or maybe I was flattering myself. Maybe he had bigger things on his mind, like how the hell he was going to pay his rent with the money he makes working at Walgreens.

I paid for the nylons and left. And never once did I publicly defend my purchase to him or the checkout guy or any onlookers in line. I could have explained it all away by simply telling the truth and announcing that I have rats in my engine. The previous day I took my cripple van in for an oil change. I’m sitting in the waiting room and it was like one of those moments when the glum surgeon enters to break the news that your loved one’s routine hangnail removal operation has gone terribly wrong. The oil change guy said the engine of my cripple van is full of rat droppings, which meant rats were regularly crawling up into the engine of my cripple van while it’s parked and having a fucking rat picnic! And I’d better do something about it pronto, he said, or they’ll chew through the engine wires and then I’ll really be screwed! I was stunned and incensed. Why those sniveling little nihilistic rodent bastards! Don’t they know how much a cripple van costs? Die vermin die!

The oil change guy said to buy mothballs and nylons. Put the mothballs inside the stockings and hang them in the engine. The smell will scare away rats.

But I didn’t explain this to anyone at Walgreens. I just left and let everyone keep on thinking whatever they were thinking about me, if they were thinking anything about me at all. And that was a breakthrough. Cripples sacrifice a lot of privacy. It’s part of the gig. If I wasn’t crippled, I could have made that purchase completely anonymously—use the self-checkout machine, pay with cash so the NSA won’t even know.

But when you’re a cripple who needs help with just about everything, lots of people get their nose in your business. Some people learn your eating, sleeping, spending and shitting habits. And there’s this tendency on the part of the cripple to want apologize or to convey a rationale that justifies your needs. The pressure is especially intense for cripples who believe they are spokescripples for all other cripples.

But that gets exhausting. At some point you just say fuck it. In the immortal words of Popeye, I am what I am. Or was that Descartes? Whatever. No need to explain.

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Friday, July 29, 2016

The Specials Olympics are Boring

The next round of the Special Olympics will be held in 2018 in Seattle. I bet you didn’t know that, did you? Well that’s okay. A lot of people didn’t know about it either. There wasn’t a lot of headline hoopla when Seattle was recently announced as the host city because compared to the regular ordinary unspecial Olympics, the Special Olympics are boring.

I know I’m not supposed to say that but I’m only reporting the sad facts. Let’s examine the things that make the Olympics interesting and newsworthy and compare it to the Special Olympics.

Let’s start with corruption. The Olympics are so fucking corrupt, which is fascinating. But you never hear about any of that with the Special Olympics. There isn’t the same cutthroat, backstabbing competition to land the Special Olympics, so you don’t hear stories about members of the Special Olympics selection committee being bribed with a tsunami of cash and cocaine and hookers. A story like that would surely generate a ton of big blaring headlines and a lot more people would pay attention to the Special Olympics.

And what about doping? You never hear anybody complain about doping in the Special Olympics. I’ve never heard anyone accuse the Russian government of secretly pumping their Special Olympians full of steroids. I bet Special Olympians aren’t even required to piss into a cup, are they?

The Special Olympics also can’t compete with the Olympics went it comes to creating social upheaval and unrest. I’d wager that not one slum has been bulldozed and its residents rendered homeless to make room for a posh village for Special Olympics athletes.

And then there’s insane jingoistic fervor. That’s what the plain old Olympics are all about. “Our shot putters can put a shot better than your shot putters can put it! USA! USA! USA! “ But do the Special Olympics whip up any insane jingoistic fervor at all? “Our cripples kicked your cripples asses! Our cripples are the best cripples in the WHOLE WORLD! Woo hoo!” I don’t think so. So how can anybody be expected to take the Special Olympics seriously as an international sporting event?

And I hate to say it but even compared to other sporting events besides the Olympics, the Special Olympics are still boring. Like soccer. To me, the most interesting thing about soccer is the way the crazy fans behave. I thought fans of American football were maniacs, but rival soccer fans will slit each other’s throats right there in the stands. But I don’t think there’s been a single fan riot fatality at the Special Olympics. Even baseball is more interesting than the Special Olympics. Ecstatic fans of the team that wins the World Series will run wild through the streets, flipping over cars and setting them on fire. Have you ever seen a news story about overjoyed Special Olympics fans doing anything like that?

No, the news stories you see about the Special Olympics are always about perseverance, teamwork and sportsmanship. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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Friday, July 22, 2016

The Ethics of the 10-Toed Sloth

Behold the 10-toed sloth. See him in his natural habitat, sitting in his wheelchair at his desk and writing his silly little blog.

The 10-toed sloth is not ashamed to call himself a sloth. As a matter of fact, he’s proud of it. Sloths are deeply misunderstood creatures. People confuse sloth with apathy. But the sloth has dreams. The 10-toed sloth’s dream is to own a shitload of those machines filled with cheap stuffed animals and a kid drops a buck or so into a slot so they can try to win a stuffed animal by grabbing it with a crane claw. What a sweet deal that must be for the guy who owns the machine. Have you ever seen a kid actually successfully snag a stuffed animal with one of those things? And even if they do snag one every now and then, so what? They just paid a buck for a 50-cent stuffed animal. So the house always wins! It’s like a slot machine for kiddies.

The sloth's dream is the American dream. The American dream isn’t to get rich by working your ass off. The American dream is to get rich by doing as little work as possible. The American dream is winning the lottery.

And because the 10-toed sloth fervently believes in not working hard when he doesn’t have to, he is not above going for the cheap laugh. Why should he go through all the trouble of pulling an elaborate practical joke on someone when he can just fart? The sloth believes that the cheap laugh is the most rewarding laugh of all.

The sloth also believes it’s complete and utter bullshit that sloth is listed as one of the seven deadly sins. Whoever decided that must’ve been a real tight ass. He (no doubt it was a he) must’ve been some grumpy sonuvabitch who subscribed to the Protestant work ethic and wanted everybody else to be as miserable as he was. The sloth says fuck the Protestant work ethic! Why isn’t working your ass off one of the seven deadly sins? It should be deadly sin number one! Working your ass off will kill you faster than sitting on it will.

The sloth’s favorite holiday is New Year’s Day. This is the sloth’s High Holy Day. The sloth thinks it’s wonderful that we begin each year with a celebration of sloth where we sit on our asses, eat, drink and watch football. It makes the sloth feel that there still might be some hope for humanity. The sloth is amazed that New Year’s Day hasn’t been outlawed by the tightasses.

Some people are worried about the bees. They’re worried that the bees are going extinct and if that happens it will greatly upset the balance of things and as a result, Homo sapiens may very well also go extinct. The sloth agrees that what's happening to the bees really sucks, but what about the 10-toed sloth? The 10-toed sloth constantly faces the threat of extinction. That will greatly upset the balance of things, too. If the 10-toed sloth goes extinct, the tightasses, unchecked, will run wild! And as a result, Homo sapiens may very well also go extinct

Save the 10-toed sloth!

(Smart Ass Cripple is completely reader supported. Purchasing Smart Ass Cripple books at, subscribing on Amazon Kindle and filling the tip jar keeps us going. Please help if you can.)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Dangers of Flamingo Plucking

I’m not easily amazed, but I’m amazed that there isn't an organized recreational activity known as flamingo plucking. (Challenge: get really realy drunk and say “flamingo plucking” ten times real fast.)

Because we live in a world where there are flamingos. And what unique and beautiful birds they are. Just look at that vibrant pink plumage. And it follows that whenever and wherever such unique and beautiful creatures exist, there are also exist some human creatures who feel compelled to fuck with them. It’s like this dumbass boy I once saw taunting a goose. The kid was at that age where you get a big testosterone rush out of doing stupid bully shit like taunting a goose. The goose was waddling along on the grass just minding its own damn business, followed by smaller geese. And the kid gets all up in the goose’s face and goes “HWONK!” The goose looked pissed. It went “HWONK” right back at the kid. And it was a big goose, about the same size as the kid. But the kid kept at it. “HWOOOONK! HWOOOOOOOOONK!” It was one of those moments we all have in life when we say to ourselves, “Where the hell are that kid’s parents?” The kid was lucky that the goose had more sense than he did and didn’t bite his fucking face off.

So it follows that since there are flamingos, there must also be flamingo pluckers. It's the kind of thing that could become all the rage on college campuses. The most likely candidates would be drunken frat boys on campuses in areas where flamingos are indigenous. In order to be accepted into the brotherhood, you must bring back to the house a genuine pink feather which you personally plucked from a live flamingo. And you must pluck the flamingo while naked. And so the young pledges sneak out to the swamp (or scale the fence of the zoo after hours). They creep up behind an unsuspecting flamingo, strip naked and whirl a lasso.

Other likely candidates for becoming flamingo pluckers would be the regular customers of eateries that have those gluttonous food challenges. Eat 12 pizzas in 20 minutes and you get a free t-shirt that says I’m a disgusting pig and your picture goes up on the prestigious Wall of Idiots. So it seems inevitable that by now one of those eateries in an area where there are lots of flamingos would offer a comparable bounty for every successfully plucked flamingo feather.

The reason why I know there must not be any of this sort of organized flamingo plucking going on is because I’ve met lots of cripples who became crippled in lots of bizarre ways, but I’ve never met anyone who was maimed by an irate flamingo. If there were any cripples like that out there, surely I would’ve met one by now. And if flamingo plucking was going on, there would be cripples like that out there for sure. They would be missing a least one eye and probably assorted other limbs and or digits. And they would serve the community by lecturing middle schoolers on the dangers of flamingo plucking. “Don’t make the same mistake I did, boys and girls. If someone tries to pressure you into going flamingo plucking, just say no.”

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Cripophobe at Costco

The guy at Costco really offended me. I could tell he was there to sell something by how he was dressed. He wore a vest and bow tie. He looked like he was waiting for the other three members of the barbershop quartet to show up. Except he didn’t have a straw hat. So either this guy was selling something or he was some kind of weirdo who puts on a barbershop quartet outfit and hangs around Costco. Either way I thought it prudent to avoid him.

As I past him I purposely didn’t make eye contact. I heard him say, “Excuse me, sir.” But he wasn’t talking to me. He was talking to the guy behind me. But the guy behind me kept walking. So then the barbershop quartet guy addressed the guy behind the guy behind me. “Excuse me, sir. Do you wish hair removal could be easier?”

The guy behind the guy behind me kept walking, too. But the barbershop quartet guy still didn’t approach me. He was purposely not making eye contact with me! And that’s when I felt offended! I hung around within earshot, pretending to be perusing the snack foods, until a customer stopped long enough to hear his sales pitch. He was selling the razors on proud display beside him. These were revolutionary razors. Laser razors, or something like that. They remove unsightly body hair in a flash!

The customer politely smiled and nodded and moved on. So the barbershop quartet guy looked around for someone else to approach. Even though I was sitting right there by the snack foods, he acted like I was invisible. Now I was really getting pissed! How dare he ignore me! Yeah I know, I was purposely not making eye contact with him, but so was everybody else. It didn’t stop him from approaching all of them.

This left only one possible explanation for his behavior. He must be a big time cripophobe. Maybe the thought of cripples with unsightly body hair gives him the creeps. Or maybe he’s one of those types that automatically assumes that all cripples are broke-ass welfare cases. A cripple like me can’t possibly afford a revolutionary laser razor. Well, let me tell you something, Jack! Cripples are a vast untapped market! According to the Chamber of Commerce, cripples represent something like $5 zillion in buying power! So screw you and your hot shot laser razor!

I circled back around and passed so close to the guy that he would have to break his neck to ignore me. Then the guy said to me, “Excuse me, sir. Do you wish hair removal could be easier?”

“No thanks,” I said and I turned and left. I felt much better after that. I’m glad he realized that even though I’m a cripple, I deserve to have the same opportunity as everybody else to blow him off.

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Holy Quest for Orgasm

It isn’t often that a television show changes my life, but this one did. It was on a Christian channel, which I call WGOD.

It looked like there was a weird orgy going on in a church. People writhed in ecstasy. Some rolled in the aisles so overcome with joy that they spoke a gibberish language. Others chirped and grimaced as shockwaves of bliss rippled through their bodies like an earthquake. And still others collapsed into the pews or fell to their hands and knees, exhausted and spent.

It really looked and sounded just like an orgy except everybody had their clothes on and nobody had a partner. Or maybe the partner was invisible (i.e. Jesus). But they were all having orgasms— maybe not your standard wet and sloppy physical orgasms but orgasms nonetheless. Spiritual orgasms? I don’t know. But the result was the same: a torrent of tension and a burst of release followed by a warm glow and a glorious sense of oneness with all creatures.

Until that moment, these hardcore Christian types really creeped me out. But then it hit me that they aren’t that much different from me. When you get right down to it, they, like all grown humans, desire what I desire. We all desire a good strong orgasm.

I never realized this before because I was raised Catholic and Catholics aren’t allowed to have orgasms. It’s a sin. It says so in the Bible. The apple in the Garden of Eden symbolized orgasm. I don’t remember what the snake symbolized. But when Eve said fuck it and treated herself to a sweet juicy apple (i.e. orgasm) everything went to hell. So whenever a Catholic has an orgasm, that earns them something like 10,000 years in purgatory, or 15,000 if it’s a self-induced orgasm. But yet Catholics are called upon to procreate with abandon. So the challenge is to find a way to procreate without having an orgasm. That’s why it’s so very hard to be a true Catholic. (Some more liberal scholars may argue that papal doctrine does not forbid achieving orgasms, it only forbids enjoying achieving orgasms. Whatever. I’ll not engage in theological hair splitting.)

So when I reached the age when I felt I had to choose between loyalty to my inherited religion and orgasms, I stopped going to church. No contest. But seeing the quasi orgy on WGOD restored some of my faith in Christianity. It’s even made me a bit envious. I’ve never had an orgasm so massive that it made me speak a gibberish language. Now I have something new to add to my bucket list. But I don’t think I’ll try to achieve those heights via the Jesus route. I think he, of all people, can tell when you’re faking it.

So I say live and let live, brothers and sisters. We are all on the same journey. I wish you good luck and Godspeed in your quest to achieve multiple multiple multiple orgasms. Who cares if you get them from Jesus or a dildo?

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Take the Lipstick Test, if you Dare

If you’re not crippled, do you ever wonder what kind of cripple you would be if you were crippled? If you're already are crippled, do you ever wonder what kind of cripple you already are?

Well then you should take The Lipstick Test. That will tell you everything you need to know. Here’s how it works: Imagine you’re so crippled that you can’t even put on lipstick. (Or maybe you already are that crippled. I know I am.) Maybe you’re so spastic that you can’t put on lipstick without making your face look like a roadmap. Or maybe you were born without arms. Or maybe you lost your arms because you were in a horrible accident or because you got drunk and tried to dance with a bear. Or maybe you have arms but they’re so crippled up you can’t even put on lipstick.

Whatever. When faced with this obstacle, which of the following cripples would you be (or are you)?

The Resourceful Cripple
: The resourceful cripple heads straight to the drawing board to devise a means to facilitate the independent, hands-free application of lipstick. The solution may be low tech. Maybe a wire coat hanger is fashioned into a lipstick applicator wand with a clamp on each end. The upper clamp holds the lipstick tube firmly in place at mouth level and the bottom clamp mounts the wand to the makeup table. The resourceful cripple bellies up to the makeup table, removes the cap of the tube using her/his teeth and applies the lipstick by maneuvering her/his lips around the lipstick as opposed to the traditional method of vice versa. Or the solution may be high tech. The resourceful cripple invents a voice-operated lipstick applicator drone. A tube of lipstick hangs down on a wire from the bottom of the drone. Upon command the drone takes flight and hovers in front of the resourceful cripple’s face while she/he applies the lipstick by maneuvering her/his lips around the lipstick as opposed to the traditional method of vice versa.

The Fuck-it Cripple: The fuck-it cripple says fuck it. She/he says, “Why should I expend so much of my time and energy trying to put on lipstick? I have so many more important things to do. I’ll just hire an assistant to put my lipstick on me.”

The Sour Grapes Cripple: The sour grapes cripple also says fuck it. She/he says, “Wearing lipstick is stupid. I’m not taking part in that idiotic ritual and anybody who doesn’t want to kiss my bare lips can kiss my bare ass!” The difference between a sour grapes cripple and a fuck-it cripple is money. A fuck-it cripple is a sour grapes cripple who can afford to hire an assistant.

The Cure-me Cripple: The cure-me cripple heads straight to the physical therapy gym and/or church, determined to be made whole once again. She/he spends 80+ hours a week exercising and/or praying. “Please God, if you give me my arms back I promise I’ll never again get drunk and try to dance with a bear.”

The Kill-me Cripple: The kill-me cripple heads straight to Switzerland in search of assisted suicide. The kill-me cripple says, “If I can’t apply lipstick anymore, life isn’t worth living! The indignity is unbearable! I’d rather die from a physician-prescribed lethal dose of barbiturates than die from the embarrassment of being crippled!”

Now that you’ve taken the lipstick test, what kind of cripple would you be (or are you already)? I hope this exercise was as enlightening for you as it was for me.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Old Broken Down Waterpiks for Kripples

The day just started and already I’m feeling overwhelmed. All I did was roll from my bed to my bathroom sink and I’m ready to throw up my hands and go back to bed.

My Waterpik is busted! I thought I’d begin the day on a positive note with a refreshing blast from my mouth bidet. But all it did when I flipped the switch was grumble and die. So now I’m saddled with an albatross because you can’t just toss electric devices in the garbage anymore. It’s not environmentally correct. It accelerates the melting of the arctic ice and I don’t want to be an accomplice to that. Proper procedure is to take electric devices to one of the state-sanctioned electric device recycling centers and God knows where the hell those are. I guess I’ll have to look it up. Meanwhile , I’ll toss the Waterpik on the pile in the attic with the old phone and answering machine and clock radio and all the old broken down electric devices that I can’t just toss in the garbage anymore goddammit. That pile is getting bigger. Someday it’s bound to all come crashing down through the ceiling and kill somebody. It really makes me sad.

And it’s not like there’s some charity I can call to come haul the damn thing away, like Kars for Kids. There isn’t any charity called Old Broken Down Waterpiks for Kids or Kripples or anybody else as far as I know. So I’m on my own here. Now if I was an enterprising person I would see this as an opportunity to get rich, one of those lemons/lemonade crossroads in life. I would seize the bull by the udders and start milking! Maybe I’d start up a charity like Goodwill and I’d collect old broken down Waterpiks and employ an army of cripples to repair them or take them apart for scap metal or something. I’m not sure how starting a charity will make me rich but hey, if other people can do it, so can I!

I can call it therapy. I can say I’m using old broken down Waterpiks to help cripples improve their motor skills. How could anybody not be in favor of helping cripples improve their motor skills, unless they’re a communist?

People will donate their old broken down Waterpiks to me by the truckload! “Your generous contribution not only helps cripples improve their motor skills but it also preserves the arctic ice!” It’s a philanthropic twofer!

But I know what will happen if I try to pursue that dream. I’ll never take the second step. I could maybe rouse myself up enough to collect a million old broken down Waterpiks. But I’ll never have the patience or attention span it takes to recruit and employ hundreds of cripples with shitty motor skills. So instead of being stuck with one old broken down Waterpik, I’ll be stuck with a million. I’ll be surrounded by a million brutal reminders of how disgustingly unenterprising I am and why I’ll never be rich.