Friday, March 4, 2016

A Sense of Closure

Today was a good day, I think. It was one of those days we all have once or twice when we receive a check in the mail that we didn’t know we had coming. Well that’s what happened to me so that means it must’ve been a good day, right? More or less? Theoretically?

At first I was worried when I received a letter from the law firm of Hoodwink and Steele. Why did that name sound familiar? And then I realized oh yeah, I’ve seen a lot of their commercials during the 3 a.m horror movies. They’re personal injury lawyers: ”Injured in an Accident? Call 666-6666!”

But it appears that these shrewd men figured out a way to collect damages for cripples not just for our physical pain and suffering but for our social and political injuries as well. Because the letter informed me of the settlement of a class action lawsuit against the federal government that was initiated by the firm on behalf of “Americans with myriad physical, emotional and cognitive challenges.” The lawsuit demanded monetary reparations be paid to cripples for the “historic pattern and practice of egregious mistreatment” generations of us have endured.

At first I thought hmm, reparations? I mean, I know cripples have been fucked over huge for a long time, but reparations? Really? But then the letter reminded me how millions of us have been “institutionalized, sterilized and lobotomized.” We’ve worked jobs that pay about a buck an hour. And we’ve been herded up and banished away to shitty little segregated schools, like the one I attended, which I affectionately refer to as the Sam Houston Institute of Technology (SHIT}.

So soon I felt more than just worthy of reparations. I felt owed! Oh yeah baby! My people have been skeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-rewed! So PAY US, dammit! Pay us NOW!

The letter said that after years of negotiations, the government agreed to pay $900 million in cripple reparations! And after Hoodwink and Steele took $800 million off the top to cover their fees and expenses, the remaining $100 million was to be distributed equally among 50 million living crippled Americans, of which I am one. “Therefore,” the letter said, “enclosed is your reparations check of $2. We hope this brings you a sense of closure.”

I don’t know if closure is the right word. But at least I know what my social and political pain and suffering is worth.

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