Wednesday, January 31, 2018


I spent five of my adolescent years as an inmate at a state-operated boarding school for cripples, which I affectionately refer to as the Sam Houston Institute of Technology (SHIT). But there’s one day I fondly recall. It was the day I took a massive dump.

It was so massive, in fact, that it clogged one of the three toilets in the community shit room and it overflowed. They had to call in a plumber. The whole area was closed down like a crime scene.

I felt quite proud of myself. I wanted to immediately claim responsibility for this legendary dump because I thought doing so might make me cool. I might achieve a level of respect that I never experienced before. But a lot of adults were pissed off about the flooded toilet, like the janitor and the houseparents, which was the job title of the people who wiped our butts. So I just laid low and stayed anonymous, though it pained me greatly to keep quiet.

To me, this particular dump felt like a landmark accomplishment, a rite of passage. I wanted to brag about it because it made me feel like a man. And crippled boys didn’t get to feel that way very often, especially back in those days.

My mother always said one good way to measure a man was by his handshake. A strong, firm handshake makes a good first impression. It’s an indicator of a study, confident man. Well, that leaves me out, I said to myself. Shaking my crippled hand was like squeezing a dead bird.

Another way to measure a man was by the type of car he drove, according to a lot of what I saw in the movies and on television. If a man drove a slick sports car like a Corvette or a secret-agent car like an Aston-Martin or an expensive car like a Cadillac, women thought he was sexy. But the only car I would ever own would be a cripple van. There’s nothing sexy about a cripple van, I thought. And I would probably never drive my cripple van. I would always be a passenger. There’s nothing sexy about being a passenger either, unless he’s a rich guy with his own chauffeur.

You could measure a man by his athletic prowess, too, or by a whole bunch of other ways that rendered crippled boys screwed. So that’s probably why that dump was so special to me. Maybe I’d never measure up in all those other ways, but I could take a manly dump. Would women find that sexy? Sadly, I’d never find out.

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