Saturday, November 23, 2019

Self-made Cripples

There just aren't enough self-made cripples around. Those are the cripples that don’t wallow in their victimhood. They take charge of their lives and they do it the American way. When life gives them lemons, they make lemonade! They don’t sit around and wait for the government to make lemonade for them and then give it to them for free!

The most shining example of a self-made cripple is Greg Abbott, the current republican governor of Texas. No state embodies the self-made, no-nonsense, rugged individualist spirit more than Texas. Abbott became crippled when he was jogging through a park on a summer day in 1984 and an oak tree fell on him. That left him paralyzed from the waist down and he’s been riding around in a wheelchair ever since.

But that didn’t stop him from becoming a millionaire! No way! And he acquired his millions the American way! He sued!

Abbott sued the homeowner of the property where the tree fell and a company that previously inspected the tree. The settlement guarantees him a six-figure annual salary for the rest of his life. He also gets an additional lump sum payment every three years. All told, the settlement can pay Abbott around $9 million tax-free, depending on how long he lives.

So whereas many other cripples expect “society” to pay for all the extra expenses that come with being crippled, Abbott does it himself, dammit!

But the funny thing is, if you want to become a self-made cripple in Texas nowadays, it won’t be nearly as easy. In 2003, the Texas state legislature capped the noneconomic damages a plaintiff can collect in medical malpractice cases at $250,000. Abbott has always said he thinks that’s a fine idea.

However, there is another litigious path to becoming a self-made cripple. You could sue someone for violating your rights. But it’s not nearly as lucrative.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Walmart on behalf of a woman in Maine who became too disabled to continue working as a sales associate . She wanted to transfer to another in-store job she could do but corporate policy prohibited it. So the woman became unemployed.

Walmart settled the lawsuit by agreeing to scrap the policy and to pay the woman $80,000. That’s all well and good, but I think it’s pretty unfair if you ask me. That’s only enough money for her to be a self-made cripple for a year or so. Then it’s back to square one for her.

How come Greg Abbott gets to be a self-made cripple for the rest of his life just because a tree fell on his head? It seems to me that working at Walmart is a much more painful thing to endure.

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

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Cripples with no Crippled Friends

I’m always at least a little suspicious of cripples who have absolutely no crippled friends. Maybe it’s not fair, but that’s how I am.

I get suspicious in the same way I do when I see things on television where there’s a live audience, like late night comedy shows or sporting events. I never ever ever see a cripple in the audience. Even when the camera pans the cheering crowd, there’s never the slightest hint of a cripple.

I imagine daytime talk shows and game shows are pretty much the same. I don’t know. I can’t bring myself to watch them—not even for research purposes. But it’s hard for me to believe that of all the people who show up daily to be in the audiences of these shows, there is rarely if ever a cripple among them.

There has to be a conspiracy at play. It must be someone’s job to be on the lookout for any cripples that happen along and then actively turn away or otherwise dissuade them, perhaps for aesthetic reasons. But that wouldn’t work for some massive event like a football game. You can’t turn that many cripples away. You can bet there are mucho cripples in the crowd of every sporting event you see on TV. So how come you never see any featured in the hundreds of seemingly-random crowd shots on camera or the Jumbotron? The only exception I ever saw was when this guy scored a touchdown and he ran over and gave the ball to a cripple in the stands. But that doesn’t count because that player tricked the camera operator into showing a cripple.

So I’m suspicious that there's another conspiracy going on because this can’t be a coincidence. It seems like whoever is calling the camera shots has to be consciously avoiding showing anybody who’s obviously crippled. If you can’t beat ‘em, ignore ‘em.

That’s how it is with cripples who have no crippled friends. If a cripple wants to find other cripples to hang around with, it’s pretty easy to do. So I figure they must be making a conscious effort to avoid associating with other cripples, perhaps for aesthetic reasons.

And that makes me suspicious.

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

Friday, November 8, 2019

The Ignored Man

I hear a lot of cripples, especially those who just became crippled, lament how when they go out in public, they often feel “invisible.”

In all my decades of crippledom, I can’t say that I’ve ever felt that way. Cripples are really the opposite of invisible. We stick out. If there are 50 people going down the street and one of them is a cripple, who’re you gonna notice?

But I know exactly what these cripples who say they feel invisible are talking about. They’re talking about those situations like when you’re out and about with a vert (which is short for vertical, which is slang for people who can walk.) And some other vert starts talking to your vert instead of addressing you, as if you’re not even there. Like maybe you’re getting ready to board a plane and the vert that’s checking people in says to your vert, “Do you have the boarding passes?”

That kind of shit happens to me all the time but when it does I don’t feel invisible because I know goddam well that I’m visible as hell. It’s not that the vert doesn’t see me. It’s that they’re trying to pretend that they don’t see me. I don’t feel like I’m invisible. I feel like I’m being ignored. I’m not the invisible man. I’m the ignored man.

It’s the same insult by a different name. And I also don’t feel insulted when people stare at me. Hell, I don’t even notice if people are staring at me or not. Maybe nobody does anymore. I don’t know. But I do notice when people are trying real hard not to stare at me. Because once again they’re trying to pretend I’m not there. They pretend like they’re looking at something really fascinating, like their phone or their feet or their fingernails.

When verts try to pretend I’m not there, I ought to run over their feet. That should get their attention.

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