When I drive through my boyhood neighborhood, where there are blocks and blocks of working class family houses circa 1950s with square front lawns, I can tell where all the cripples live. Their houses are the ones with the crazy, winding wooden ramps on the front.
Because nobody builds a ramp on their house just in case they or someone who lives there becomes crippled or so some crippled visitor can get in. Hell, if anybody tried to put a ramp on their house just in case somebody might need it someday, the neighbors would probably think they’re crazy. A petition would probably start going around. If there’s a homeowners association involved, they’d probably fine the homeowner with the proactive ramp up the ass. Neighbors and homeowners associations can accept ramps as long as there’s a good excuse for them. But suppose Neighbor X builds a ramp on their house and so neighbor Y, as a display of sympathy that somebody who lives there is now crippled, brings over a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies. And suppose Neighbor X then says thanks a lot but there’s nobody crippled living here. We’re just being proactive. Imagine how betrayed Neighbor Y will feel.
And the only time anyone builds a house from scratch to be fully cripple accessible is if a known cripple is going to live there. And that’s dumb because people become crippled every day. There’s a guy who lives upstairs in my building whom I hadn’t seen around for a while and then one day I saw a guy who looked exactly like him hobbling with a cane and his arm was shriveled up like he had a stroke. So I figured either he had a stroke or he has a twin brother who had a stroke. It turns out that sure enough, the guy who lives upstairs had a stroke, which is why I hadn’t seen him. And I said to myself well hell, I bet that guy’s grateful that by dumb luck he ended up in a building that’s cripple accessible. It’s a helluva lot easier adjusting to life as a cripple when you don’t have to call the fire department to haul your ass down the stairs every time you want to leave the house. The guy in who lives upstairs could be a spokesman for that.
(Smart Ass Cripple is completely reader supported. Purchasing Smart Ass Cripple books at lulu.com and filling the tip jar keeps us going. Please help if you can.)