Monday, February 22, 2021

Three-Legged Dogs



I saw a young man and young woman walking a couple of dogs. And the dogs looked like they could be siblings because they were both large and hound-like and they were a similar color. And both dogs were missing their front right leg.

I wondered if they were some weird new breed of dog that only has three legs. And then I wondered if the young man and woman got the dogs from some weird niche dog rescue group that only deals in three-legged dogs.

Then I felt a little ashamed because I caught myself staring at the crippled dogs, like people sometimes stare at me.  But the dogs didn’t care or even notice that I was staring at them and that made me feel a strong bond of cripple kinship with them.  They were out there going about their business, bound and determined. One of them had a ragdoll toy clinched firmly in its teeth. They hopped along with a steady, confident stride.

These crippled dogs were an inspiration, I thought. They were cripple role models. Human cripples could learn a lot from these dogs. Because these dogs didn’t give a shit about what anyone thinks about them being crippled. When humans become crippled, they often get hung up on silly stuff like body image. They’re ashamed to look crippled, so they don’t go out in public because they’re afraid somebody might stare at them, especially if they use a wheelchair or something conspicuous like that.

But dogs don’t care about stuff like body image. They’ve got no time to worry about such a trifle. They’ve got places to go and things to do. There are snowbanks to pee on, insolent squirrels that need to be terrorized.

Crippled dogs are incapable of equating being crippled with being ashamed, unlike crippled humans.

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Monday, February 15, 2021

I Ain't Afraid of no Stinkin' Carjackers!

I've been hearing a lot on the news these days about an outbreak of carjacking. But I’m not afraid of being carjacked.

I feel confident saying that based on my assumption that riding around in a cripple van like I do makes me pretty much immune from being carjacked. Because, first of all, who wants to carjack a cripple van? They have no resale value, except to other cripples. But I also think that for that reason, it’s inevitable that some enterprising carjacking ringleader will someday get wise to the fact that although demand for cripple vans is limited, it’s potentially a quite lucrative market. Hell, a cripple van costs as much as two regular cars so not a whole lot of cripples can afford one. It’s a seller’s market. I know if someone offered me a slightly-used cripple van at a discount price, I’d have a hard time saying no. So sooner or later some ringleader, in their never-ending quest for a competitive advantage, with change their business plan to appeal to a niche market and specialize in only jacking cripple van. Oh shit, I hope I didn’t just give someone an idea! I’ve said too much! It’s a good thing all of my readers are model citizens.

But even when that ominous day comes, I still won’t be worried about being carjacked. Because whenever I get into my cripple van, the person who’s with me has to secure my wheelchair so I won’t roll around when we hit the brakes. So they attach these hooks that are at the end of retractable straps bolted to the floor to four connection points on my wheelchair. And then they buckle a shoulder harness across my chest. So if someone comes up to me in my cripple van and orders me at gunpoint to get out, I’ll say, "Well okay, I’m happy to oblige, but first, see those four hooks? You’ll need to unhook those for me. Then I’ll need you to unbuckle my shoulder harness. And then you’ll need to deploy the ramp by pushing that black button over there on the—"

I figure long before things get to that point the carjacker will say fuck it and run off looking for an easier mark to jack.

Maybe that’s why there isn’t a carjacking ring specializing in cripple vans. 

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Sunday, February 7, 2021

Screw Mt. Everest




Another reason I know I’m not no way no how one of those cripples who “overcomes” is because there’s a certain Mt. Everest element to it all. And that ain’t me.

Because what drives a person to climb Mt. Everest is a spirit of conquest. You do it just for the sake of doing it. But I say screw Mt. Everest. It not like when you get to the top there’s a pot of gold or the gift of eternal life or anything like that waiting for you. All that’s on top of Mt. Everest is a lot of snow and, I imagine, an awesome view. But climbing Mt. Everest doesn’t sound like fun to me because it’s too goddam cold. You have to wear three parkas to stay warm on Mt. Everest and I don’t know about you but it’s pretty near impossible for me to have fun while wearing a single parka, let alone three.

Overcomer cripples, at least as depicted in the movies and on the news and stuff, are filled with that same Mt. Everest spirit of conquest. They dramatically rise from their wheelchairs and walk haltingly across the stage to receive their diploma or down the aisle to get married or whatever. You know the drill.

To illustrate my point, please allow me to use the quest for beer as a metaphor for my life. There’s a bar across the street from me that has three steps on the front, which makes it like Mt. Everest to me. It beckons me to conquer it. But I’ve never even tried to go inside. Now an overcomer cripple would’ve tried to go inside long ago, even if it meant getting out or their wheelchair and painstakingly scooting up the steps one by one, because they would be motivated by the Mt. Everest spirit of conquest. They’d want to do it just for the sake of doing it. But my motivation for going into the bar across the street would be beer. And fortunately for me, there are plenty of other places around here where I can get beer with going through all that conquest pain in the ass stuff. So why do it the hard way? I guess that makes me more of a navigator cripple, trying to get a beer (so to speak)  with the least amount of overcoming.

Oh sure, there are times when I feel a strong urge to conquer the bar across the street.  But I’d be more inclined to do so in the form of a lawsuit or something like that. I’d be driven by a desire to assert my right to not drink their beer by choice.

So I’ll probably never be motivated to climb Mt. Everest, unless, for some weird reason, it ends up being the only place on earth where there’s beer.

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