Like for instance, every time I come to a street corner I expect the curbs to be ramped so I can cross the street. It’s very rare to come across a curb that isn’t ramped and when I do I’m pissed. And then I remember about 50 or 60 years ago when curbs were all over the place and there were no ramps. Back then cripples learned the survival skill of curb jumping. They’d pop a wheelie and bounce down a curb. To go up a curb they’d get a flying start in the middle of the crosswalk and pop a wheelie at the last minute and land their front tires up on the curb and try to use the momentum to bring the rest of the wheelchair up over the curb.
But what if you weren’t one of those gorilla cripples who can whip a wheelchair around and pop wheelies, which most cripples aren’t? Well, you either had a companion or passerby help you up and down curbs or you stayed home.
And then I wonder how that generation of cripples put up with that shit. What a bunch of wusses those guys must’ve been. And then I tell myself if I was an adult cripple back then, I sure as hell wouldn’t have put up with it! I’d have been among those who raised hell about it so that now there are ramps all over the place!
But when I start feeling all righteous and superior about all that, I think about all the shit I still put up with. Like for instance, when I fly on a commercial airline, they won’t let me sit in my wheelchair on the plane. I have to sit in a regular airline seat and they take my chair away and throw it in with the baggage. And the baggage handlers might mangle the hell out of it. And if I have to pee while in flight I’m screwed again because the bathrooms are so goddam tiny and I couldn’t get to the bathrooms even if they weren’t tiny because they took my wheelchair away.
So what do I do about this? Well, I just go along with it. I let them take my chair away and pray hard that they don’t mangle the hell out it. And to reduce the odds of having to pee, I dehydrate myself all day before I fly.
I hope a generation of cripples in the near future will raise hell about this so cripples will no longer be separated from our wheelchairs when we fly. And that generation will shake their heads and wonder how today’s cripples could've been such a bunch of wusses.
And when they start feeling all righteous and superior about it, they’ll think about all the shit they still put up with.