Thursday, September 30, 2021

The Old Bologna Sandwich Routine


 Anybody who has ever been taken into custody by the police for protesting has probably been through the old bologna sandwich routine.

Somewhere in the penal code, it must say that if the police hold you beyond a certain amount of time, they have to feed you. But it must not say what they have to feed you. That’s probably left up to the police. Thus, when that designated feeding time comes around, the police do the absolute minimum to fulfill their obligation to the law. They give you a bologna sandwich. And it’s a minimalist bologna sandwich at that. It’s a single slice of bologna smashed up between two pieces of dry, cottony white bread. It’s a sad little sandwich that looks like it was made in a sheltered workshop. Condiments? Ha! Whudaya think this is, The Ritz?

When they bring you that bologna sandwich, it’s like they’re trying to be smart asses about it. It feels like they’re mocking you. The times I’ve gone through the old bologna sandwich routine have reminded  me of my adolescent days when I was in a state-operated  boarding school for cripples, which I refer to as the Sam Houston Institute of Technology (SHIT). There were many mealtimes when we were served a UFO (Unidentifiable Food Object). It was “food” only in the most technical sense. It was quite disheartening to be served a UFO. It felt like it was intended to break my spirit and beat me down

This kind of thing happens a lot to cripples in nursing homes, too. They’re served an amorphous, gray slab. (Could it be meat? A sponge?)  Condiments? Ha! Whudaya think this is, The Ritz?

But you know what? When you’re in police custody and they bring you that damn bologna sandwich, you eat it all up. Yep, in spite of the sneering sarcasm of it all, you say fuck pride and you eat that sandwich all up, because you know that’s all you’re gonna get. And we ate up the UFOs at SHIT, too. And we did it for the same reason.

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Thursday, September 16, 2021

I Could Have Been the Spelling King


It occurred to me recently that I never took part in a spelling bee as a kid.

I’m  sure I was automatically excluded because I was crippled. And now that I’m thinking about it, I’ve still never seen a kid who is obviously crippled in a spelling bee. It’s probably happened somewhere because these days, what with laws and all, it’s a lot harder to turn crippled kids away if they’re determined to win that shiny spelling trophy.

And besides, there really isn’t any reason crippled kids can’t be in spelling bees. Even if a kid can’t talk, they can use one of those Stephen Hawking talking boxes to spell out the word. Okay maybe it might be hard to figure out a way for a deaf kid to compete. Someone would have to show them the word and that would defeat the purpose. Either that or the interpreter would have to finger spell it out, unless it was some word for which there is a symbol in sign language, like maybe the word football. But who the hell doesn’t know how to spell football?

There was no reason to exclude crippled kids from spelling bees back when I was a criplet either. But they did. If pushed, the spelling bee organizers probably would’ve said they were excluding us for our own protection, which is the most common excuse for excluding us. They probably would’ve said something like crippled kids are too emotionally fragile to withstand the pain of being rejected for misspelling a word. Or maybe other spellers and their families would’ve complained that we had an unfair competitive advantage because we’re crippled and judges are afraid to reject us so they’ll give us easier words to spell like dog and cat. You know how it is if you introduce cripples into the mix. Everything gets watered down.

I really missed out on something by not being in any spelling bees. I definitely would’ve made my mark. As a kid, I was psychopathically competitive so I would have been driven to become Spelling King by any means necessary. And I would’ve made headlines for trying to poison my rivals.

So it's probably  a good thing I was excluded, for my own protection. 

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Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Defiantly Bald



For some reason, I really bristle hard when I see ads for products that are supposed to be a cure or treatment for baldness. I renew with myself my solemn, adamant, longtime vow that when my hair falls out, I will make absolutely no attempt to stop it from happening.

I bristle hard the same way when I hear the term “physically challenged.” It makes me renew my solemn, adamant, longtime vow to never use that phrase to refer to myself or any other cripple ever. First of all, that phrase forgets that crippledom is a spectrum. For example, people who are schizophrenic or bipolar are crippled, too. But nobody calls them “emotionally challenged “  or anything like that because it sounds stupid, right? There’s something laughably softball about it. It tries so hard to downplay that type of crippledness that it sounds ridiculous.

And the reason it downplays crippledness is the same reason anybody downplays crippledness: because we think it’s something to be ashamed of. We can’t just call it what it is.

So maybe that’s why ads for these types of products irk me so. I feel like those that are peddling them are trying to make us all ashamed to be bald and that pisses me off. How dare they.

It almost makes me want to go bald quick so I can give the finger to those guys by not buying their shit, in the hope that this pisses them off as much as they piss me off. Sometimes I feel like shaving my head or yanking out my hair just to hasten the process, but that would be cheating.

 When the day comes that I am bald, I will be unapologetically, defiantly bald. And I will proudly refer to myself as bald. I will never let anybody say I’m follicly challenged.

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