Thursday, April 22, 2021

Peter Piper Syndrome



 The grinding anxiety I've been feeling lately could be described as Peter Piper Syndrome.

Suppose there was actually a guy named Peter Piper. There probably is one somewhere. He’s the offspring of a couple smart ass parents with the last name of Piper. But it’s inevitable that the life of somebody named Peter Piper would take a tragic wrong turn because he would be constantly bombarded with comments like, “Where's the peck of pickled peppers you picked?” After hearing that witticism for the 12 zillionth time, he’d be bound to snap and go on an axe-murdering spree.

I feel the same way whenever I encounter this guy who lives in the same building I live in. He sees me rolling by in my motorized wheelchair and he always says, “You better slow down or you’re gonna get a speeding ticket!” Sometimes he shouts it from across the street. He doesn’t mean any harm. He just doesn’t realize that I’ve heard that joke 12 zillion times. It’s right up there with, “Hey hot rod, you got a license for that thing?” And I don’t have the heart to tell him because I don’t want to hurt his feelings. So,  for his own protection, I go out of my way to avoid him because I’m afraid that if he says that to me one more time I’ll snap and “accidentally” take his legs out from under him and knock him down an elevator shaft.

How would Peter Piper defend himself in court? He’d probably have to throw himself at the mercy of the jury by claiming some sort of temporary insanity defense. He’d tearfully recount the excruciating torture of hearing that same fucking wise crack over and over and over.

I’d have to do the same thing if I went on trial for knocking my neighbor down an elevator shaft. But I’d insist that there be at least one wheelchair cripple on the jury of my peers. Because every wheelchair cripple I know has also heard that speeding ticket joke 12 zillion times. So there would be a good chance at least one juror could totally relate to my pain and refuse to convict.

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