Saturday, October 30, 2021

Helping a Crippled Old Man Get High


 I was very heartened when I recently learned that it’s a whole lot easier than it used to be for a crippled old man to get high. I can’t deny that at least one aspect of life has improved for the better.

I made this discovery when I frequented for the first time one of the many legal marijuana dispensaries here in Illinois. My mission was to purchase some gummies to help me enjoy an upcoming camping trip. I fully expected to be given a hard time because I’ve been denied service in bars before. They wouldn’t serve me alcohol because I’m crippled. Just about every cripple I know has had this problem. I guess some people’s idea of a typical cripple is Tiny Tim and they figure that surely he didn’t drink so we shouldn’t either.

But the first thing they do when you enter the dispensary is check your i.d. to make sure you’re of age. And after they did that the security guard opened the door to the inner sanctum and said to me, “Come right this way, sir. We have a special window just for you.” The dispensary was counter service, like a bank. And the security  guard escorted me to a corner of the counter that was lowered to wheelchair height. It was a heartwarming sight to see. It was a shining example of the Americans with Disabilities Act in action. Some stupid libertarian types might argue that it was a shining example of the glorious free market in action—maybe some shrewd businessman recognized that cripples like to get high as much as regular humans so it makes sense to make us feel welcome, too. But I sincerely doubt it. Most businessmen aren’t that smart when it comes to cripples.

Well the people who checked my i.d. must’ve entered my birthdate into the computer because after I made my purchase my salesman informed me that I was entitled to a discount. He said, “We call it the wisdom discount.”

So I got 10 percent off. Wow! Old folks like me get a lot of discounts, but this was the first time I cashed one in that felt like it meant something. Our discounts are usually something like $2 off of the lunch special on Wednesday between 2 and 4.

Anyway, it's good to know the world has become a more humane and equitable place. I'll remember that the next time I'm feeling blue.

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