Thursday, July 28, 2022

Runaway Cripple


When my brother, Steve, was about five years old, he told mom he wanted to run away from home.

So, mom helped him prepare for the journey. She got him dressed appropriately and made him some sandwiches for the road and packed them in a brown paper lunch bag. Mom then rolled Steve in his wheelchair out onto the front sidewalk and told him to tell passersby that he was running away from home and ask them if they would take him home to live with them. Mom said she was going back in the house, but she would look out periodically to see if he was still there and if he still was she’d come out and check on him.

Well, fortunately, there were no passersby. I figure that’s what must’ve happened because otherwise this thing probably would’ve gotten all blown out of proportion. Because this was 1952 or so and if anybody would’ve come across an abandoned crippled kid saying to them, “Please take me home,” they probably would’ve freaked out and called the authorities and somebody from the state might’ve come and taken my brother away from my mother because she would’ve been seen as some kind of negligent shrew or something.

But just the opposite was true. First off, I’m sure the weather was conducive to running away from home. I’m sure my mother never would’ve set my brother out there on the sidewalk alone if there was a blizzard going on.

And second, I really doubt my brother was ever technically alone. I’m sure my mother was in the house watching through the window the whole time.

What she did was the opposite of negligent. It was actually quite brilliant. My mother knew a few things about raising crippled kids. She raised three of us. And she handled it pretty much the same way she handled it when my brother wanted to run away from home. She didn’t try to stop us from doing all the stuff kids want to do. She let us go out and do dumb shit and screw up and learn from it. She knew we could take it.

After a little while, mom went outside and said to Steve, “Oh, are you still here? Would you like to come back in the house?” Steve said yes.

 Mom and Steve went back in the house and a little was that. 

(Please support Smart Ass Cripple and help us carry on. Just click below to contribute.)

Purchase books by Smart Ass Cripple at

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Another Thing I Wouldn't Know if I Lived in a Stinkin' Nursing Home

 I’m sure glad I don’t live in Korea. Because if I did, everyone would be all bummed out on my birthday.

And I wouldn’t know this if I lived in a stinkin’ nursing home. Because a guy from South Korea used to be a member of my pit crew, which is what I call the group of people I’ve hired to come into my home every day to help me do stuff like get dressed and out of bed, take a crap, etc. When I mentioned my birthday, this guy told me that it is the anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War.

And I never would have met this guy if I was in a stinkin’ nursing home because I wouldn’t have a pit crew. I wouldn’t need one because the nursing home would send in people to do all the stuff that my pit crew does for me. And they’d be strangers dressed in surgical scrubs and they’d come get me up at whatever time was most convenient for them because they’d probably also be getting about a dozen other people up. And I’d probably have to go to bed whenever they were ready to put me to bed even if it was 6 p.m. and the sun was still up because they’d probably also have to put about a dozen other people to bed. And I ‘d have to eat whatever the gruel de jour was whenever they were ready to help me eat it. And I wouldn’t have a damn thing to say about any of it.

So I’m glad I got to meet this guy from Korea so now at least I’ll know what to expect if I’m ever there on my birthday.  Otherwise I might’ve been blindsided. That would really suck. It would be like this other guy I know whose eighth birthday party was ruined because it happened on the same day that John F. Kennedy went out and got himself assassinated.

It’s probably the same way for people in the U.S. whose birthday is September 11. That’s a fucked-up day in Chile, too, because on September 11, 1973, their elected president, Salvador Allende, was killed and a military junta took over. Allende was replaced by General Augusto Pinochet, who was one of the infamous brutal assholes of the 20th Century, up there with Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot. And the administration of U.S. President Richard Nixon (another brutal asshole) helped plan and conduct the coup.

But anyway,  I’m glad I don’t live in Korea because I’m usually a little bit bummed on my birthday as it is. Because I always try to take the day off and not do any work and try to just do fun stuff. But everyone else is going around like it’s just another day, except the people who are doing fun stuff with me. If I were president, I’d make my birthday a national holiday so that everyone could just do fun stuff. Everyone would have the day off, except bartenders. On my birthday, bartenders are the first responders. 

(Please support Smart Ass Cripple and help us carry on. Just click below to contribute.)

Purchase books by Smart Ass Cripple at

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Mama Almost Done me Wrong

I love my mother to pieces. Not only did she give me my life, but she saved it many times along the way.

But mama almost done me wrong, in a real bad way. She did it out of love, but nevertheless, she almost done me wrong.

Mama wanted me to be an accountant. She was fooled back when I was a little baseball freak and I’d just discovered the joy of learning how to calculate battling averages and earned run averages. She saw the pages on which I did numerous calculations and I guess to her it looked like some elaborate equation on a blackboard at MIT.

So my mother said to me, “You have a way with numbers,” and she suggested I become an accountant. My mother was wise. She knew that being a crippled adult was going to be expensive for me. She knew that someday I'd probably have to pay for people to do the stuff she was doing for me for free, like dragging my crippled ass in and out of bed. So I’d better have a damn good job.

I was only about 10 years old at the time so I was too young to have thought much about what I would do when mom couldn’t do all the things she did anymore. But I wasn’t too young to feel that I’d rather be drawn and quartered by horses and have my eyes poked out than become an accountant.

And as I’ve gotten older, that aversion has grown stronger. I hate keeping track of my own money, let alone anyone else’s. I don’t care how much money they want to pay me to keep track of theirs.

And even if I had been capable of rationally weighing my future options at age 10, it probably wouldn’t have made any difference. If I would have considered the proposition that I could well end up broke and homeless with no one to drag my crippled ass in and out of bed if I didn’t become an accountant, I probably still would’ve decided to take my chances and hope for the best.

And that’s what I did. And I’ve gotten by pretty good so far. Mama was right that being a crippled adult would be very expensive. But the answer was the opposite of becoming an accountant. The answer was socialism. Yes, over about four decades now I’ve had to pay a bunch of people to do all the stuff for me that mama used to do.  But the wages of the people I hire are paid by public funds through a state program. I just submit to a state agency a record of the hours my workers spent dragging my crippled ass in and out of bed and doing all the stuff for me that mama used to do, and the state sends them a payment every two weeks.

And here I am today, still going. And I’ve managed to do it without becoming an accountant. I’m quite proud of that. 

(Please support Smart Ass Cripple and help us carry on. Just click below to contribute.)

Purchase books by Smart Ass Cripple at