Thursday, September 29, 2022

Smart Ass Cripple's Disease


I need to hurry up and  become super famous. I’m talking about that rare Lou Gehrig level of fame.

It’s a daunting task but I think I can do it. I’m certainly motivated enough to try. Because there’s one  glaringly unachieved goal remaining on my bucket list. I want to be famous enough to have a disease named after me.

And I want to do it the hard way, like Lou Gehrig did. I feel like any old punk can take the shortcut by discovering a disease and then having it named after them, like Alzheimer or Parkinson. That seems like cheating.

But when a disease is named after you just because you have it, now that’s famous! But it has to be a certain kind of famous. Look at Michael J. Fox, for instance. He has Parkinson’s, but they still call it Parkinson’s. I’ve never heard about any groundswell to rename it Michael J. Fox’s disease. I guess he's not famous in the right way.

And what about Stephen Hawking ? He’s just as famous as Lou Gehrig, but nobody calls what made him crippled Stephen Hawking’s Disease. Maybe it’s a matter of first come first serve and  Lou Gehrig beat him to it. Or maybe you have to have the kind of fame that is free from all taint of infamy. Some people might consider Stephen Hawking to be a bit bawdy. Maybe someday something will happen  to sully Lou Gehrig’s good name. Like maybe it’ll come out that his hobby was kicking puppies. Then maybe he’ll be stripped of his disease and the title will be awarded to Stephen Hawking.

But I’m at the stage of life where a man thinks a lot about his legacy, and I really want mine to include having that which has made me crippled renamed Smart Ass Cripple’s Disease. I believe I’m crippled because of something called Spinal Muscular Atrophy aka SMA. I’ve never been officially diagnosed because it really doesn’t matter to me.  Knowing what makes me crippled doesn’t make me any less crippled.

So I’m halfway toward achieving my goal. I already have a disease. Now I just have to figure out how to get famous enough to have SMA renamed Smart Ass Cripple’s Disease. But that probably won’t ever happen. I’m too bawdy.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Polio Fucking Awareness Month

 This month is Polio Fucking Awareness Month, as declared by me. I just think that considering how things have been going lately, we could all use a lot more fucking awareness about polio.

I mean, back about 60 years ago, I attended a public elementary school for cripples that was very exclusive. By that I mean that the kids who were students there were all very excluded from our neighborhood public schools.

We called some of our fellow students polios because that’s why they were crippled. They caught the polio virus.

The polios were all older than me because a few years earlier a polio vaccine was developed so no one caught polio anymore. And getting vaccinated was easy as hell. When I got mine, I just ate a sugar cube with a red spot on it. It was ridiculous. I couldn’t believe that’s all I had to do to keep from ever catching fucking polio.

I guess people don’t eat sugar cubes anymore, judging by the stuff I’ve been reading lately. I guess if you want to get vaccinated against fucking polio, you have to get a shot in the arm. But so fucking what? That sure beats the hell out of catching fucking polio.

But now I see where fucking polio is making a comeback. People in New York are catching fucking polio.

I can’t believe it! And it’s still the case that if you don’t ever want to get fucking polio, all you have to do is take the goddam vaccine!

I don’t know what the hell is going on. I hope this isn’t yet another example of the kind of shit that happens when there are a lot of douche bags running around who think not being vaccinated against anything makes them hip and cool, when all it does is put them in the asshole vanguard. And they think it’s their inalienable Constitutional right to cough in everyone else’s face like Typhoid Fucking Mary, free from government interference. I swear if anything is going to wipe out the whole human race it’ll be goddam libertarianism!

Maybe these morons will help polio make such a roaring comeback that a new strain will develop that will smash through the vaccination wall and send us all back to square fucking one. Then they’ll be real proud of themselves!

Okay but to be fair (which I really hate to do), the stuff I’ve been reading lately also says that some people don’t know whether or not they’re vaccinated against polio.

Fair enough. If you don’t remember eating a sugar cube or getting a shot in the arm, then go find out if you’ve ever received the polio vaccine. If you haven’t, then get it. Jesus Christ, I can’t believe this is even up for debate!

I hope I’ve raised a little fucking awareness about fucking polio. Thank you for your time.

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Monday, September 12, 2022

A New Labor Day Tradition


 I had a mighty fine Labor Day. Rahnee and I took the dogs to the park and we also took along some snacks. The weather was overcast and a bit cool but still mostly summery.

And another mighty fine thing happened that day. I’ve developed a new Labor Day tradition. I try to make it a point every Labor Day weekend to ask someone under age 30 if they’ve ever heard of the Jerry Lewis Telethon.

I’m fortunate that most of the people I’ve hired to come into my home and get me out of bed and such are under age 30. So, I’m surrounded by people from that demographic more than most old farts like me.

And I’m delighted to report that lately they’ve all said that they’ve never heard of either Jerry Lewis or the telethon.

And I feel great satisfaction when I hear that because there was a time not long ago when the Jerry Lewis Telethon was synonymous with Labor Day weekend. 

(Warning: I’m about to briefly explain who Jerry Lewis and the telethon were. If you don’t know who they were it’s better that you never do. So, skip down a few paragraphs.) Jerry Lewis was a comedian from the 1940s whose signature schtick was doing an impression of the lamest stereotype of a spaz.

Somewhere along the line, Lewis got the idea that he wanted his legacy to be as a great humanitarian who raised millions of dollars for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Thus, he engaged in shameless pandering by hosting a 21-hour show every Labor Day weekend called the Jerry Lewis Telethon. In between cheesy, Vegasy acts, Lewis would plead for viewers to please call the number on the screen and pledge a donation to the MDA.

You’d think that would make people with muscular dystrophy, like me, very happy. But a lot of us were pissed off by it all. There were tons of reasons why the telethon reeked but suffice it to say that a big reason was that Lewis’ depiction of life as a cripple was as insultingly shallow as his spaz schtick. The telethon took the laziest approach of trying to make its audience believe that the typical cripple is as sad but extraordinarily brave perpetual child who hates being crippled and wants nothing else in life except to be cured. And we all worship Lewis and the MDA because they are our hope for being cured. But they can’t do it without the generous donations of people like you.

The telethon referred to people with muscular dystrophy as Jerry’s Kids. So, some of us formed a group called Jerry’s Orphans and on Labor Day weekends we protested around the country against the telethon. We got a lot of media attention and Lewis reacted with bitter hostility. I’m proud to say that MDA threatened to sue me if I didn’t shut up. I didn’t and they didn’t.

The Jerry Lewis Telethon is so long gone that younger generations don’t even know it ever existed. So, I guess Jerry’s Orphans won.

As we sat in the park with the dogs eating snacks, I said to Rahnee, “This sure beats protesting.”

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