Sunday, October 30, 2022

A Dog Freaked Out


I was taking a leisurely afternoon stroll around a campground. Coming toward me was a man walking a dog.

 When the dog saw me he freaked out. He was immediately on high alert. His ears went up like antenna. He stiffened and then did an agitated dance. And then he hid behind the legs of his human walker

The human laughed uneasily and apologized to me on behalf of the dog.

“That’s all right,” I said. “He’s afraid of the wheelchair. I’ve seen it before.”

I’ve also gotten the opposite reaction from dogs. I once came across a woman walking a big dog and when the dog saw me he started panting heavily and dancing for joy. The dog seemed bent on jumping on my lap and smothering me with sloppy kisses. The dog stood up on his hind legs as the woman pulled back hard on his leash to keep him away from me.

“I’m sorry,” the woman said to me. “His favorite person is in a wheelchair.”

That’s what I love about dogs. They’re honest. They don’t bull shit around about how they feel.

Anyway, the man walking his dog around the campground gestured toward my wheelchair and said, “It's just that he’s never seen one of those before. He’ll get used to it.”

The man and his dog proceeded on past me. The dog looked at me suspiciously the whole time.

That encounter made me feel hopeful and optimistic. It made me feel grateful for my crippled ancestors who came before me. Because that dog freaked out like a lot of humans freak out when they encounter a cripple, only the humans aren’t honest enough to admit it.  Instead of doing agitated dances, humans react in more subtle ways, like not making eye contact or building things with steps on the front entrance so cripples can’t get in.

 But life has generally gotten better. Navigating through each day is smoother for me than it was for the generation of cripples that came before me and the generation that came before them. And that’s because more and more of those cripples didn’t stay home and hide.  They went out and about and eventually humans didn’t freak out as much. They got used to us.

And I  have faith that things will go even smoother in the future for the criplets of today because I’m out and about.

I really enjoyed my afternoon stroll.

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Monday, October 17, 2022

Cripples in Heat


I never received sex education in school. I’m sure there are two main reasons why.

The first reason was probably because that was during the 1960s and early 1970s, when sex education wasn’t a regular feature of school curricula. But the biggest reason was probably because the schools I went to prior to college were for cripples only and whereas the idea of talking about sexuality in school was controversial enough at the time, the idea of uttering a word about sex in a school full of cripples would’ve been considered downright perverted. Hell, it was the kind of thing that might even get you arrested.

Because for some reason, some people seem to think that cripples aren’t interested in sex and it’s best to keep it that way. Maybe they think that cripples spend all of our time suffering and suffering takes up all of our limited time and energy so we don’t get around to worrying about things like getting laid. I think it comes from the perspective that sees cripples as childlike, no mater how old we are. And so exposing cripples to sex in any way is like exposing children to sex. It practically makes you a pedophile.

One thing I know about people who believe stuff like that is that they must not know any cripples very well. Cripples are probably the horniest people I know.  It seems like cripples are always in heat. You know what I mean if you’ve ever been to a large gathering of cripples, like a conference or a convention or a protest action or something, and witnessed everyone buzzing around trying to get laid.

But even though the education system didn’t tell us criplets anything about how sex works, we figured it out anyway, like all kids do. I don’t recall how I figured it out. I think that I just kept my ears open and one day it all clicked. They say that if a kid has questions about sex, they’re supposed to ask their parents about it. But those were the last people I thought about asking because I assumed they didn’t know a damn thing about such stuff. And when I did figure out how it all worked, my parents were the last people I wanted tell because I thought I knew some deep, dark secret they did know and if I tried to explain it to them they’d be all grossed out. But when  I figured out that part, too, I was the one who was grossed out.

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Friday, October 7, 2022

The Inspiring Story of Bucket Foot Bob


I went to a support group meeting for cripples. A new guy limped in. He clanged when he walked because his right foot was stuck in a bucket.

Even all us cripples couldn’t help but stare at him and some even snickered. But the new guy just kept walking straight on in and sat in a chair. He propped his right foot up on a stool in front of him.

The facilitator of our group said, “I’d like everyone to welcome our visitor, Bucket Foot Bob.”

Bucket Foot Bob jumped right in and said, “Actually, my name is Maurice. But you can call me Bucket Foot Bob if you want to. Why not? Everybody else does. I used to hate that name but now I’m trying to learn to embrace it.”

Bucket Foot Bob continued. “Because as you can see, my foot is stuck in a bucket. I don’t know how it happened. One night I got blackout drunk and when I woke up in the morning, there it was. And having my foot stuck in a bucket has cost me dearly in life. I have been the victim of much discrimination. I lost my job. My boss told me that my clanging around the office was too distracting for my coworkers. My wife left me. She said I wasn’t the same man she married anymore, what with my foot stuck in a bucket and all. My landlord evicted me because the people in the apartment below mine complained that I made too much noise when I  walked.”

As I listened to Bucket Foot Bob’s sad story, I felt real sorry for him, but I wondered why he didn’t just have the bucket removed.

And then Bucket Foot Bob said, “You’re probably wondering why I don’t just have the bucket removed. Well, don’t you think I’ve tried that? I mean, my foot is really jammed in there good. I’ve tried everything to get it out. I’ve tried crow bars. I’ve tried lard. But my foot won’t budge.

“My only option is to have it surgically removed. But that operation costs $10,000. I have health insurance, but it doesn’t cover bucket removal. Maybe someday we’ll have socialized medicine in this country and I’ll be able to have my bucket removed, no cost and no questions asked. But until then, I’m stuck, no pun intended.”

Bucket Foot Bob said, “So that’s why I’m here. I’m looking for a community of like-minded people who will welcome me as one of their own. I used to be embarrassed by my bucket but now I’m rather proud of it. It’s part of who I am. It doesn’t dehumanize me. It humanizes me. It makes a statement that says, ‘Yes, I’m a slapstick klutz. But isn’t everyone?’ And so, my brothers and sisters, I hope you will accept me into your tribe.”

The facilitator said, “I move that we accept Bucket Foot Bob into our group! All in favor say aye!


The vote was unanimous!

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