Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Reasonable Cripple Accommodation

 I ought to be legally allowed to run around naked in public, And it ought to be socially acceptable for me to smell like a horse.

These rights and privileges ought to be bestowed upon me because I’m crippled. And being crippled makes it difficult for me to do a lot of the routine, daily tasks that are taken for granted by verts (which is what I call people who walk because it’s short for vertical). Take, for example, getting dressed. For your average vert, getting dressed is a simple matter of pulling on your pants.  But not for me. Nope,  I have to have someone come in every morning and pull my pants on me, get me out of bed, etc. I call the people that I've hired to do these things for me my pit crew. Their wages are paid by state funds.

So some days I feel like things would go a lot easier if I didn’t have to wear pants at all. After all, when you think about it, what’s the point of wearing clothes? I'm not a  nudist at heart. And I can certainly understand putting on clothes in order to be warm. But besides that, the reason we wear clothes is to hide our genitalia. And why is that such a big deal?

But I capitulate and  wear pants every day anyway because I don’t want to get arrested. But I sure would love it if I could reserve the right to go about my business pantsless on a given day if I saw fit. I could carry around a note from my doctor certifying me as crippled in case a cop sees me running around naked and pulls me over,  demanding to see my papers.

The same goes for taking a shower. That’s a big undertaking for me, too, because I  also have to have one of my pit crew guys help me do that. It sure would be nice if I could shower twice a month or so. But I don’t because if I do I’ll smell like a horse and that’s not a good way to make friends. 

Going pantsless and smelling like a horse could be considered to be a reasonable cripple accommodation for me. But I’ll never advocate for these changes in public policy because it  might  blow up in my face. You know how lawmakers are. They’re always looking for a way to save a buck. They might really like that idea and they’ll just change the law to allow certain cripples to run around not wearing pants and smelling like horses so they can cut off the money they use to pay people to be on our pit crews.

So if you know any lawmakers, don’t say a word about this.

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Saturday, December 16, 2023

Why I Will Never Wear a Toupee or The Cyrano de Bergerac Game

 A long time ago I  made a solemn vow to myself that I would never wear a toupee. I also swore that if I ever was going bald or if my hair was turning gray I would do nothing to conceal it. I would never spend a dime on baldness cures, hair-restoration treatments or dyes. The people who sell that stuff are just trying to shame you into buying their stuff.

I believe my strong conviction to these principles arises from the fact that I have been crippled for so long and cripples often have to play the Cyrano de Bergerac game. It's so tiresome. Cripples who have been involved in the dating scene probably know damn well what I mean by all this. It has to be tempting to put up a picture of somebody that’s hot and hide behind it until such time as you feel confident that the object of your desire is so smitten with you that no matter what surprises you reveal later they won’t be deterred.

The same thing often happens to cripples who are looking for a job or whatever. You wonder at what point you should spring it on them that you are crippled. But playing that game is much too stressful for me. I’d rather let people know right up front that I am crippled because if knowing that I am crippled is a deal-breaker for them, that’s good for me to know right up front.  Because knowing that they are that kind of person is a deal-breaker for me.

The same thing goes for being bald. You can’t keep wearing a toupee everywhere and forever. Sooner or later you’ll have to take it off and it won’t be a secret anymore that you are bald. And you shouldn’t be ashamed about being bald anymore than I should be ashamed about being crippled.

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Friday, December 8, 2023

Cripple Parking Encounters

 A yellow taxi cab was parked in the parking space that is reserved for cripples. I figured he didn’t belong there since I’ve never known there to be a cab driver who was crippled enough to need a reserved  parking space.

A man sat in the driver seat. So the person who was with me got out of my vehicle and tapped on the cab’s window. The cab driver eventually turned his head to look at him, reluctantly and resentfully. My guy asked him to move, through the closed window, and explained to him that I had a genuine cripple van with genuine cripple  license plates and all and I really needed to park there.

The cab driver reached down and pulled out a cripple parking placard and hung it on the cab’s rearview mirror. He then went back to trying to ignore my guy. Right then the car that occupied the other cripple parking space left so we just pulled into that one. But after I exited my vehicle I gave the cab driver the searing, icy, guilt-inducing stare I save for special occasions like this.

This guy clearly seemed to be one of those guys who commandeers his grandma’s parking placard whenever he goes out and stashes it in his glove box, just in case. I usually give people a big benefit of the doubt about that because I  know there are a lot of people who are really and truly crippled who don’t look crippled at all. But this guy sure looked like the shoe fit him just right.

Believe it or not, this was not the most memorable encounter I’ve ever had with a douchebag hogging up a cripple parking space. It still doesn’t beat the time there was a pick up truck parked in a cripple space. The truck didn’t have a cripple license plate or parking placard or anything. Then a guy walked up to the truck. He sure didn’t look crippled but, like I said, you never know. As I shot him my stare, the guy got into the truck, opened the glove box, took out a placard, rolled down the window and said to me, “I’m a black man in America. I was born with one of these.”

The yellow cab was gone and the parking space was empty when we returned to my vehicle. Maybe my guilt-inducing stare worked.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Misery Loves Company

I don’t understand how some people who have suffered feel better when someone else suffers the same way they did.

I hear a lot of that kind of nonsense when people talk about student debt loan forgiveness. Some people say stuff like, “Hey, no one forgave my college loan debt. I had to work three jobs to pay it off so they should, too!”

Let me say here that I never had a college loan debt to pay off. The cost of my college education was paid in full by the state of Illinois as part of the vocational rehabilitation program.

Maybe if I had to pay off a college loan debt I’d feel differently. But I sure as hell hope I wouldn’t. It reminds me of the time a few decades back when I was involved in the fight to make public transportation in Chicago accessible for cripples. We eventually won, but suppose some old timer cripple had come around back then and said, “We shouldn’t make the buses accessible because I couldn’t ride them back in my day so they should never be able to either." Thank God nothing like that ever happened because no one was that much of a dumbass. If the cripples of today were still just as stranded as we were, I don’t see how that would make me feel any better.

Hell, I never even get involved in diagnosis-specific cripple causes because I’m too susceptible to survivor guilt.  I’m interested in doing stuff that makes life better for all cripples, not just those  who are crippled for a certain reason, like they have muscular dystrophy or a spinal cord injury or whatever. Imagine if a few decades back when I was involved in the fight to make public transportation in Chicago accessible for cripples we were fighting to only make public transportation in Chicago accessible for cripples with a certain diagnosis. If I was riding a bus that was blowing past other cripples, I’d feel like shit about it. It would take all the fun out of winning.

We  might’ve all had to carry around a notarized doctor’s note verifying that we were indeed the type of cripple that was officially authorized to ride public transportation That would’ve really sucked.

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Saturday, November 18, 2023

Name that Cripple

 

I always thought that there ought to be a game show called Name that Cripple. It would surely become a craze that would sweep the nation.

All we’d have to do is line up three wheelchair cripples right next to each other on a street corner somewhere. The three cripples would be of the same age and race and gender and all so they’d all look pretty much alike. But one of the cripples would have something like muscular dystrophy and  the second would have something completely different like cerebral palsy and the third one would be your standard quadriplegic from a spinal cord injury.

The emcee would stop random passersby who are verts (which is what I call people who walk because it’s short for vertical). And if a vert agrees to play Name that Cripple, the emcee gives them three blank cardboard placards and a marking pen. And each placard would be attached to a string and the vert contestant would write something like muscular dystrophy on the placard and hang it around the neck of whichever one they thought to be the corresponding cripple.

And if a vert contestant gets all three right, they win a valuable  prize, such as a lovely new dining room set from Broyhill. But nobody will ever get all three right because it never fails that the average vert on the street can’t tell the difference between a c.p. cripple and an m.d. cripple and a quad. They can’t tell the cripples apart without a scorecard.

This always baffles me because if I played Name that Cripple I’d be the grand champion. I can identify a cripple’s genre from a mile away. If I was looking down from a helicopter on a field of cripples, I could rattle off in no time which one was which.  I think the differences between us are bloody obvious.

But that’s probably because I’ve spent so many years hanging around with such a wide variety of cripples that I’ve developed a keen eye. I don’t think I can say the same about anything else. If I was looking down from a helicopter on a field of cows, for example, they would all just look like a bunch of cows to me.

But when it comes to cripples, I can look at a parking lot full of empty cars and tell you which car belongs to a cripple and which one doesn’t. Like for instance, if it’s a fancy sports car, it’s probably not a cripple car. I never see cripples driving or even riding around in fancy sports cars, probably because doing so is too much of a pain in the ass, what with the bucket seats and all. Or maybe it’s because fancy sports cars are too expensive for most cripples.

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Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Self-Diagnosed Autism

 

Recent research shows that the prevalence of autism among people age 18 and over who are on Medicaid doubled between 2011 and 2019.

I wonder if this includes people with that new strain of autism that’s been going around lately. I call it SDA, which stands for self-diagnosed autism.

I notice that there seem to be more and more people running around claiming to be autistic. But they seem like regular folks.

This seems like a triumph of marketing. Because in recent years, we’ve developed a much better understanding of autism, which is a good thing. When I was a kid, autistic people were considered to be hopelessly oblivious and so we segregated them away in institutions so we wouldn’t have to be bothered with trying to figure them out.

But now,  autism is viewed as a spectrum with a lot of different variety. Autistic people are referred to as neurodivergent. That sounds much cooler. To be neurodivergent sounds like you’re a little bit weird. And it’s cool to be a little bit weird as long as it’s the  cool kind of weird and not the weirdo kind of weird.

All this makes it easier than ever to proudly proclaim that you are autistic. I’ve never seen anyone who goes around saying that they’re crippled for the same reason I ‘m crippled. No one ever claims to have what I have, unless they really do. It would creep me out if I met somebody like that, just like autistic people are probably creeped out by people with SDA.

 Maybe people don’t try to appropriate my kind of crippledness because there isn’t much that’s vague about that which makes me crippled. There’s no spectrum involved. You either have it or you don’t.

But I think the reason people don’t self-diagnose as being crippled for the same reason I am is because there’s nothing cool about it.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Fortuitous Exclusion

 Some cripples put a lot of their time and energy into trying to make it easier for cripples to play video games. And it seems that they’re having some success. Apparently, they’ve complained effectively enough to get Sony to design a new, more accessible controller for PlayStation.

I wish them luck. This is an access battle I will not be joining.

It’s not that I don’t agree that the people who design video game stuff exclude cripples. It’s clear that they do. And it’s not that I don't agree that this cripple exclusion is bad. It is.

But this strikes me as one of those kinds of cripple exclusion that I find to be fortuitous. It’s probably a good thing for me that video games are pretty inaccessible. Because I know that if I could easily play, I’d probably spend all day playing and then I’d be super pissed off at myself for spending all day playing. That’s the reason why I stay the hell away from casinos. I know if I gave myself half a chance I’d play the slot machines for hours on end, like a fucking zombie.

Churches are another example of fortuitous cripple exclusion. When I was a kid, because I was crippled, the Catholic church gave me a pass on doing the stuff uncrippled kids had to do, like going to church and Sunday school. The Catholic church didn’t expect much out of cripples, so there weren’t many paths to participation for us. Have you ever seen a crippled altar boy?

Thus, there are also cripples who put a lot of their time and energy into trying to make it easier for cripples to go to church. And why not? If there are crippled kids out there who are bound and determined to be altar boys, I suppose they ought to have that opportunity.

But that’s another access battle I will not be joining. I want all of the crippled kids of today and tomorrow to be able to enjoy their exclusions, just like I did.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Wiping the Master's Ass

 

I hear that in the days of U.S. slavery, working inside of the house was considered by slaves to be the  cushiest of assignments. I guess they thought that fixing meals and making beds was better than toiling in the fields in the hot sun any old day.

 But what about if the master was crippled like me? I wonder if that meant that all bets were off. Because some of the indoor slaves would have been assigned to be members of the master’s pit crew, which is what I call the crew of people I hire to help me get dressed and in and out of bed and help do all of the necessary stuff I can’t do for myself.

This would mean that the job description of the pit crew slaves would include wiping the master’s ass, as needed. Because that’s one of the things that my pit crew members have to do for me, as needed.

And I know that some people think ass wiping is the dirtiest job in the world. There was a guy I hired to be on my pit crew many years ago. He was from Cambodia and when I interviewed him for the job he regaled me with accounts of how he escaped the murderous dictatorship there by fleeing through the jungle and dodging wild animals. I figured that this guy must be pretty resilient, so I hired him. But he only lasted about a week on my pit crew because he couldn’t handle the ass wiping part. I wouldn’t be surprised if he high tailed it back to Cambodia.

So it makes me wonder if some of the slaves would have preferred to stay out in the fields rather than go inside and be on the master’s pit crew. And besides, if you didn’t wipe the master’s ass just right, you might get whipped for it. How embarrassing would that be?

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Monday, October 9, 2023

Cripples Who Speak Latin

 

My wife is a rare breed of cripple. She speaks Latin. Well, I don’t suppose she actually speaks Latin. I don’t suppose anyone actually speaks Latin. But she knows a good amount of Latin because she was in some Latin classes in school. I don’t know many cripples who did that, or at least not many cripples my age.

When my wife was in high school in the 1990s, she was invited to take part in a curriculum for “gifted and talented” students. So she spent a couple of summers taking Latin classes.

On the other hand, I went to high school in the 1970s at a state-operated boarding school for cripples that I refer to as the Sam Houston Institute of Technology (SHIT). There was no curriculum for gifted and talented students at SHIT, probably because everyone just assumed that any student who was going to high school at a state-operated boarding school for cripples couldn’t possibly be talented or gifted.

By the time my wife was ready to go to high school, new law made it so she was allowed to attend the same high school that the uncrippled kids in her community went to. But because I had little choice but to attend the state-operated boarding school for cripples, I am now illiterate in every language except English. Well, I do know a little bit of Spanish because they did make us take Spanish classes at SHIT. But the only reason they had Spanish classes at SHIT was probably because it was a required part of the minimum state-approved education curriculum. Because all we inmates ever got at SHIT was the bare basics in terms of education, food and everything else. It’s a lot easier to get away with treating people like that when you segregate them away.

In the future, we’ll be able to measure how well cripples are emerging by noting how many of them know Latin.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Too Much Trauma

Things have gotten to the point where going to the grocery store is a really traumatic experience for me. It gets me all riled up.

It’s pretty much the same as how taking my nightly shit used to get me all riled up. My last official act of every day is to sit on the bowl. This is what the new agey, self-care types would refer to as my “me” time. Except the problem was that I would also use this time to read a little before bed. And I read a bunch of lefty political magazines and I’d go to bed grumbling about how the fascists are taking over and everything was going to hell. And I couldn’t sleep so my wife decided that I needed to read something that was full of nothing but good news so she subscribed me to a magazine that was all about beer. And when I read my beer magazine, I’d come to bed in a much better mood. I guess I was soothed and reassured by being reminded that even if the fascists are taking over and everything is going to hell, at least we still live in a world where there’s a wide variety of beer.

But what gets me all riled up when I go to the grocery store are those people who park their cars in the striped area next to the cripple parking spaces. That’s even more ignorant than parking in the cripple spaces themselves because those striped areas are there because wheelchair cripples like me need extra room next to the parking space so we can deploy our ramp or lift so we can get out of the vehicle. So what happens is we park and go inside the store and when we come back out we see that someone has parked in the striped area, which means we don’t have room to get back into the vehicle. When this happens to me, I say to myself, “Didn’t that jackass see all those stripes painted on the ground? If not, they’re too blind to be driving!”

And didn’t they take a minute to consider that those stripes might mean something? They’re the same stripes that are painted in the fire lane and everybody knows that it means that you don’t park there or you’ll get towed. But you won’t get towed if you park in the striped area next to the cripple parking space.  If I complain to the manager that someone is parked in the striped area next to the cripple space, they’ll just shrug and mumble a generic apology. They don’t want to tow anybody for that reason because they don’t want to piss off customers. Apparently, they don’t mind if they piss off customers like me.

One time the vehicle parked in the stripes next to the cripple space I was parked in was a tow truck. Who do you call when you need to have a tow truck towed?

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Thursday, September 14, 2023

Cripples as Sales Leads

  

 A stranger approached me on the street a couple weeks ago and it really made my day. Because usually when a stranger approaches me on the street it’s a dreadful experience. Because usually the only reason a stranger approaches a cripple on the street is either because they want to a) give you some spare change because they think you must be a beggar or b) tell you about Jesus Christ. 

Either way it’s quite annoying. The Jesus boosters are particularly annoying. One time one of them said to me, “Have you heard about Jesus?” My first impulse was to be a smart ass and say, “Who?” But I was afraid that he wouldn’t get or appreciate the joke and thus he would proceed to answer my question in great detail. So I said nothing and just kept going. I similarly try to avoid the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They stand on the sidewalk downtown next to a rolling rack full of books and pamphlets, so I just assume they’re Jehovah’s Witnesses. But I don’t know for sure because I’m afraid to ask them who they are. I’m afraid to even make eye contact with them. There ought to be signs all over town that say DO NOT FEED THE CHRISTIANS.  

I feel kind of insulted when Christians approach me on the street because I think they think that because I’m crippled, I therefore am a great potential sales lead for buying what they’re selling, which is Jesus.

But the stranger who approached me on the street a couple weeks ago wasn’t selling Jesus. He must’ve been selling drugs because he was bleary-eyed and as he reached into the pocket of his jeans he said to me, “Hey bro, I got sawbucks.” I didn’t know what he meant but it sounded like drug slang, so I just said, “Thanks anyway.” And I kept moving.

And then the stranger said to me, “You straight?”

So I replied, “Yes, I’m straight.” I assumed that being “straight” means that your current inventory of drugs is sufficient.

The stranger then approached the next passersby and said, “Hey bro, I got sawbucks.”

But I felt somewhat honored that the stranger tried to sell me drugs. At least he saw me as a potential sales lead for buying what he was selling, and it wasn’t Jesus.


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Thursday, September 7, 2023

The Bathroom Police

 

 I often pull up to a parking space that’s reserved for somebody with a cripple vehicle but it’s occupied by a car that clearly belongs to some dumbass vert (which is what I call people who walk because it’s short for vertical*).

But sometimes I get lucky and that dumbass vert will return to their car while I’m still there. And then I get to experience the joy of watching the look of shame jump onto their face when they realize they’ve been busted. It’s so cool when that happens.

The same thing happens a lot when I try to use public bathrooms. Almost always, the one and only cripple stall is locked because it’s being occupied by some dumbass vert who is taking the longest shit in human history. And when that dumbass vert finally comes out and sees me sitting there that same look of shame jumps onto their face.

Except the difference is that the cripple parking spaces are clearly marked with a big blue sign with that white crippled stick figure on it and it warns that any dumbass vert who parks there can be fined $250.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a sign like that on every cripple stall in every public bathroom? And wouldn’t it be great if I could call the cops and they’d kick down the door of the cripple stall and drag out the dumbass vert with their pants still down around their ankles and haul them away? Maybe the police would even have a code for this offense, something like 10-56= dumbass vert using cripple stall.

But it probably would never work that way. I mean, those big blue warning signs don’t stop dumbass verts from parking in cripple parking spaces.

*Not all verts are dumbasses.  Vert dumbassery is a spectrum. Everyone is on it at some point but those who park in cripple spaces are on the deep end.

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Monday, August 28, 2023

Scrotum Capitalism


There is a brand of capitalism I call scrotum capitalism.

The goal of the scrotum capitalist is to get all of their customers by the scrotum. But you don’t have to have an actual scrotum in order to have a scrotum capitalist get you by the scrotum. I’m talking about a metaphorical scrotum, and everyone has one of those.

In order words, the scrotum capitalist seeks to corner the market on something their customers can’t live without. That way, the scrotum capitalist can charge the customers whatever stupid inflated price they decide to charge and the customers have no choice but to pay whatever that price may be because the scrotum capitalist has them by the scrotum.

 That’s how healthcare is distributed in the U.S. Another good example of scrotum capitalism is the price they charge for the brushes that you have to attach to the end of electric toothbrushes  Have you seen how crazy overpriced those things are? They’re like 10 bucks a piece! They look like they cost about 10 cents a piece to make. But the people who manufacture electric toothbrushes know they’ve got you by the scrotum because what the hell good is an electric toothbrush without the brush? Maybe you could use it as a vibrating dildo but that’s about it. And even then, you’re still going to have to brush your teeth eventually.

Cripples are quite often the victims of scrotum capitalism, Buying a cripple accessible vehicle costs about as much as buying two regular vehicles. But what’re you going to do? You’ve gotta have it so you suck it up and pay for it.

I’ve got these buttons that control various functions of my wheelchair. If I need a replacement button and I go to buy one online, they cost about $70! And they look like maybe they cost about $2 to make, at the most!

That’s how it is when it comes to the cost of wheelchairs and wheelchair parts and stuff like that that cripples can’t live without. But what’re you going to do? You’ve gotta have it so you suck it up and pay for it.

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Thursday, August 17, 2023

The Terms and Conditions of my Acceptance

 

It happens to every cripple sooner or later. You’re sitting on a street corner minding your own business when suddenly some walking person tosses a few dollars in your lap and says something like, “God bless you.”

I used to get all huffy and indignant whenever that happened to me. I always felt it was important to say something to the person like, “Just because I’m a cripple doesn’t make me a goddam beggar!”

But now my perspective has changed somewhat. I’m willing to except the bucks that are tossed my way, but I still feel it’s important to let the tosser know why I’m accepting it.

But rather than give a long speech, what I ought to do is carry around several copies of a document entitled THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF MY ACCEPTANCE. Here’s the first draft that I’ve put together in my head:

To whom it may concern,

I am accepting the money you just gave me because one of the hardest things about being crippled is that it’s so goddam expensive. We have to buy a lot of ridiculously pricey stuff most people don’t have to buy, such as wheelchairs and catheters. We may have to pay somebody just to help us drag our sorry asses out of bed every morning.

So I would be remiss in my fiscal responsibility to myself if I turned down any offer of financial support, as paltry as it may be.

But let me also be clear that I do not consider it to be your responsibility to eliminate the aforementioned inequities that come with being crippled. The permanent solution is socialist revolution. I’m not talking about the kind of bull shit socialism where some asshole like Stalin is in charge. I’m talking about creating the kind of socialist society where if someone needs a wheelchair or catheters or assistance dragging their sorry ass out of bed every morning, they can get what they need without delay or hassle and without going broke.

If you really want to help cripples like me, you should join the fight to bring about such a revolution. Meanwhile, we cripples still have catheters and wheelchairs to buy. And if our wheelchairs break and we have to get them repaired, paying for that will make Bill Fucking Gates go broke!

So I will grudgingly accept your contribution and I'll try not to feel too demeaned. And no, I can’t give you a receipt so you can write this off your taxes.

Sincerely yours,

Smart Ass Cripple

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Sunday, August 6, 2023

Good News and Bad News

 

Those personal injury attorneys are sort of like Make-a-wish for adults.

They’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that they can make you a millionaire beyond your wildest dreams. The bad news is that in order to qualify for that, you have to have been in a terrible accident.

Make-a wish works the same way. They can arrange for a kid to spend an afternoon hanging out with Beyonce. But in order to qualify for that, that kid has to have cancer or something similarly terrible. Healthy kids need not apply.

And some kids with cancer need not apply either. If you’re a kid with cancer that still somehow manages to have a can-do attitude and an upbeat spirit, you’ll probably make the cut because you’ll make BeyoncĂ© feel inspired with your attitude. But if you’re all bummed out and depressed about having cancer, you probably won’t make the cut because you might make Beyonce feel bummed out and depressed, too. And that would ruin everything.

When I see stories on the television about Make-a-Wish kids running around with their favorite pop culture heroes, I wonder how that kid’s siblings feel about it all as they watch from the background. On the one hand, the siblings probably have to feel at least a little bit jealous that no one’s gushing all over them. But on the other hand, they probably have to feel at least a little bit relieved when they realize that the reason no one’s paying attention to them is because they don’t have cancer.

Because that’s how I feel when I see commercials for those personal injury attorneys. On the one hand, I think about how cool it would be to be a millionaire beyond my wildest dreams. But on the other hand, when I think about what needs to happen in order to make that happen, I don’t feel like running out and getting hit by a bus.

I say to myself, “That’s all right. I’m good.”

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Saturday, July 29, 2023

Who the Hell are These Cripples, Anyway?

 

There are times when I just shake my head and say to myself. “Who the hell are these cripples, anyway?”

I especially feel that way when I read cripple magazines. There are people who put out magazines where cripples are the target audience. The ads are for cripple stuff like wheelchairs and catheters. These magazines tend to be glossy and full of stories about adventurous cripples who do stuff like go on safaris. There are never stories about cripples living off Social Security and hustling hard to get by, trying to figure out how the hell they’re going to be able to afford to buy cripple stuff like wheelchairs and catheters.

And it’s inevitable that sooner or later the magazines will run a story about a cripple who couldn’t find a wheelchair accessible place to live so they built a wheelchair accessible house from scratch. The story recounts the whole process, from the cripple finding and acquiring just the right plot of land to drawing up blueprints with the architects to supervising the contractor during construction.

And that’s when I say to myself, “Who the hell are these cripples, anyway?” I mean, finding a wheelchair accessible place to live is a trying quest that every cripple must eventually embark upon. But of the zillions of cripples I’ve known, I don’t believe I’ve met one who conquered this obstacle by building their own wheelchair accessible house.

Who can afford to do that? Cripples in search of a wheelchair accessible place to live usually settle for moving into some tiny hole that’s vaguely accessible and then they try to stay there for the rest of their lives because finding an affordable place to live is a huge pain in the ass when you don’t have to worry about wheelchair access. But when you do have to worry about wheelchair access, that eliminates about 90 percent of the available tiny holes from consideration.

At lot of cripples move into places that are accidentally accessible. Like maybe there’s a building with a tiny hole of a “garden” apartment back by the dumpster area in the alley. And the entrance is flat not for the benefit of cripples but so that the dumpsters can be rolled in and out. So the cripple enters and exits through the dumpster gate. The view from their windows is of the alley.

But that’s good enough! To the cripple it’s paradise. The cripple will stay there for the rest of their life if they can  because it sure beats the hell out of searching for a wheelchair accessible place to live.

I never see stories like that in those cripple magazines.

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