Sunday, May 28, 2023

Updating my Pit Crew Want Ad

I’m looking to hire someone to join my pit crew. That’s what I call the people who come to my home every day and help me do stuff like get out of bed and get dressed.

So I have to update the want ad I usually post. I feel like I have to make it clear, among other things, that I don’t have a piano. Because I  like to be up front about what the job entails so applicants will understand what they are signing up for. And there’s been a lot of commercials on televion lately for home healthcare agencies. And these commercials feature a video montage of what it’s like to be paid to go into someone’s home and help them out, like my pit crew does for me. It shows stuff like the caregiver sitting on a piano bench next to an old person and singing along joyously while that old person plays and sings old time standards.

That’s why I feel compeled to include in my ad that I don’t have a piano. Because if someone saw any of those commercials, they’ll surely get the wrong idea of what the job is all about.

I also remember seeing in a montage a caregiver leading an old person by the arm to the gazebo in the backyard. I don’t have a gazebo. Hell, I don’t even have a backyard.

And I remember seeing in the montage an old man painting a still life of sunflowers. So I should probably mention in my ad that I don’t paint sunflowers.

I never see in the montages anybody doing the kind of stuff my pit crew people do for me, like hauling my ass on and off the crapper or giving me a shower.

That’s why I think I ought to update my ad. I wouldn’t want anybody to think that this job is all glamour.

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Friday, May 19, 2023

Until Life do us Part

 Here’s what I know about those staunch pro-lifer types:

Their bottom line is to get a federal law passed criminalizing abortion (and maybe even the use of birth control) in every state.

I also know that if they’re ever going to pull off anything like that, they’ll have to disguise that law as something else. Because it’s getting to be where more and more people don’t like that idea.

But I also know that a lot of those staunch pro-lifer types fancy themselves as the best friends of cripples because a lot of fetuses get aborted when it is discovered in prenatal testing that they will be crippled, like with Down Syndrome. And so they think that they’re standing up for cripples because they’re standing up for crippled fetuses.

The problem is that those staunch pro-lifer types are usually among the first to stop giving a shit about what happens to these crippled fetuses once they are born. They attack the public programs that crippled fetus may well need to survive as a crippled human, especially if it is a poor crippled human, like Social Security and Medicaid.

So maybe those staunch pro-lifer types could disguise their meddlesome legislation as a civil rights law and thus pass themselves off as freedom fighters. They could call it the Fetuses with Disabilities Act.

All the law would have to say is, “Fetuses with disabilities have the right to be born.” And then there would be a paragraph or two about how therefore nobody anywhere can ever have an abortion or use birth control because it might deprive a crippled fetus of its right to be born.

That’s all the Fetuses with Disabilities Act would have to say. Because that’s all that matters to those staunch pro-lifer types.

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Tuesday, May 9, 2023



I’ve talked before about how if one of my assistants goes out and about with me enough times, someone will inevitably refer to them as my son (or daughter.) It doesn’t matter if  my assistant is white or black or Latino or Asian or whatever. It’s happened to them all.

Usually what happens is someone sees me being assisted outside my home by one of the people in my pit crew, which is what I call the people who help me every day to get out of bed, etc. And the observer is curious about the nature of our relationship because most people’s idea of how things work is that the people who assist cripples every day are nurses or some sort of medical professionals. But my pit crew people don’t wear surgical scrubs or nurse-looking garb, They wear regular civilian clothes

 And so the observer concludes that if this person is not a medical professional then they must be from my family because those are the only other people who regularly assist cripples. Thus, observer says something like this to my pit crew person: “Its really great the way you help your dad.”

Something similar even happened to my pit crew member, Victor, although he’s older than me and black. Victor accompanied me to a pharmacy to get a vaccine. The pharmacist didn't seem to know what to make of us, probably because Victor wore civilian clothes and he was too old and black to be my son. So the pharmacist says to Victor, “Are you his guardian?”

I’ve also said that I look forward to the day when this doesn’t happen anymore because I think the level of confusion reflects how little a lot of people know about how cripples like me make our way through the world. It shows that too many people still assume that cripples who need as much help as I do either are sent off to nursing homes, where the medical professionals can look after us, or family helps us out for free. They have no idea that there are public programs like the one through which I hire my pit crew. I place ads and interview people and I hire the people I want and I set the schedule and determine the tasks and they get paid with state funds for being my assistants. It’s a great alternative to going into a stinkin nursing home or relying on family to help for free.

So the day when pedestrians stop thinking my assistants must be my offspring will be the day when it’s not so hard to imagine cripples getting assistance in the socially-cooperative manner that I do.

Well recently I went to a car repair garage with one of my pit crew guys, who is 23. And the mechanic says to me, “Is he your grandson?”

Things have changed, but not in the way I hoped.

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