Thursday, June 29, 2023

Relieving my Pain and Suffering



I received an unexpected check in the mail from the U.S. government. I wasn’t sure what it was for. At first I figured maybe  it was a tax refund. But in the memo it said “reparations for being crippled. “

I don’t recall demanding that the government pay me reparations for being crippled. And I don’t recall anyone else ever demanding that either.  But sometimes the government does nice things out of the blue just for the hell of it. That’s how we got the Americans with Disabilities Act. Congress just woke up one morning feeling particularly chipper and it said to itself, “I think I’ll surprise the cripples by giving them this law, just to remind them how much we love them. They really deserve it.   I can’t wait to see the look of delight on their sad little faces!” I figure if the government wants to give me free money, who the hell am I to say no? So I cashed the check. I considered it to be my patriotic duty.

There was a letter included in the envelope with the check. It said, “Dear Mike, This is the U.S. Government writing to say we’re sorry you’re crippled. Please accept the enclosed check as a token of our condolences. Consider this our way of trying to help you relieve your pain and suffering.”

So I took all the cash and flew to Vegas. And besides what I spent on stuff like airfare and hotel, I blew all the rest of my reparations  on snorting lines of cocaine off the bare bellies of exotic dancers. Why not? After all, the purpose of the money was to relieve the pain and suffering I’ve endured because I’m crippled.

And now I’m back home and back to being broke ass. I think the whole thing was an experiment. Sometimes governments use cripples as guinea pigs. The Nazis had a campaign of trying to exterminate cripples so they could be more efficient when it became time to try to exterminate the Jews.

Maybe the government started out by sending cripples reparations just to see what would happen. Because a lot of people say that if the government gives cash directly to poor people they’ll just take it and blow it all.

So maybe, based on what I did, the next time the government pays some other group of people reparations, in order to keep them was squandering it frivolously, they’ll send them a gift card from Home Depot or something.

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Monday, June 19, 2023

Destined to be a Non-conformist


If you’re going to find happiness and contentment as a cripple, it helps to be the kind of person who likes being a non-conformist (and I don't mean in the religious sense). 

You don’t really have a choice in the matter. Sooner or later, your body and/or brain are going to defy your commands and do whatever they damn well please whether you like it or not. That’s how crippled bodies are. Eventually you’re going to walk funny or talk funny or throw a big seizure at the most inopportune time.

Your body is never going to completely conform to the norm no matter how hard you try. So you might as well embrace being a non-conformist. I know that there are a lot of fake non-conformists in the world. They conform to the standards that are necessary to qualify for membership in  whatever pack of non-conformists with whom they are conforming today.

But a lot of cripples are natural born non-conformists. It’s easier to come to grips with that reality if you’re a cripple who has no chance of passing as a vert (which is what I call people who walk because it’s short for vertical). I haven’t walked since I was 17 years old. And even before then the best I could maybe do was walk a little around a room if it was a small room and I was holding onto the walls.

So whenever I went out in public, I didn’t even think about trying to tell my body to walk like a vert because I knew it wouldn’t listen to me. It was going to play by its own rules.

I was destined to make a mockery out of a lot of things just by being myself. To be ashamed of that was to be ashamed of myself. So the only way I was ever going to learn to love my crippled self was to love being a non-conformist. Because that’s what I am.

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Monday, June 5, 2023

Cripples Riding Camels


Unlike some of my fellow cripples, I have no desire to ever ride a camel.

This must be a relatively common phenomenon because I’ve seen several pictures of cripples riding camels. But in order for that cripple to ride, first someone had to climb up on the camel’s back and construct a small scaffolding that will hold the cripple upright. Because otherwise the floppy cripple will lose their balance and fall right off of the camel as soon as it flinches.   

So in these pictures of cripples riding camels the cripple is snugly secured to the scaffolding with an elaborate intertwining of straps and ropes. It doesn’t look very comfortable to me. And to me a prerequisite for having fun is being comfortable. (I also wonder how the cripple boarded the camel. It must’ve required the assistance of at least four verts, which is what I call people who can walk because it’s short for vertical. Two of the verts probably lifted the cripple out of their wheelchair by grabbing them under the armpits and knees and then swung them back and forth in order to build momentum to fling the cripple into the air on the count of three. And then the two other verts who are up on the camel’s back have to catch the airborne cripple and position them in the scaffolding and tie them in.)  

Thus, I think the only kind of  rush I would get out of riding a camel is the daredevil rush you get when you do something stupid and reckless and survive. All the enjoyment is in retrospect. While you’re in the middle of the stunt, all you’re thinking about is getting out of it alive. When it's over, you feel the sweet release of relief.

I don't envy the fact that verts can spontaneously ride a camel and I can’t. That's not one of the losses of crippledom that I mourn. I might feel differently if I lived in the desert and I was surrounded by sand and riding a camel was the only way to get anywhere, like just going to the drugstore. Motorized wheelchairs like mine suck when it comes to driving through sand. They just sink and get stuck. That might be enough to make me consider going through all the hassle of trying to ride a camel.

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