Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Poppy Day


 We don’t seem to have Poppy Day around here anymore.

When I was a kid, it seemed like Poppy Day happened at least once a year, if not several times a year. I knew it was Poppy Day if I was out riding around in a car because whenever we’d get stopped by a red light people would walk out into the intersection with slotted cans in one hand and red flowers in the other. They’d come up to car windows shaking the cans so that the people inside the car could hear the coins in the can clanging around and if someone rolled down the window and dropped a few more coins in the can they’d receive one of the red flowers as a token of appreciation.

My mother always enthusiastically rolled down her window and dropped coins in the cans on Poppy Day. And she’d display her poppy by tying its stem to the rearview mirror. I noticed that the poppy wasn’t even real. It was made of cloth. So I asked my mother why she was so eager to buy and so proud to display a fake flower. She explained that the poppy was a symbol of something of far greater importance. When she purchased a poppy, she was helping the handicapped because the poppies were made by handicapped people.

I also noticed that right around Poppy Day a lot of people had cloth poppies hanging from their rearview mirrors. So, I guess displaying a poppy had the added benefit of showing everyone that you help the handicapped.

I think it’s a good thing that they don’t have Poppy Days anymore. It shows that cripples have bigger and better things going on than making cloth flowers. But sometimes even today when I’m waiting for a red light I get solicited to give money for cripples. But it’s the cripples themselves that approach my car, not their surrogates. These cripples shake canisters full of coins. But the canisters are usually more makeshift, like used cups from fast food restaurants. And if I give them coins, they just say thanks and move on to the next car. They don’t give me a poppy or anything.

Without a poppy to display. how is everyone going to know that I help the handicapped?

(Please support Smart Ass Cripple and help us keep going. Just click below to contribute.)