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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