Sunday, March 31, 2024

What the Hell Were They Thinking?

 I have a friend named  Al Pacino (Smart Ass Cripple alias). He has a brother who has autism. Let’s call him Bill  Pacino. 

Both of their parents are dead so Al Pacino is Bill  Pacino’ legal guardian. That means Al Pacino makes Bill Pacino’s major life decisions for him and watches out for him. He keeps a sharp eye out but sometimes weird stuff happens to Bill Pacino anyway 

Bill Pacino lives in a group home with four other guys. One of Bill Pacino’s great passions in life is food. He gobbles it up. Al Pacino says this gets Bill Pacino in trouble sometimes at the group home because he eats other people’s food. He’s not trying to be a jerk. He just doesn’t understand the concept of food  belonging to certain people. He opens the fridge and sees something  he likes and he eats it.

And because he lives in a group home, Bill Pacino also participates in a day program. A lot of cripples who live in nursing homes and group homes are sent to day programs whether they like it or not. The idea is  to give them something to do besides sit around the nursing home or group home with their thumbs up their butts. A bunch of not-for-profit organizations have popped up to provide these programs. The website of one of those organizations, which operates in the area where Bill Pacino lives, says its day programs offer participants “the opportunity to engage in their community, develop support groups outside of the family, as well as provide an environment to cultivate personal interests and vocational skills.”

Some cripples who have taken part in day programs have told me that the problem is that instead of sitting around the nursing home or group home with your thumb up your ass, you’re taken to some facility where you sit around with your thumb up your ass. And one day, Al Pacino says, somebody at one of the facilities decided that the vocational skill Bill Pacino was going to cultivate was putting labels on bags of pot gummies that were to be sold in the state-certified dispensaries of recreational marijuana.

I suppose you can figure out how that turned out. Yep, they put a bag of marijuana gummies in front of Bill Pacino and he ate them all.

What the hell were they thinking?

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Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Turning Down Free Food

 My late sister was crippled, like me. She also had a wheelchair accessible van, like me.

She often got carry-outs and deliveries from her local Chinese restaurant, which was located in a strip mall. One day my sister and her husband went to pick up their carry-out order. There was only one parking space reserved for cripples in the strip mall parking lot and the striped area next to the parking space was being occupied by the strip mall’s dumpster.

This pissed my sister off, like it always pisses me off when I see someone parked in or something cluttering up the striped area next to a parking space reserved for cripples. Because that striped area means NO PARKING, DAMMIT and it’s there because many cripples enter and exit our vehicles via a lift or ramp that comes out of the sliding side door. We need that extra space in order to get in and out of the vehicle so if it’s cluttered up it renders the parking space unless.

And that happens a lot. I’ve gone to shopping centers where the striped areas next to the reserved cripple parking spaces are occupied by metal corals for shopping carts.

My sister called some state agency that’s in charge of enforcing cripple parking laws and reported the strip mall. When she returned a few weeks later, the dumpster had been moved elsewhere and the striped area was clutter free, as God intended. Apparently her phone call actually worked!

Shortly thereafter, the Chinese man who owned the restaurant rang her doorbell.  He was carrying a brown paper bag. My sister and her husband were confused. Neither of them ordered a delivery. What was he doing here? 

When they opened the door the smiling man said he was also very upset that the dumpster had been moved to right in front of his business because he hired feng shui experts to remodel his place so as to attract more customers. But he was afraid that having that dumpster there would  fuck up the vibe they created. So he wanted to give them this free food to express his appreciation for doing whatever she did that made them move the dumpster.

And the next night, the man returned with another bag of free food. And he did the same the night after that and the night after that and the night after that until finally my sister and her husband kept the lights off and pretended like nobody was home every night when the Chinese man rang the doorbell until, eventually, he stopped coming. They didn’t mean to be rude but they didn’t know what else to do. Their refrigerator was overflowing with leftovers from all the deliveries of the previous nights.

Being crippled will take you on many adventures. But I’ve never been on one that made me turn down free food

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Friday, March 8, 2024

The Patriarchy in Crippledom

 Far be it from me to do anything  to affirm the patriarchy. But since I always have been and always will be a cripple, I’m glad I’m a man. Having been born with a penis definitely gives you a good head start when you’re a cripple.

There is a distinct patriarchy in crippledom that grants advantages and privileges  to those of us that just so happen to have a penis. And I know I’ve benefited greatly from that. But hey, don’t yell at me about it. I didn’t make it that way. God did. It’s just the natural order of things.

Because one of the biggest challenges you face when you’re crippled is taking a piss. Some cripples have to catheterize themselves when they have to take a piss but it’s still daunting even for those of us who piss the regular way because we can’t just step up to the bowl or sit on it and let ‘er rip.Thus, taking a piss can be a major undertaking for me  but I’m still far more fortunate than many others because I have a penis that still functions in all of the ways the good Lord intended it to so I can just whip it out and piss into a jar or something, from the comfort of my wheelchair. It would be ten times more daunting if I had to transfer from my wheelchair onto a toilet several times a day just to take a piss, especially if I needed someone to help me do that. I’d probably be much more inclined than I already am to look for ways to help me hold it. I’d probably take up yoga or meditation or something. But one can only hold it for so long.

And I’m also really glad that I’m okay with always remaining a man. If I was one of those men who wants to become a woman, I would have a hard time going through with accomplishing that goal completely. Because I’m a cripple, I’d be very hesitant to part ways with my penis. It’s the source of my greatest privilege. 

I’m not about to transfer to the toilet every time I have to take a piss just to be in solidarity with cripples who are less fortunate than I am.  I might consider doing that if I thought it would do some good, but I don’t see where it could.

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