Tuesday, April 30, 2024

The Joy of Sinning

  When I was a kid, I really wanted to be a sinner. That was the first time I felt something resembling ambition. 

This was brought on by the fact that even though I was a Catholic, nobody pressured me to go to confession regularly, like they did all the other Catholic kids in the neighborhood who weren’t crippled. 

I should have just left well enough alone and accepted this exemption as the blessing that it was. And for while I did. But as I got older I asked myself why I was excused from confessing regularly. And I came to the conclusion that the reason must be that the Catholic church didn’t think cripples were capable of being sinners.

I was insulted by this. I felt it was my duty to prove them wrong by sinning, regularly. But what kind of sinner would I be? Which of the Ten Commandments would I break? I didn’t want to kill or  steal from anybody. Those Commandments made sense to me. Coveting my neighbor’s wife didn’t seem like such a bad thing to do. But one of my neighbors was a burly fireman and the other  neighbor didn’t have a wife. And even if I wanted to covet the fireman’s wife, I didn’t think there was any chance that she would covet me back.

Another problem was that the Catholic church had a much broader definition of sin than I did. The Catholic church thought everything from jerking off to belching at the dinner table was a sin. But I thought if you wanted commit a sin you had to commit murder. That was pretty much it

But that turned out to be a good thing after all because if I went with the Catholic church definition, that meant that nobody  could go a week between confessions without committing some sort of sinful infraction. Not even a cripple could do that.

To be human was by its very nature, to be a sinner. So I embraced that premise, even though I knew it was bull shit, because if that was the case I would automatically sin regularly without even trying. All I had to do was live my life.. That made sinning a lot easier to do.

It was true that by taking this approach, I wouldn’t experience the full joy of sining. Much of the time, I wouldn’t even know that I was sinning.

But I was a sinner nonetheless.. I cloud look back each week and feel confident that I had done something the Catholic had previously thought I was incapable of doing.

Just because I didn’t feel like a sinner didn’t mean I wasn’t one.

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Monday, April 22, 2024

The Cripple School Color Guard

 Here’s another way you can tell if a crippled adult went to segregated high school for cripples only, like I did. If that crippled adult was in their high school marching band, or if the high school they went to even had a marching band, then it most likely wasn’t a segregated high school for cripples only. Because segregated high schools for cripples only don’t bother to have marching bands.

No, the closest thing to a marching band I ever saw was at the segregated elementary school for cripples only. We had a color guard there. And every school assembly began with the presentation of colors. Three of the crippled students marched up the aisle of the assembly hall. The first two carried the flags of the city and state and the last flag was the American flag. The color guard kids marched up onto the stage and mounted the colors. And then they all put their hands on their hearts and Ied everyone in reciting The Pledge of Allegiance.

I really wanted to be one of the color guard kids. I thought it was so cool. But I didn’t know how to go about signing up. There weren’t any auditions or anything that I knew of.  I knew that the gym teacher organized it all. But other than that it just seemed like certain kids were randomly selected to be on the color guard and they were sent to the gym teacher and he took it from there.

As I recall, all of the kids in the color guard were the cripples who could walk without crutches or anything, like the hemophiliacs (aka the bleeders). Maybe the gym teacher was afraid that a wheelchair cripple might drop a flag or something and that might start a big commotion. There were definitely no spastic cripples in the color guard.

But the color guard kid I was most envious of was the one who didn’t even join in the marching. He sat off to the side behind a snare drum and drummed out the solemn, steady beat to which the color guard marched. I thought it would be so cool to have that job. I bet it made the chicks swoon. That was the closest thing we had to a rock star at the cripple school.

But it’s probably a good thing that I didn’t get to be a drummer at the segregated elementary school for cripples only. Because after I graduated from there I went on to an even more segregated boarding school for cripples only that was operated by the state. I refer to it as the Sam Houston Institute of Technology  (SHIT). They didn’t even have a color guard at SHIT, let alone a marching band. So would have been sitting there all alone with my drumsticks, frustrated that I didn’t have a creative outlet.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2024

An Essay Comparing and Contrasting Abandoned Dogs and Abandoned Cripples

I saw one of those television commercials where they try to convince everyone to donate $19 a month to an organization that saves the lives of abandoned dogs. And it occurred to me that abandoned dogs have a lot in common with abandoned cripples.

The abandoned dogs in this commercial ended up in some place that looked like a puppy mill. The sad voiceover of the narrator said these poor dogs had been dumped there. Indeed, it looked like the mustache-twirling villains that ran the place had vamoosed in a flash because they got a tip that a raid was coming

And it hit me that a lot of abandoned cripples are also dumped in sinister places that are very much like puppy mills. They’re called nursing homes but maybe we should call them cripple mills. Puppy mills profit off of their hostage puppies by selling them. Nursing homes profit off of their hostage cripples by taking away their Social Security and Medicaid money. The nursing homes send the bill to Medicaid for the room and board of the hostages and the hostages also have to sign away all but about $30 a month of their Social Security income to the nursing home.

The narrator in the television commercial spoke with urgency how the poor dogs are trapped in overcrowded conditions and get very little freedom of movement. The same is true of cripples trapped in  nursing homes. They might have three or four strangers as roommates and none of the hostages can leave the grounds without a doctor’s permission.

But there are some ways in which abandoned dogs and abandoned cripples don't have much in common. The narrator for the commercial said there is still hope for dogs like these. There was a video of several people coming to rescue the abandoned dogs. All the people wore windbreakers and on the back was the acronym of the organization that was trying to get everyone to donate $19 a month.

I’ve never seen a television commercial that tries to convince everyone to donate $19 a month to an organization that saves abandoned cripples. There must not be any organizations that raids nursing homes and frees all of the crippled hostages.

It looks like abandoned dogs have a whole lot more going for them than abandoned cripples do.

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