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Denebola » Article » Cripple-conscious
Editorials and Opinions

Cripple-conscious

By Gabe Glissen-Brown
Published: September 2009

What’s that you say? Why has there been no Gabe’s Gab of late? Fret not, my faithful fan base and beloved, neurotic editor! For the summer is over and I am here once more to pass my wisdom unto you. This issue, I’m going to speak on the mockery of those in casts.

There are indeed people out there who choose to mock friends who suffer injuries and can’t walk or write properly. Their malicious activities include, but are not limited to, mockery, crutch-tripping, and purposely engaging in activities in which the cripple can’t participate.

Now I see you trying to suppress a smile and I can tell that you find someone struggling to write an in-class essay with his hand bound in a huge, inconvenient cast rather humorous. I have to admit that I, too, have gotten a few cheap laughs out of my frustrated friend trying to eat a sandwich with a broken wrist.
But now that I have experienced the trauma of being the target of such mockery, I can assure you: there is nothing funny about it.

The story of my injury is a long, sad, bloody one. This past Friday I was playing soccer in the street with one of my awful, jerk-face, backstabbing friends. Let’s call him Chuck (not the same Chuck who made an appearance in my column about bloggers).

Clearly angered by my awe-inspiring coordination and overall dazzling soccer prowess, the fiend got the jump on the ball and, as I was closing in, suddenly forced my ankle to roll on its side as my leg went up at a 90-degree angle.

Now, if you’re not a math person, lemme tell you, the human ankle is not supposed to bend that way.
Chuck cackled as I slumped to the ground. ‚ÄúThat’s what you get for being better in all aspects than me! he crowed with malicious pleasure. And as a result of this completely true and accurate story, I was crutch-bound.

I didn’t think being a cripple was that bad, until the next day when I was with my other insensitive traitor friends. They proceeded to mock me solely on the fact that I had to hobble stiffly from place to place.
My eyes have been opened to similar horrors that occur every day to cripples worldwide. Put up fliers, give lectures, bake some double-fudge brownies for a fundraiser bake-sale.

Most of all, though, please don’t laugh at cripples. Because, believe it or not, they are people too. People with feelings. Plus, once that arm or leg heals, and especially if they’re larger than you, you’ll curse the day you ever mocked them (watch your back, Chuck).

Try to empathize with the cripple struggle when you’re trying to overcome the fits of laughter brought on by seeing somebody in a cast. Here are some little fun facts to help you out with that.

First of all, moving is a struggle when one of your limbs is dipped in cement, sealed with titanium, and fixed in place with lead bolts. Seriously though, it’s a hassle that’ll bring sweat to the brow of even the most skillful soccer player (by which I mean me).

Second, contrary to popular belief, casts do not get all the ladies, and in actuality cause one to look unattractively goofy. Don’t go by me, though; it wasn’t my crutches, I was just a chick-magnet to begin with.
Third, you know you’re better than a cripple, so why waste time making fun of them?

Speaking seriously now, though, I realize that the teasing is all in good fun and that people don’t usually do it out of malice. But it’s still depressing and a bit annoying to be constantly reminded that one of your limbs is injured and you have trouble moving around.

And now back to my dazzling wit.

After reading this, hopefully you’ll empathize with the plight of the crips. Remember kids: suffering is not something to laugh at, even if it is really, really, really funny.

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