Wednesday, November 30, 2005

DISABLED IS JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR TOTALLY ABLE

If there's one thing I want everyone to know, it's that I've got a real soft spot for retards.

It's true. I've said as much before.

Many of you may not know that a family of member of mine is handicapped. She's a really sweet person, full of song and energy. She's also usually full of pills - pills that fill her with energy. As far as the song stuff, I'm not really sure where that comes from. Maybe from the hymnal she carries with her everywhere, the one she's memorized. But really, that's just a guess. The woman loves to sing, and she loves to sing loudly. (Word to the wise: if, at some point during the upcoming Christmas vacation, you find yourself sitting on the couch next to my cousin and "Feliz Navidad" starts playing on the speakers, either turn the radio off or find something productive to do in the kitchen. Otherwise, you're in for one of the worst renditions of "Baleese Babibab" you've ever heard.)

Now, the reason I bring up my cousin is because I want everyone to know that my appreciation of the handicapped is not some pie-in-sky, naive fantasy. I'm not just some schmoe who's watched I Am Sam twenty times and thinks all retards are functional adults who should be able to raise their own children. I mean, ok, yes, technically I've seen I Am Sam numerous times, but the point is this: I fully realize that Hollywood's depiction of the disabled is hardly an accurate one. You see, I've lived it and I've breathed it and I know what it's about. Of course, I didn't live it quite so realistically or breathe it quite so deeply as the young group-home nurse who happened to cross my cousin for some retarded reason and find a television flying at her face. (Another word to the wise: don't take away my cousin's cigarettes. Also: if she wants to eat an entire carton of Whoppers, let her. Also: don't change the channel when The Cosby Show is on. I'm for real about that.)

The point of all that nonsense is simply to say, in more words or less, my cousin is a real human being and a sweetheart to boot. I mean, who among you, besides the handicapped, would get excited after completing the first grade for the twenty first time? None of you. You'd be all like, "Yawn. This wasn't any fun last year either," rolling your eyes the entire time and, in general, acting like a real asshole. And that's just the beginning of why you're a douche and my cousin is the salt of the earth. Every year she struggles to memorize her multiplication flashcards, every year she gets more than 60% of them right, and every year it's a fucking milestone. And there you are complaining because you couldn't get home in time to watch a rerun of "Everybody Loves Raymond".

You may wonder to yourself why I'm bring up the plight of the retard at all. Well, call it inspiration. Inspirado. You see, on the way to the outdoor mall that I occasionally find myself trekking to during my lunch break, I pass, nearly every time, a sweetly-looking retarded woman at the corner of Constellation Avenue and Avenue of the Stars. There she stands, like a sentry keeping watch, stoic and proud, her pants pulled up to her sternum and her fanny-pack cocked slightly to the side, waiting for someone or something to briskly sweep her away and, I fear, indenture her to another night of washing dishes or mopping bathrooms (it is because that I am so intimately connected to the handicapped peoples that I constantly worry for their safety and their rights). Of course, I'm sure I worry for nothing. Undoubtedly, her elderly mother or a very caring sister or perhaps some scowling, government-paid biddy will come by and pick her up and take her back home. In an ideal world, I imagine that the woman is employed at some bank, works two hours a day licking envelopes (hopefully someone showed her how to use one of those water bottle things), and says funny, off-color, inappropriate things to the employees. Her presence not only lightens the employees' day, it makes them laugh; makes them feel good about themselves for considering, if only for a moment, that maybe their cushy life actually wouldn't have been ruined had they not convinced their wife to abort the abnormal fetus growing in her uterus. In addition to all that, the woman herself makes a little bit of money to help mom or sis pay the bills, finds fulfillment in doing a job well, and gets to see the bright lights of the big city the whole while.

All in all, the world is a little brighter; the air a little sweeter.

So there you go people. Another life lesson from yours truly. Slow down, take stock, smell the roses, and thank the good lord you're not mopping the bathrooms at some junior high school in Kansas, talking to yourself all day long and, at night, playing with your Power Rangers dolls. Or, fuck it, that may be the life you lead and it may be great. That's the whole shebang right there. Retarded or no, we all live our own destiny; we can all teach others a little something about this crazy thing we call "life".

Just don't - and I'm serious about this - don't fucking change the channel when "The Cosby Show" is on. I'm for real about that.

13 comments:

Trevor Jackson said...

Another great piece slightly marred by a ridiculous animated masthead.

Or is it somehow thematically tied to the post? Are you trying to say that Hitler's like the guy that loves the Power Rangers? The watermelon a symbol for the racist stereotypes he loved to throw around?

Yes? That's an interesting point you raise.

King Koopa said...

Excellente. Posts like these are the reason I let you be my friend. The sweet and the sour of life...mashed together so tightly that you have to stop and think about which is which.

Danny Fisher said...

Bless your little heart.

Mathis said...

You're on notice, Fisher.

Trevor Jackson said...

Dammit, Masto. You changed the masthead picture. Now my earlier comment seems insane.

Though not as insane as using a picture of Hitler dropping a watermelon to front a post about noble savages.

Mathis said...

Sorry about the masthead switcheroo, T.J. Hey, can I call you "Teej"? Has anyone ever called you that before? It's got something of an Indian ring to it, don't you think?

Dots, not feathers.

Trevor Jackson said...

'Round these parts, we say "Slurpees not casinos."

And I've been known to sign the occasional email, "Teej."

--Teej Patel

Ian said...

"Retarded" is just another word for "tarded repeatedly."

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