Ervin: Not Crippled Enough?

By | 2017-01-13T20:42:42+00:00 February 1st, 2014|
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Mike ErvinIn my neighborhood, I’m seeing more and more fusion dogs. Those are two-breed dogs with fusion breed names like Pekinoodle (Pekinese + poodle). We’ve taken a couple fusion dogs into our household. They are Chihuahua + dachshund so people call them chiweenies. I kid you not.

And I’m betting that pretty soon I’ll be seeing more and more fusion cripples with two or more crippling conditions that form a fusion name, like ampuquad. I’m seriously considering becoming a fusion cripple myself. I may have to take on another crippling condition just to cover my own ass and remain legally crippled.

I mean never in all my born days did I ever dream I’d have to worry about whether I’d be crippled enough to still be considered legally crippled in the eyes of the law. But I see an ominous trend. I see a groundswell of backlash against the mythical marauding hoards of “fake cripples” who are trying to get in on all the free shit government bestows upon cripples. Like here in Illinois, they just took away our precious right not to have to pay when we park at parking meters. They said too many fake cripples were using fake cripple parking placards to scam the meters. So now the state has a new and much tighter definition of what makes one really and truly crippled as it pertains to parking. And now there are thousands of cripples who are just as legitimately crippled as they ever were but no longer crippled enough to still qualify for free parking.

And then there were those infamously ham-handed stories on 60 Minutes and NPR last year about all the fake cripples who are raiding the Social Security disability treasure chest. They made it sound as if anybody who can pull off a phony limp can go to a Social Security office and collect an instant pile of pity cash.

Of course, both stories were soon revealed to be as holey as a Swiss cheese Pope. The NPR story was entitled, “Unfit for Work: The Startling Rise of Disability in America.” Eight former commissioners of the Social Security Administration pointed out in an open letter some important facts missing from the story. They said one in five male and one in seven female disability insurance beneficiaries die within five years of receiving benefits. (Is that crippled enough for you?) They said only one-third of disability applications are accepted on the first try and only 40 percent are ever accepted at all. They said the number of children receiving SSI has increased because the number of children living in families poor enough to even apply for SSI has increased. They said, “We could not sit on the sidelines and witness this one perspective on the disability programs threaten to pull the rug out from under millions of people with severe disabilities.”

But the damage has been done. How soon before they come after our Social Security just like they came after our free parking? Becoming a fusion cripple might be the best and only way for me to prove that I am still worthy of retaining the title of cripple.

It’s a tough decision. It’s vitally important to pick the right time and the right disability. Amputation seems like the easiest way to go. But will lopping off a toe be enough? Two toes? A thumb? Maybe I’d better play it safe and lop off an entire arm or leg.

But what if I go through all that trouble and pain only to discover that self-inflicted fusion cripples are considered to be scammers too, and thus don’t qualify as crippled? Then I’ll have to pray like hell that I become a fusion cripple via natural causes or the actions of an impartial third party. “Please Lord; let me get hit by Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s or a bus!”

Or maybe I’ll have a stroke! Oh baby, if that happens, I’ll be so crippled up that no one will be able to deny that I am crippled no matter how you slice it! And I’ll have the last laugh.