Super Wonder Cripster Woman

SuperCripster

Illustration by Mark Weber

I am on the verge of making a very drastic and life-changing decision. Radical new chair? Cutting edge surgery? No … I am contemplating no longer reading the news!

Lately, a spate of stories have appeared about these insane people making the life of disabled people even more difficult. No more news for me. Then I won’t get pissed by what I read and let it prevent me from going out there and becoming the news myself by committing heinous crimes to avenge the ….

Ooops, wait a minute. Bladder senses tingle! I hear it! I see it! I sense it! Time for the return of … of …
Super Wonder Cripster Woman!

Ta-da, da-da, da-da!

As I try to find my flowered bathing suit, red tights, pink boots, yellow laundry bag cape and now ratty, feathered mask, I begin to see it all …

SPECIAL EFFECT: (This is where the screen gets wavy and you are transported into the ethers of my mind…):

The Gotham night sky is being crisscrossed by the beams of floodlights that contain the symbol, not of Batman (he’s like 100 years old now and retired) but a wheelchair, signaling ME that my invaluable help is indeed needed.

Into the world I go … saving, avenging!

CUT TO:
The headlines read: “Daughter’s Wheelchair Ramp In Jeopardy Because of Neighbors.”

Yes, you read it right. Neighbors here want the ramp — used to assist a 16-year-old girl with cerebral palsy — to be removed. Why, you say? Because they are afraid it will lower their property values.

Super Wonder Cripster Woman to the rescue!

My Plan: Commission my ingenious brother-in-law Tom to build the most amazing and colorful ramp they have ever seen! I’d then proceed to ring those neighbors’ door bells, introduce myself, and flipping back my cape, I would ask if they are ready to make nice! No? OK! I would then camp out on their lawns, cook on a hibachi, hang my freshly washed unmentionables on a makeshift clothes line and have large bonfires at night and feed weenies and marshmallows to all who stop by to support the cause.

When they have me arrested, I would continue my relentless efforts from the booby hatchery. The word will come down via a Nurse Ratchett lookalike saying that I, Super Wonder Cripster Woman, have won. The neighbors concede, apologize even, the ramp stays and I am released to thunderous applause from all my many supporters and….

ENTER: REAL WORLD. I’m disrupted by hubby raiding the fridge, with that look that suggests his wife is too busy with whatever to feed him. He eyes me suspiciously. “What?!” I ask, perturbed that he can’t see I’m in the middle of saving humanity here!

“You’re brewing over there. Should I be worried?” he scoffs.


I make a mental note to send him somewhere scary for a few days. Like my mother’s. He retreats to his cave and once again I am free to resume my travails …

SPECIAL EFFECT:
(Wavy image again):

I am finishing a report for the commissioner when the Top Secret Communiqué arrives! TO: Super Wonder Cripster Woman. RE: “Little Kid’s Lemonade Stand Shut Down by Cops After Neighbor Complains.”

What is with these neighbors!

This kid is 9 years old and he is autistic. He is trying to raise money for their community children’s hospital, which had helped his friend with cancer. He, in his own way, is trying to give back. So this old bat tells him to shut it down, even tries to bribe him with a crisp, new Lincoln — five bucks! Little guy holds his ground, so the old bat calls the cops and they shut him down!

ENTER: Caped Cripster again.

First, I toilet paper her house. If it’s property values she’s worried about, this should help. I then invite 19 of my closest crip friends over and we spread out over her front yard and become lawn ornaments for the duration. If it’s image she needs to maintain at all costs (oh dear, there’s that retarded boy again, too damn close to my property, tut tut!) this should show her neighbors what an old bat she actually is. Look! She’s employing these poor cripples as lawn gnomes — which causes her neighbors to demand that she move!

AND … be made to write out one million times, “I will mind my own business!” AND that she spends 800 thousand hours doing community service, part of it from a wheelchair, part of it selling lemonade with her little neighbor in an effort to rehabilitate her batty self.

My efforts will be recognized by the Nurse Ratchett lookalike, saying, “Surely you will now be the recipient of a special award from the commissioner …”

REAL WORLD, AGAIN: “If you’re not too busy, can we order pizza?” yells hubby, startling me.
Not too busy?! I give him the evil eye.

“That’s what I thought” he complains. “What are you doing anyway?” he asks.

“Writing a story for NEW MOBILITY!” I snarl.

His eyes narrow. “Does this mean you will be running around here again with the laundry bag around your neck?!”

“Moi?!” I bat my eyes, incredulous.

“Dear God,” he whispers and crosses himself and runs back to the safety of his mistress — the 55-inch TV.

Where was I? Oh yeah … the teletype (hey, my fantasy!) jumps to life and starts to spew the latest travesties of the crip world …

A PHOTO SLOWLY MATERIALIZES: An elder disabled woman lying on the ground by her truck … pulled out by an officer because she was not getting out fast enough, because she could not … (her daughter is yelling at the officer that her mother cannot walk!). He threatens to arrest her, too, if she doesn’t shut her big mouth.

This is followed by a story of a neighbor (WTF? Is this some kind of cult?) telling the mother (who by the way has MS) of a disabled child that his “noises” were scaring her “normal” children and what right did she have to expose her “retarded” child in a neighborhood of hard working people, that they should move or euthanize the child …

Euthanize? Am I reading this correctly?

This time my wanderings are interrupted by my own dismay and wild anger. What the hell is this? We conquered the days when anything remotely looking disabled, less than normal, was locked up in attics and basements and institutions that smelled like piss. We have fought and won our rights through blood, sweat and tears and so now the goal is to find some other means to eradicate us? To disappear us! Short of riots and burning down their houses, what are we supposed to do!

Euthanasia. Our mouths can barely contain the word, but it has been used against one of us, a child at that! What have we done exactly? Did we ask for this body? This illness? This crap? You self-righteous doofuses out there! Could you live the way we do, with medical equipment to keep us alive, with chairs for legs, with catheters and leg bags and night bags and attendants cleaning you and wiping your nose and your ass because you damn well can’t! I give up! I quit! I …

REAL WORLD, ONE MORE TIME: Hubby wanders in with the pizza and he looks at me like he is seeing Hannibal the Cannibal at his kitchen table. He goes right back out and mumbles, “I don’t need a plate, anyway.”

CUT TO: My email alert dings. Someone has sent me a news link. I almost don’t open it. It has the word “disabled” in the title. Like I can actually resist reading it. It’s a story about a stranger who was out to dinner and observed a family with a disabled child. The child was frustrated and acting out and the family all helped to calm him down and enjoy their dinner. The stranger quietly paid their bill and sent a note saying, “God only gives special children to special people.”

And the story about the kid with the lemonade stand? A big-hearted restaurant owner contacted the boy’s family and offered his establishment for an evening of lemonade and fundraising. People came in en masse! Some did not eat or drink anything, just came in to donate and show support. The restaurant even matched the donations, dollar for dollar. Sick Kids Hospital received a very big check.

From my perch, I can see into the laundry room and there’s the bright yellow laundry bag. A smile returns. I stuff my face with pizza.

Super Wonder Cripster Woman shall rise again.

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