Mike ErvinIf you’re trying to bring together a large group of cripples, like to organize a protest or something, you can attract a good number of them the same way you attract alley cats. You put out free food. And just like alley cats, they’ll keep coming back.

I know a whole lot of cripples that will be there right on time, every time there’s free food to be had. Exhibit A is a married couple whose names I will change so that I can deny it’s them if they ever read this and have a problem with it. I’ll call them Lucy and Ricky. Whenever there’s an event with free food, you can count on them to show up. They pile their plates high and often bring along a cloth shopping bag that they stuff full of leftovers until somebody tells them to stop. And I bet if somebody frisked Lucy and Ricky on their way out the door, they’d find they have more food stashed away in other creative places. Lucy and Ricky would make excellent smugglers.

I notice that people who live in nursing homes also tend to come running when the free dinner bell rings. I used to think that some cripple elder ought to take these people aside and talk to them about politeness and decorum. Teach them some manners. Impress upon them the importance of not developing a reputation as a freeloader.

But now the way I look at it is sometimes a cripple’s gotta do what a cripple’s gotta do, especially when those cripples are b