Thursday, December 15, 2022

Cripples At Christmas 2022

 Happy holidays everyone! Please enjoy this year's Cripples At Christmas cartoon collection.

Image description below each corresponding photo. 

A 2022 Hess toy truck has an accessible symbol on the side. Advertisement bubbles say, “Remote control lift!”, “Working tie downs!”, and “Comes with free simulated calls to an incompetent lift repair service!” A final bubble says, “Only $1000!”

1.     The most authentic feature of the new wheelchair accessible Christmas Hess truck was the wildly inflated price tag…

Image decription: A 2022 Hess toy truck has an accessible symbol on the side. Advertisement bubbles say, “Remote control lift!”, “Working tie downs!”, and “Comes with free simulated calls to an incompetent lift repair service!” A final bubble says, “Only $1000!”


A spooky ghost shouts, “I am the ghost of ailments past!” Various gift boxes are marked with different ailments such as “Phantom pain from bygone ulcer,” “Tripped over nothing—twisted knee,” “Breathed wrong—hurt back,” “Pulled neck rolling over in bed,” “Weird knee pain from last July flaring” and “Surgical hardware that still produces wildly uncomfortable tingling.” A wheelchair user stick figure in a night cap says, “Shit, this is scarier than the original!”

2.  As Christmas approached and the weather grew colder, adults with CP found themselves visited by a much different ghost than the one haunting Scrouge…

Image description:A spooky ghost shouts, “I am the ghost of ailments past!” Various gift boxes are marked with different ailments such as “Phantom pain from bygone ulcer,” “Tripped over nothing—twisted knee,” “Breathed wrong—hurt back,” “Pulled neck rolling over in bed,” “Weird knee pain from last July flaring” and “Surgical hardware that still produces wildly uncomfortable tingling.” A wheelchair user stick figure in a night cap says, “Shit, this is scarier than the original."


A bewildered Santa exclaims, “Ho Ho Ho-ly shit! What happened here?” A wheelchair user elf surrounded by beads says, “OK, so I dropped a few beads…”

3. An uptick in requests for beaded jewelry kits at Santa’s workshop had the disabled elves suffering major flashbacks to occupational therapy…

Image description: A bewildered Santa exclaims, “Ho Ho Ho-ly shit! What happened here?” A wheelchair user elf surrounded by beads says, “OK, so I dropped a few beads…”

A nutcracker with a tall hat and mustache states, “OK, so it’s Easter… a walnut’s a walnut. You get the idea.” A skeptical Easter bunny with a decorated egg looks on…

4.   The nutcracker with CP was still working on cracking a walnut from last holiday season…

Image description: A nutcracker with a tall hat and mustache states, “OK, so it’s Easter… a walnut’s a walnut. You get the idea.” A skeptical Easter bunny with a decorated egg looks on…


A webpage heading reads, “Santability: Our new search feature for accessible rentals!” Available filters include, “Filter by: ‘price low to high,’ ‘location,’ and ‘wheelchair access.’” The wheelchair access filter returns zero results and a cheery “Merry Christmas!”


5.  Despite the new “accessibility filter,” the disabled gingerbread man failed to find a single wheelchair- friendly rental on the North Pole Airbnb site…

Image description: A webpage heading reads, “Santability: Our new search feature for accessible rentals!” Available filters include, “Filter by: ‘price low to high,’ ‘location,’ and ‘wheelchair access.’” The wheelchair access filter returns zero results and a cheery “Merry Christmas!”


While music notes float by, one goose states, “ The only ‘a-laying’ I’ll be doing is a-laying in bed!” Another replies, “Agreed.” “Have you seen the Motrin?”

6.  On the sixth day of Christmas, the geese with chronic pain interpreted “a laying” quite differently than most…

Image description: While music notes float by, one goose states, “ The only ‘a-laying’ I’ll be doing is a-laying in bed!” Another replies, “Agreed.” “Have you seen the Motrin?”

Seven disabled swans are surrounded by music notes as they swim past various bills (wheelchair parts, Rx meds, physical therapy, overpriced bandages, and Miralax). One says, “I was hoping for a leisurely dip,” and another sighs, “Time to start a GooseFundMe.”

7.     On the seventh day of Christmas, the disabled swans found themselves “a-swimming” in medical bills…

Image description: Seven disabled swans are surrounded by music notes as they swim past various bills (wheelchair parts, Rx meds, physical therapy, overpriced bandages, and Miralax). One says, “I was hoping for a leisurely dip,” and another sighs, “Time to start a GooseFundMe.”

Several ambulatory stick figures shout insults at two wheelchair user stick figure maids a milking such as “benefit scrounger!” and “Free loader.” Nearby cows awaiting milking shout, “benefit scrounger!” and “Mooooooch.” One wheelchair user says, “God, even the cows are ableist.”


8. On the eighth day of Christmas, the disabled maids were met with unfounded accusations of “a- milking” the benefits system…

Image description: Several ambulatory stick figures shout insults at two wheelchair user stick figure maids a milking such as “benefit scrounger!” and “Free loader.” Nearby cows awaiting milking shout, “benefit scrounger!” and “Mooooooch.” One wheelchair user says, “God, even the cows are ableist.”


An angel ornament lies on the floor near a Christmas tree with a gift. The angel says “Damn it! Not again…” An EMS firefighter stands nearby and says “Uh… this is awkward. I think you went to my high school…”

9.  After falling off the Christmas tree multiple times, the gimpy ornament was forced to purchase a Life Alert system…

Image description: An angel ornament lies on the floor near a Christmas tree with a gift. The angel says “Damn it! Not again…” An EMS firefighter stands nearby and says “Uh… this is awkward. I think you went to my high school…”


A plane from Toybox Airlines sits on the runway. Nearby, a flipped over wheelchair is surrounded by flames. A “TSA Cares” agent states, “There’s been a slight accident.” From within the plane, Barbie’s speech bubble says, “What do you mean three tires are missing?”



10.   Wheelchair Barbie instantly regretted traveling by plane for her Christmas break trip…

Image description: A plane from Toybox Airlines sits on the runway. Nearby, a flipped over wheelchair is surrounded by flames. A “TSA Cares” agent states, “There’s been a slight accident.” From within the plane, Barbie’s speech bubble says, “What do you mean three tires are missing?”




A group of dilapidated gingerbread people, missing limbs and using candy canes to walk stand by a sign welcoming them to the Candy Pains Support Group. The speech bubbles say respectively, “If I have to fill out one more pain scale, I’m gonna throw a gum drop,” “No, I’m not buying cinnamon incense!” and “Yes, I’ve tried yoga.”


 11.     Following a historic increase in accidents among gingerbread people, membership in the                 North Pole chronic pain support group, Candy Pains, was at an all-time high…

Image description: A group of dilapidated gingerbread people, missing limbs and using candy canes to walk stand by a sign welcoming them to the Candy Pains Support Group. The speech bubbles say respectively, “If I have to fill out one more pain scale, I’m gonna throw a gum drop,” “No, I’m not buying cinnamon incense!” and “Yes, I’ve tried yoga..."


A bamboozled Mr. Potato Head with a missing arm and a teddy bear stand surrounded by beer cans, bottles of North Pole Pale Ale, spiked coca, and bottles of Jingle Juice. Mr. Potato Head says “Damn it. Already used my replacement arm when the dog ate my first one this summer.” The teddy bear replies, “Dude, what did we do last night?”


12.     After a wild night in the North Pole for the annual Christmas toy reunion, Mr. Potato Head was feeling the consequences of SantaCare’s “one limb per lifetime” policy…

 

Image description: A bamboozled Mr. Potato Head with a missing arm and a teddy bear stand surrounded by beer cans, bottles of North Pole Pale Ale, spiked coca, and bottles of Jingle Juice. Mr. Potato Head says “Damn it. Already used my replacement arm when the dog ate my first one this summer.” The teddy bear replies, “Dude, what did we do last night?”


 

Friday, December 31, 2021

New Year's Eve Makes Me Sad (But I Like the Snacks)

 

For Joyce Lydon, forever loved and missed.

I’ve always found New Year’s Eve to be very sad. It breaks my heart and feels so strange to think about starting an entirely new year without the people we’ve lost; kind of like we’re continuing some weird journey while a bunch of people we love are waving as we look out the rear window, as if to say “I gotta stay here.” I imagine them getting smaller and smaller as I move forward, like when I would leave my grandparents house as a child. My grandparents would line up on the driveway, waving, waving as the car pulled away until they were just dots on the horizon. 

 

There’s a cruelty to it, writing a year on a page that people you love won’t, adding to that unwanted collection of years in which they are nowhere in the world. Nowhere and everywhere and nowhere all at once. 

 

The thought of more time and space coming between us, so formally marked by a turned page, has always stirred a certain melancholy in me and a wish that I had studied the fine details of their faces for longer, taken more pictures, been able to do that lunch date we hoped for “when things get better.” We all, I suspect, have some unfinished plans with the people we’ve lost, and no platitudes like “they lived a good long life” can truly soften the blow. Of course, there is also the brutal truth that so many lives should have been much longer. 

 

I don’t think I will ever fully escape the New Year’s Eve feeling that I am leaving someone behind when the hands of time cross over the bridge of midnight. The folks waving as the car pulls away will never be “here” again in the way that I want or wish. 

 

Yet I know we never truly leave or lose people we love. The way we hold onto them now is different. I won’t try to tell you it’s just as good. But the fact is that we hold them still, and no clock inching forward or popped champagne bottles or midnight kisses can change that.

 

To all my beloveds who have “hopped out of the car” this year and each year before that, I will always grieve for you. Part of me will always look for you in the grocery store, hope it’s you when the phone rings, yearn for the feeling of your hands. But since you can’t walk with me into this new year, I will carry you. 

 

And everywhere I go, I will share the joy that was you. 


Is you. 

 

Always will be you.

 

 And I will shout into the wind that you were real. 

 

You were real and you loved me. 

 

When I watch the night become the dawn, the first dawn of this new beginning, you will be nowhere and you will be everywhere. But mostly, you will be everywhere. I will make sure of it.



Me and my late friend Joyce smiling at a camp dance. I have a red t shirt and she has a green jersey and cowgirl style hat
                                            ID: Me and my late friend Joyce smiling at a camp dance. I have a red t shirt                and she has a green jersey and cowgirl style hat


Monday, December 13, 2021

Cripples at Christmas 2021: Annual Cartoon Series

 Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Festivus! I hope you enjoy this year's round of cartoons! Image description under each drawing. 


When Santa’s team diversified and hired Gimpy, Gimpy’s neurogenic bladder caused some serious Christmas Eve delays…

     When Santa’s team diversified and hired Gimpy, Gimpy’s neurogenic bladder caused some serious Christmas Eve delays…

 

Image: Three reindeer lined up beside each other with one saying, “Dude’s been trying to pee for 45 minutes. We’re supposed to be in China now!” A speech bubble from a voice out of view says, “Can someone turn on the water?”

 


The adapted matching family pajamas were a lot less adorable when the price became clear…

    The adapted matching family pajamas were a lot less adorable when the price became clear…

 

Image: Three sets of pjs with a Christmas tree top and striped pants and the heading,“‘Regular’ Matching Christmas PJs: $50” beside three sets of pjs with a reindeer face top and plain pants. The second heading says, “Adapted matching Christmas PJs: $150”

 


Two standing stick figures and a wheelie stick figure near a large door and a sign reading, “Caution: door is heavy.” The wheelchair user states, “Santa’s Workshop? More like Santa’s Jerkshop! So much for the inclusion campaign!”

     Another Year and Santa’s Workshop Had No Automatic Doors

 

Image: Two standing stick figures and a wheelie stick figure near a large door and a sign reading, “Caution: door is heavy.” The wheelchair user states, “Santa’s Workshop? More like Santa’s Jerkshop! So much for the inclusion campaign!”

 

A calendar with 24 spaces is filled in with various doctor specialties including gynecologist, urologist, gastroenterologist, spine specialist, orthopedic, podiatrist, orthotist, dentist, opthamologist, neurologist, and psychologist. Also mentioned are blood tests, internist (flummoxed by your many issues), a urodynamics test, “urologist again,” “Botox for spazzy arm” “gastro again,” and “wheelchair clinic after 6 month wait.” A wheelchair user asks, “Where’s the candy  The “Doctor A Day” Advent Calendar Was Markedly Less Charming Than the “Chocolate A Day” Version

 

Image: A calendar with 24 spaces is filled in with various doctor specialties including gynecologist, urologist, gastroenterologist, spine specialist, orthopedic, podiatrist, orthotist, dentist, opthamologist, neurologist, and psychologist. Also mentioned are blood tests, internist (flummoxed by your many issues), a urodynamics test, “urologist again,” “Botox for spazzy arm” “gastro again,” and “wheelchair clinic after 6 month wait.” A wheelchair user asks, “Where’s the candy?”

 

Image: A stick figure in a wheelchair wearing an elf hat sits by a Boggle game represented by letters with motion lines. The person states, “This assignment really isn’t working out.”

 The elf with the CP Startle Reflex Went For A Vocational Rehab Consult After Years of Assembling Boggle Games Had Frayed His Nerves

 

Image: A stick figure in a wheelchair wearing an elf hat sits by a Boggle game represented by letters with motion lines. The person states, “This assignment really isn’t working out.”

 

Two ambulatory figures in elf outfits sit on a mantle beside an elf in a wheelchair. Various speech bubbles are shown drifting from “The Land of Unsolicited Opinions” such as “Cinnamon yoga!” “Cinnamon works wonders! And it’s natural!” “I sell cinnamon smoothies!” and “My cousin is a cinnamon spiritual healer!” The wheelchair user muses aloud: “Does Stacey seriously think my devastating, lifelong joint pain can be solved with cinnamon?”  *In Elf on the Shelf lore, cinnamon is considered like vitamins for elves

Image: Two ambulatory figures in elf outfits sit on a mantle beside an elf in a wheelchair. Various speech bubbles are shown drifting from “The Land of Unsolicited Opinions” such as “Cinnamon yoga!” “Cinnamon works wonders! And it’s natural!” “I sell cinnamon smoothies!” and “My cousin is a cinnamon spiritual healer!” The wheelchair user muses aloud: “Does Stacey seriously think my devastating, lifelong joint pain can be solved with cinnamon?” 

*In Elf on the Shelf lore, cinnamon is considered like vitamins for elves


An Operation board game box with the text “Now featuring: Fucked Up Spine, Weirdly Deformed Hip, Arthritic Knee, Dislocated Shoulder, Spastic Foot, and Neurogenic Bladder”

   “Operation” Came Out With A New Edition To Be More Relatable For Disabled Folks This Christmas

 

Image: An Operation board game box with the text “Now featuring: Fucked Up Spine, Weirdly Deformed Hip, Arthritic Knee, Dislocated Shoulder, Spastic Foot, and Neurogenic Bladder”


Image: A reindeer with a tube in its belly next to a can of formula that reads: “Kate Farms ‘Magic Reindeer’ Made with Real Glitter 100% Oatmeal
    For the Local Reindeer With a G-Tube, The Formula Version of Magic Reindeer Food Was A Welcome Surprise

 

Image: A reindeer with a tube in its belly next to a can of formula that reads: “Kate Farms ‘Magic Reindeer’ Made with Real Glitter 100% Oatmeal


Image: A sign that says “Introducing…the RoHoHoHo! ‘Superior Pressure Relief From the Folks Who Brought You Christmas!”


  Eager to Get In On the Pressure Sore Prevention Market, Santa’s Workshop Put A Festive Spin On Wheelchair Cushions

 

Image: A sign that says “Introducing…the RoHoHoHo‘Superior Pressure Relief From the Folks Who Brought You Christmas!”


Image: A drawing of Santa saying “Tell the accessible media department we had lots of assholes this year.”

     A request for a large print naughty list had Santa’s paper budget stretched thin…

 

Image: A drawing of Santa saying “Tell the accessible media department we had lots of assholes this year.”

 

A paratransit bus with the sign: “ETA: No fucking clue”

“The Night Before the Night Before The Night Before Christmas” Told the Tale of Disabled People Boarding Paratransit A Few Days Early, Hoping to Make Christmas Dinner on Time

 

Image: A paratransit bus with the sign: “ETA: No fucking clue”

 

Image: A line of wheelchair users in Santa hats under a lit marquee advertising a sold out concert.

A Disabled Christmas Choir Performed Their Smash Hit, “O, Rolly Night”

 

Image: A line of wheelchair users in Santa hats under a lit marquee advertising a sold out concert.