14 September, 2011

Fatly Disabled

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Fatly Disabled
I just ordered and received a bunch of horror movies from Amazon, and I’m super excited to get my hands dirty with some torture movies tonight. You, know. Because I have some real problems. (Mike, you still should see “Funny Games.”) I also just watched a movie called “Black Death” starring that dreamboat Sean Bean. I dug it. I’ll have to check in with my friend and brilliant blogger the Fright Dyke to see what she thought about it. You should to; her blog is much better than mine. (http://frightdyke.com/) Especially if you like horror. Or even if you don’t. It’s a good read.
So, I know I’ve been talking about my disability a lot recently, and I’m going to again today. Why? Well, it’s my blog and I can do whatever I want with it, but also for a couple of other reasons. There’s the whole ‘my legs have gotten really bad’ thing, and the ‘I’ve been crankier than a kid who opens a toy he didn’t want on Christmas’ thing too. But also because it ties into a sense of entitlement and what we deserve and don’t deserve, and I seem to write a lot about that. Also, the political climate is heating up with the GOP nominations and debates getting very interesting and the president making campaign speeches under the guise of leading his people. This will all make sense in a second.
This country, my favorite country on the globe and admittedly only one of two I’ve been to (guess the other, eh), has a plethora of laws and acts and little watchdog nuggets of legislation that are designed to protect its people or benefit those who may not get their fair sociological shake. You know, things like hate crime laws, laws that govern women’s rights, laws that tell you how many of a certain shade of person you need to hire for your business. Things like that. As a quick aside, every day I wake is one day closer to conservative libertarianism, so there may be a slant here. It seems to work, on the whole, if you’re a person to whom these laws apply. If not, then well, you’re just going to have to work harder and sit in the corner feeling guilty for shit that happened three hundred years ago.
I learned about this story on Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld last night, my second favorite show on television. Some fat dude in Nanuet, New York is suing White Castle fast food restaurants. Nanuet, as we all know, is a five square mile town whose racial make up includes .08% Pacific Islander. Apparently, it also has a White Castle. But the fat guy, Martin Kessman, is suing the White Castle in Nanuet, New York. Why would he do that? Let’s get into it like a crappy little hamburger with holes in it, dripping with gristle and onions.
Mr. Kessman is a fat man. He’s sixty-four years old and two-hundred and ninety pounds. He went to the Nanuet White Castle, ordered his disgusting fare of typically-consumed-by-the-shitfaced-and-or-stoned, and went to sit down in a molded booth in the restaurant. As another side note, I laugh a little every time a fast food joint tethers the word ‘restaurant’ to itself. Yeah, it’s a restaurant, but it’s not Butcher and Singer; it’s White Castle. So Massive Martin puts his shit on the table, and tries to slide into the booth. He doesn’t fit. He’s too fat. You know, because he weighs two-hundred and ninety pounds. According to Kessman, “I’m not humongous… I’m a big guy,” and added that he wanted to “sit down like a normal person.” White Castle tried to give him coupons for more nasty hamburgers as consolation, but the self assessed not-humongous-just-big Martin Kessman scoffed at the gesture. Nope, instead, Mr. “Killer Kawalski” Kessman (I made that one up) is suing White Castle, demanding reparations for his not fitting in the booth in the form of money, probably hamburgers, and the burger joint expanding their booths. It’s been two years going with the lawsuit, and not much has been resolved. What’s Martin “The Krusher” Kessman (I made that one up too) using as his flag for the suit? The Americans with Disabilities Act.
And now we’re at the point. The ADA exists to ensure that “physical or mental disabilities in no way diminish a person’s right to fully participate in all aspects of society…” The ADA defines a disability as, “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual…” where the act clarifies ‘major life activities’ as, “…caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.” Of course there is more to the document than just this, but for the purposes of this rant, we’ll go with those. Also, there was nothing about White Castle in the ADA.
Now, I’m not saying that fat people don’t have it hard, and some of them are fat outside of their own behavior. There’s all that glandular bullshit and metabolism nonsense and all of that genetic hoopla. That’s all well and good, but I’d be very impressed if the percentage of people in this country who are classified as fat or obese who also fall into those specific medical categories number in the double digits. The vast majority of fat people in this country are likely that way because they don’t exercise and eat White Castle on the reg, as the kids say. Is that a judgement? Yup, but let’s get back to the point. Entitlement and what we are owed versus how our behavior dictates what we deserve.
I’ve said this many, many times, but in our community, the modified community, we aren’t owed anything. We aren’t owed a job, we aren’t owed respect from the unmodified society, we aren’t owed shit. We are not a species or a race or a creed or a religion. And if you’re one of those Church of Body Modification idiots, just stop; you’re just lazy assholes trying to exploit loopholes. Those of us with stretched lobes and face tattoos ought not conjure a faux outrage at not getting a job at Victoria’s Secret on account of our modifications, and I shouldn’t have to explain why.
The disability thing is a little different. I often see people parking in the spots who in no way seem as if they require the help the spot is designed to provide. And, yeah; most of these people are fat. I got it; some of these people have bad knees and hips and blargle, blaggle, bloogle. But when I see these fatly disabled people, I can’t help but compare their ‘disability’ with my own. This guy Martin and the White Castle Booth-gate (because thanks to Nixon every scandal needs -gate at the end) wasn’t born that large. He got that large, and I would have to imagine that White Castle had something to do with it. Not in a conspiratorial way; no one held a gun to his head and made him eat shitty tiny hamburgers, therefore they have no responsibility to his obesity. But in a self respect and responsibility kind of way. Seems like an easy plan; eat like shit, smoke and drink, spill scolding hot coffee on yourself and then sue everyone so that you can absolve yourself of all responsibility. (Also, it’s probably reason number 553 why universal healthcare won’t work.) This guy Mega Martin Kessman is fat and he doesn’t fit in the booth at White Castle. How is that White Castle’s fault, and how can someone be disabled for participating in a behavior that deliberately disables himself? If that’s the case, why don’t I go into my shed right now and cut my left leg off so I can reap all of the benefits of being disabled? What prevents me from doing that is that I have a garage not a shed. And also, it’s insane. How is growing to three-hundred pounds that different? Because it takes Monster Martin sixty years?
White Castle is in the business of making money, and part of that is to accommodate the mean of its demographic. If that means that R&D designed the tables specifically to accommodate those who are most likely to spend money in the store, then sorry fat people; you’re on the outside. It’s a society of ‘it’s someone else’s fault,’ and that is a wonderful way to stay in this recession. That and re-electing the president.
The president thing was cheap, OK, but here I am disabled from birth, likely just a few months away from accepting a wheelchair, and I’ve been denied disability more than once. Then we have this fat guy who can’t fit into a chair at a hamburger joint, and he’s flashing around a document designed to give people like me an even playing field in society. How is that just? Someone gets shot and we sue the gun maker. Someone gets burned and we sue the cup maker. Someone gets punched by a cop and we sue the police department. Someone gets a paper cut and we sue the library. Can’t we just say that shitty shit happens to shit on our shit at shitty times? Or better, ‘maybe it’s my fault.’ I don’t often get insulted or offended. I don’t often get much of anything, including but not limited to, getting ahead of my bills, any measure of success, a sense of fulfillment, hope for a creative future adorned in financial and intellectual achievement. But what does salt my ass is to see people using something that sounds like an easy excuse when the only acceptable excuse is to assume responsibility for their own actions. This fat guy who didn’t have a good hamburger experience is disabled? Tell a kid with spina bifida that, or ALS, or MS, or depression, or ADD (real ADD, not a clever way to describe your lack of focus), or someone born with a missing limb or sense like eyesight or hearing. Tell those people that the same document designed to protect them from collusion and prejudice is allowing Martin Kessman to sue a hamburger joint because he’s too fat to fit in a chair. I love America, but Jesus; we’re striving toward living like Romans where everything was taken care of by their government and emperor. Their emperor. Did we get that word there? Emperor. The point is, no one eats White Castle sober. Stay beautiful, kids.

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