By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Illustration by Bob AulSend anonymous thanks, confessions or accusations—changing or deleting the names of the guilty and innocent—to "Hey, You!" c/oOC Weekly, P.O. Box 10788, Costa Mesa, CA 92627-0247, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carrying an armful of shopping bags, I step out of the grocery store into the blinding sun and heat when I see you ripping toward me in an electric wheelchair—backward at full speed, headed right for me and the front door with complete carelessness. Or not complete carelessness, I guess: you shout, "Watch out!" You race around me, laugh and sarcastically add, "You can smile! It won't hurt you!" But at that moment, smiling would have hurt. Because what I really wanted was to disconnect your battery cables and leave you stranded in the freezer section. I didn't want to smile. I don't have to smile. The sad thing is I've observed your kind of imperial behavior from countless other handicapped people. Give you people a special parking space, and you think you rule the Earth. Does "differently abled" mean you've lost the ability to say please, thanks and excuse me? Have you forgotten that respect is a two-way street? Has it come to the point where you jump down our throats if we don't jump to your every situational need? I mean, I'm sorry for your handicap and everything, but this is, in fact, a world that you must learn to conform to. It isn't going to conform to you.
Getting people to help you out is one thing. Demanding it is another. It's getting old, it's getting ugly, and frankly, what you people need is a good dose of ass kicking.