Sunday, July 11, 2010

Gimp Squad Assemble


"I like to drive in handicapped spaces, where handicapped people make handicapped faces...
I'm an asshole"
- from 'I'm an Asshole' by Dennis Leary

Nearly every Sunday I have a tradition...a tradition that kind of came about out of nowhere, but a tradition that I have come to look forward to at the end/beginning of every week. Its G.S.S.C (Gimp Squad Sabbath Coffee) and it's awesome. Beth, Binkley and I met in college...over the years we drifted but never too far.

Its true, I originally met them due to our disabilities [Tangent: Fact!...at MTSU, there are possibly 50 wheelchairs on campus every semester (if not more) because it is by far the most accessible university in the southeast, and Fact!...I knew all of them...if nothing else then at least by name and maybe a corresponding fact.] It just kind of happened. I tried to avoid it and not be lumped in with the masses, but when you have a wheelchair- you acknowledge others in wheelchairs. It's kinda like when you have a Jeep, you do the Jeep wave, acknowledging others in Jeeps. Its a sign of respect and solidarity. We used the same accessible facilities/dorms on campus and just kinda got to know each other, despite our individual attempts to remain non stereotypical.

However, the reason we remain friends is because they are equally as ridiculous as I am. [Tangent: to further prove this fact - you notice my dear Binkley sports a handlebar moustache which he grew for www.moustachemay.com (please...for the love of all that is holy, click that link to see his page. I dare you not to fall into a moustache vortex...happens to me everytime.)]

Beth is probably one of my favorite people. She was born with Cerebral Palsy and is pictured next to "friggin ray of sunshine" in your Mariam Websters...just go check. I daresay she knows everyone in Nashville, including Ben Folds. I know this because we were celebrating GSSC one day...Ben Folds walked into our coffee shop and said, "Hey Beth!" Who does that happen to??? Beth. That's who.

Binkley is another one of my favorites, he and I met around the same time, my Junior year in college. I had heard he had had the same spinal fusion surgery as I had, and his hadn't gone quite as planned... so I immediately felt we had some kind of weird kindred spirit thing going (mainly because we bonded after talking about our lopsided boobs and curvy spines...isn't that most most buds talk about). When I met Binkley, he was in a chair. I had never known him any other way, so when I saw him standing upright in my doorway leaning against his cane the first time (after a summer full of therapy), my little black heart got all warm and fuzzy. I haven't seen him use his wheelchair since (instead opting for the ever -dapper cane), but he is still a gimp. He can't escape us!

We secretly love the spectacle of the three of us going someplace together- its as if the center had its big field trip day or we have day passes for good behavior. Beth and I usually pile out of my van, struggle with the door as we enter the coffee shop, juggling our coffee cups as we find our way to our seats and watch as other hipster fair trade coffee drinkers scramble to rearrange our seats so we have places to sit. And you better believe, if seating is limited- Beth will likely throw down the wheelchair card so fast to make someone move (its one of the perks of this situation....let us have it...you can keep your walking. Deal?)

4 comments:

  1. I'm kind of in awe of the fact that under this post the labels read "cerebral palsy, coffee, friends, moustaches, paralysis".

    ReplyDelete
  2. Please tap Beth's connections and do a remake of Tod Brownings FREAKS.
    " Gaba, gaba, we accept you, one of us, one of us ".

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous: I haven't seen Ben (aka Foldsy amongst the Gimp Squad) in quite a long while. I worry his and my friendship may be on the rocks. I hope not, however.
    Angi: When combined in a vial, those ingredients make a rainbow liquid that tastes like white choicolate.
    Kimmie: I love you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. beth.a.hop:
    I took a second to stalk your profile.
    I found great humor in the fact that when I clicked on " view full size " for your picture that you only increase by about 10%.
    You must be diminutive. ( i had to look up the spelling of that word by the way ).

    ReplyDelete

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