Ugh. The first day of school. I would love to regale you with horror stories of my first day in high school, about how all the girls pointed and laughed, the jocks dunked me in a toilet, and I was forever labelled a social pariah…or “social piranha,” as the spell check recommends, which sounds infinitely more badass. But to be totally honest, I can’t remember much of it at all, except that I survived. The amateur psychologist in me says this no doubt means it was so traumatic that I’ve forever blocked it out of memory. What I can remember is thinking “What will all the new kids think of me?” I can remember worrying the summer before high school how mentally exhausting it was going to be convincing all these new kids how normal I really am. The problem was I wasn’t normal, putting me at an obvious disadvantage, but luckily it had nothing to do with being in a wheelchair. No, I was just a nerdy minor niner who played a lot of video games, loved reading Star Wars novels, and hand-coded his first geocities-hosted website the year before. Yep, I was basically the coolest thing since Steve Urkel, but that’s neither here nor there.
What is important here is how I got to school that first day. You see, in Port Elgin, the transition from elementary school to high school was a big deal because it was the first time in our young lives that we had to get ourselves to school rather than relying on school busses. Elementary school kids were too young to walk to school by themselves, but high schoolers were big kids who were responsible (and presumably athletic enough) to get to and from school on their own accord. Unfortunately, this wasn’t really realistic for me and my little Quickie power chair, so like all the other kids with disabilities, I was picked up by the short bus. I remember feeling a bit slighted by missing the experience of independence and self reliance, but those feelings quickly faded when the snow started to fall and I was whisked away in my heated chariot while all the other suckers had to trudge through the snow and cold at 8am. Suckers. See? Griff was right, there are some perks to being a crip!
Keep your eyes out on Wednesday for the next thrilling edition of Cripz! Will Rhett and Griff hit it off? Are they mortal enemies in the making? Is this shit really basic? Could Rhett be the next Justin Beiber? (spoiler alert: no)
Until then, keep your sticks on the ice,