The Smart Ass Cripple!

People with physical limitations have a high rate of domestic violence. There are articles written about this issue in nursing journals and magazines specifically geared for people with physical limitations. Sometimes people who are wheelchair bound have their wheelchairs taken away from them and are locked in a room for hours at a time with no assistance. People who are unable to see or hear are assaulted because they cannot see who is trying to hit them. These abuses occur with both men and women with physical limitations.

Within this post, I use the term “physical limitations” as opposed to “disabilities” because my experience has been that many times, people with physical limitations have just as many, if not more intellectual and spiritual capabilities than people who are considered “able bodied.”

There are also people with physical limitations who decide to create a platform to join their artistry and activism together concerning this issue. That being said, there is a man named Mike Ervin in Chicago who has his own blog site and one man show known as The Smart Ass Cripple. Even Roger Ebert said, “I am a fan of Smart Ass Cripple, who is very disabled and also very eloquent and funny.”:


Just like anyone else, Mike Ervin believes that telling our stories empowers people.  The Smart Ass Cripple one man show is both comedy and activism joined together! This event took place at Assisted Living in Chicago a block away from Yoga Now studios. There is an art to comedy, but comedy and activism joined together is even better.

Here is something to note in light of all the rioting and police misconduct taking place: Although Mike Ervin is wheelchair bound, he is proud to let you know that he arrested 12 times in peaceful protests.

The crowd loved him and an interesting conversation was generated about the misunderstandings that people with physical limitations face: They do not want to work, they should just stay at home instead of taking up the best parking spaces in the parking lots at the grocery store, etc. “I am not about to just lie down and die just because someone doesn’t have respect for me as a human being because I’m not like them,” I heard one woman in the audience say, “I want to get out here and enjoy my life just like anybody else.”

And obviously, Mike Ervin shares this sentiment. It is also nice to know he has retained his sense of humor. I aspire to his greatness when I grow up.



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