Many Civil War Reenactments, Sadly, Are Still Not Handicap Accessible

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Vol 34 Issue 08

Dennis Miller Deeply Concerned About Long-Distance Service

Comedian Dennis Miller momentarily turned serious Monday to address the critical issue of long-distance service. "When the people at 10-10-220 brought to my attention the savings Americans are losing with every call they make using other carriers, I knew something had to be done," Miller said. "I could not stand by in good conscience while millions of innocent people went uninformed about which long-distance service offers the best rates." Added Miller: "The madness must end. All calls up to 20 minutes are just 99 cents."

Touring Company Of Cats Prepares For Yet Another Day In The Goddamn Catsuits

ST. LOUIS–Members of the national touring company of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats steeled themselves Monday for yet another day in the goddamn catsuits. "One of these days, my agent is going to land me a TV or movie role and get me out of this living nightmare," said Jonathan Belinsky, gluing whiskers onto his face and wriggling into a fur-covered bodysuit for his role as Mr. Mistoffolees. "I can't take much more of this." Stephanie Watrous, who has played Jennyanydots for eight agonizing years, said, "Each day, I pray for sweet release from the hideous quasi-feline mockery that my life has become. Where are we today? Spokane?" Six suicides have plagued the touring company in the past year, with three of them occurring during performances of the song "Memory."

Second Hour In Fabric Store Nearly Kills Eight-Year-Old

COVINGTON, KY–Local 8-year-old William Haney is listed in stable condition following Sunday's near-fatal two-hour excursion to Martha's Fabric Outlet on Route 23 near Cincinnati. Dragged to the store by his mother, 36-year-old Carolyn Haney, who was reportedly obsessed with finding the perfect fabric for new bathroom curtains, Haney wandered the aisles for more than an hour in search of anything of remote interest. "After making his 12th walking tour of the entire store, gazing listlessly upon bolt after identical bolt of fabric, William collapsed from what is commonly known as a massive boredom attack," said St. Joseph's Hospital spokesperson Andrew Peele. "He was literally seconds from death when his mother finally purchased three yards of a floral print and left the store." Emergency doses of comic books and candy were administered to Haney, upgrading his condition.

Expense-Account Wizard Transforms Prostitute Into Color Copies

CHICAGO–In a remarkable feat of expense-account wizardry, Chicago marketing executive Edgar Furness transformed a prostitute into 250 color copies Monday. Furness, who enjoyed a half-hour of sodomy with prostitute Chantel LaRue during a business trip to Dallas last week, magically turned the sexual encounter into a stack of colorful, easy-to-read pie charts created at Kinko's for a presentation to clients. Furness was reimbursed $58.93 for the tryst.

Impeach Clinton?

With Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's report now in the American people's hands, talk has turned to the prospect of impeaching the president. What do you think?
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Many Civil War Reenactments, Sadly, Are Still Not Handicap Accessible

There's nothing quite like a Civil War reenactment. Dressing in the woolen uniform of the period, eating hardtack and bacon, and firing black-powder rifles, we are transported back to those darkest of hours when our nation was nearly rent asunder by armed conflict. Brother against brother. Father against son. Oh, what a time it was!

But, sadly, for those of us who are disabled, taking up arms and participating in the War Between The States is nearly impossible. You see, very few Civil War reenactments are accessible to the handicapped.

A few years ago, I was paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident. At the time, I had already been an active member of the 10th Virginia for seven years. When my fellow infantrymen heard that I'd been struck down on I-90, they rushed to my side for support, visiting me in the hospital, bringing me flowers and singing choruses of "Dixie" with me every day. It wasn't until I joined them for the Battle of Antietam that I became aware there was a problem.

To call Antietam a disaster would be an understatement. When it came time to charge the Union Army, my wheelchair got stuck in a patch of mud, and one of McClellan's men stabbed me to death with his bayonet while I just helplessly sat there. Then, just to add insult to injury, he tipped me over. I'll tell you one thing–that never would have happened if that battlefield were equipped with a wheelchair ramp and some guiderails.

Things were even worse at Gettysburg. Shortly after the fighting began, I was captured by three members of the First Michigan Cavalry, who laughed as they rolled me down Culp's Hill. I'm just glad General Pickett was over on McPherson Ridge at the time, so he didn't see it.

At the Battle of Chickamauga, I couldn't keep up with my fellow soldiers during a simple rifle drill, let alone during a complex about-turn-wheel-and-fire maneuver. When I discharged my Model 1863 3-band Richmond Rifled Musket, I was at knee level to most of the other men and set their breeches on fire. Mostly, though, I was slow, a situation that wasn't helped when they insisted I fashion a historically accurate wheelchair from hickory, leather and brass.

For awhile, the other members of the 10th Virginia were polite about my problem. But sometime midway through the 1864 campaign, they began to approach me with what they thought were really good ideas. For the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, they lay me out on the field before the first shot was even fired, assigning me the role of "dead soldier." Then, during the Battle of Charleston, they asked me to wheel around making loud artillery noises through a repainted 50-gallon steel bucket and pretend I was a cannon. How humiliating.

I realize that the Americans With Disabilities Act was signed 125 years after the surrender at Appomattox, but I am confident that Jefferson Davis would have approved of a few minor adjustments to the battlefields if it meant making the war against the North accessible for all Rebels. To this end, I propose that battlefields feature hard-packed skirmish areas suitable for access by people like me. Furthermore, Malvern Hill, Fisher's Hill and Little Round Top should be equipped with wheelchair ramps–wooden, of course, hewn with period tools– designated for use by differently abled soldiers. And let me tell you, a couple of handrails in the latrine certainly wouldn't hurt, either.

All I want is a chance to fight bravely for the South, just like everyone else in the 10th Virginia. After all, I don't think of myself as handicapped–I'm handiconfederate!

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