Mike ErvinI don’t know if it’s my imagination or what. But it seems like lately I’m often a victim of cripple profiling. When I come face-to-face with law enforcement officials, they treat me differently from everybody else, just because I’m crippled.

It happened the last time I flew. The TSA guy took me aside and he gave me a half-hearted pat down. He didn’t even touch my “sensitive areas,” as those TSA guys put it. He didn’t get down on his knees and look under my wheelchair or anything.

The same thing happened the last time I went to my state capitol. The capitol cop took me aside. He glanced into my stuffed backpack, patted me on the shoulder and told me I was “good to go.” And that was it!

When this happens I’m vaguely insulted. Because I feel the older I get, the more I’m subjected to this type of profiling. I feel like saying, “Hey, just because I’m a dented-up old cripple doesn’t mean I’m incapable of causing trouble, dammit! You ought to take some sensitivity training.”

But then I decide that maybe discrimination ain’t always bad. So I douse my burning indignation and soldier on. This is especially true at the airport. It’s probably best not to draw too much attention to myself at the airport. I’m amazed that I’m not already on every no-fly list — prohibited from flying not because I’m a terrorist, but because I’m a loudmouth pain in the ass.

I think of all the airports all over this land where I’ve ended up bitching up a storm because some baggage crew trashed the hell out of my wheelchair. Lik