Archive for the ‘jokes’ Category
In my office we have a lot of hallway corners, and I have already started to develop the reputation for coming around a corner too fast and almost making impact with a co-worker. Now, granted, when this happens, the other party is likely just as much at fault for going too fast. But there is always that insecurity as the guy in the wheelchair, that people are going to start saying “Hey, slow down there Speedy Gonzalez!” or something else similar to that. I don’t want to be “that guy” and I write this blog posting in the hopes that I will internalize this, and become more mindful in the hallways. At the same time it is something not to be taken too seriously, I know. So I try to remember it could happen to anyone. But when it happens a few times, I start to think I am becoming “That guy” in the office in the wheelchair. Speedy Gonzalez. Aargh!!! I really dislike that reputation. But I am the only one who can change it.
I just started a new job this week. Today was my fifth day of service at the company. Six if you include the interview. Today was the first time there was a single word spoken in reference to my wheelchair. I am greatly enthused by this. The only reason it even came up today was because we went on a little lunch-hour field trip across town and I carpooled with my supervisor. She needed to know how best to disassemble the above-mentioned chair. I don’t remember it even coming up yesterday when she offered to let me ride in her car.
Some of you people may not realize how seriously big this is. To celebrate, before we got in the car to go back to our office, when she made a sarcastic crack about having to fit my wheelchair in her car, I broke the ice open completely and shot back “I can’t help it I’m a cripple!” I don’t know why, but that is my idea of fun.
A couple of my most popular pieces on this blog are one about a psychological anomaly which causes one to want to be an amputee, and another piece with tips for guys in wheelchairs to follow to keep their abdominal muscles in shape.
Observing this trend, my mind can’t help but start wandering. Being in a wheelchair, this is my average (uneventful) day: dragging my body around from bed to wheelchair to car, to wheelchair at work, back to car after work, to wheelchair, to sofa, to wheelchair to shower, to wheelchair, to bed. This is a lot of movement which involves tremendous stress on the upper body, which those of you with use of your legs may never have considered. All of this transferring throughout the day goes a long way toward keeping the abdominal muscles reasonably fit. My point is this:
If I were one of the amputee wanna-be people alluded to above, if I were to dispose of my legs, and the extra weight I carry around because of them, I think my abdominal muscles would be in a rough condition after a while. So these “useless” legs have a hidden purpose, all told. I joke about wanting to cut them off sometimes, but a guy in a wheelchair would never really want to be an amputee. My paralyzed legs provide a natural balance for me. Given that the United States is one of the “fattest” countries in the world, I would think there would be more overweight men who would want to be a paraplegic in order to gain the benefits of the built in work out of dragging the legs around.
This is just how my odd mind works. Take it or leave it.
Before I tell this story, I think that though it probably goes without saying, it would be prudent of me to note that not everybody with a disability has a sense of humor about it. So if you are a walkie and you know someone disabled, my advice would be just to really know your friend, don’t go thinking that anything goes. I’ve already told you about some of the things I personally don’t like, on this blog.
At work I sit next to a guy who I have only known for about a month but we’ve gotten to know each other well, and he is already well aware that I don’t really have boundaries when it comes to jokes about my disability. Or so he thought!
He’d made some jokes throughout the night about it tonight, and I joked back. At the end of the night as we were leaving, he made another crack, and in a moment of inspiration, I turned to him and I said “that’s not funny.”
He said “It isn’t?”, still smiling at his cleverness, and assuming I was joking.
I said “No. I mean I have a sense of humor, but come on, grow up.”
His face went dark, and he said “Seriously?” I said “Yes, seriously.”
“I’m sorry, bad joke,” he said, trying desperately to back-track. ” Did I cross the line?”
Now, I don’t consider myself a cruel person. As such, I could only let this go on for so long. I cracked. And so did he.
“I can’t believe I fell for that!” he groaned. I assured him that I didn’t think he really believed me anyway, because I’d already made it so clear that nothing was sacred when it came to the disability. And the way he’d said “Seriously”, he looked like he thought he’d just been zapped into another dimension.
Anyway, I love it when my night at work ends on a high note like that.
Joan Rivers was the first female to (guest) host the Tonight Show. She has been very influential in comedy for the last couple of generations. I give her a lot of credit for that. She could have been the female equivalent of George Carlin. But I don’t currently see her as such, when I see her on every “red carpet event” my wife watches. I find her hard to listen to and I don’t particularly find her humor all that thoughtful, as I do Carlin’s.
So why do I respect her at the moment? I just watched a bit of her fashion-themed talk show with my aforementioned wife, and she was critiquing a dress that some celebrity had recently been seen in public wearing which had a wide-open back. Joan Rivers commented that “You don’t have a wide-open back like that unless you have spina bifida!”
I was impressed because, quite simply, hardly anyone I ever talk to seems to have any idea what the symptoms of spina bifida are. Though this comment was not necessarily funny, she did accurately describe my condition, at birth. She proved to me that she’d done her homework while writing her jokes.
So I cannot believe I am saying this, but well played, Joan Rivers. Well played. I salute you. Until the next thing I hear you say. ;)
Every four years the Earth has an extra day inserted into the calendar so that it has time to catch up and make it around the sun before December 31. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like some kind of special treatment. Sounds like some of the special education programs I went through so I had more time to sit and think so I could get my math homework done.
You think Mars gets an extra day on its 687 day calendar every four years just so it can catch up? No. I bet it stays on its course, pays attention, and gets the task finished on time. It knows that its orbit is different from that of other planets, and yet it follows through.
This kind of lax attitude is exactly why the beings on other planets have the technology to visit, study and examine us and we’ve barely got a space program.
Nay! I say down with Leap Year. And while we’re at it I’m glad Pluto was stripped of its title as a planet. It was not qualified. Our solar system should never hire planets just to fill a quota to meet the laws on fair hiring practices.
I feel like rolling around town wearing a sweater that says “Texting and Driving Put Me In this Chair” But I won’t. Because I haven’t found a shirt like that yet. Nah, just kidding. The reason is because it is distasteful. And not true. If it were, I’d make a cause out of it. I know a lot of people actually ARE in chairs because of texting and driving. But I don’t know if really outspoken appeals to emotion like that even work. Its kind of like that picture that some of you may have seen floating around the internet of a handicapped parking space with the words “Every 9 minutes Someone Becomes Eligible To Park Here.” Does that work?
Okay that title is extremely dramatic, I understand. Certainly what I witnessed was an act of consideration, which is lacking in this world. But let me explain. I passed a woman in an electric wheelchair earlier today and she said something to me that nobody has ever said to me who was not a walkie.
She said “Lemme get outta yer way so you don’t run me over.”
And I thought “Hasn’t she herself had thousands of walkies say the same thing to her in her lifetime?” So have I but I’d never say it to another person in a wheelchair. I can barely feign amusement when walkies say it to me. Anyway, I was shocked into silence. That kind of thing really does catch me off guard. It’d be like a person in a wheelchair coming up beside me and asking me if I wanted to race. Blah! If that ever happens I might have to say something.
P.S. I thought about posting this under the “obituaries” category because when one person in a wheelchair jokes about another person in a wheelchair “running them over” a little piece of me dies inside.
For those of us with disabilities, it is easy to get down on ourselves for what we don’t have. Abilities, skills, functions. Whatever. If you have recently experienced this feeling of dejection, this observation recently made by my wife is for you.
We were thumbing through a book of “useless facts” when we stumbled upon something that turned out to be quite useful. “Leaches have 32 brains,” it read.
To which my wife blithely replied:
“How come they haven’t taken over the world yet?”
“It just goes to show its not the brains you have, its how you use them.”
“I mean they’ve got thirty two brains and all they’ve figured out how to do is suck.”
All this before I had mustered up the wit for a single observation of my own.
I have defended Sarah Palin’s actions in the past on this blog, particularly in regard to her putting her developmentally disabled child in the spotlight. But when Palin recently criticized the makers of the FOX animated comedy “The Family Guy” last week, I was a little more than amused at her antics.
The trouble started when “The Family Guy” aired an episode in which the teenage boy in the family, Chris, develops a crush on a girl in his school and asks her out. The girl in question has Down Syndrome. Palin took issue with the depiction.
I can see how Palin, as the parent of a child with a disability can get a little sensative about the issue, but in this episode, sure maybe the fact that the girl was disabled was the joke, but think about it this way: As long as you don’t immediately see this scenario as unrealistic, then its not a joke. And as long as that’s true, then all “The Family Guy” did was make it okay for a “normal” kid to find something beautiful about a girl with a disability. Turns the joke around on itself.
DIGRESSION FROM THE TOPIC: I don’t know if this was a regional thing when I was growing up, but often when a girl was called a “dog” you’d hear her respond with “dogs bark, bark grows on trees, trees are nature, nature is beautiful, thank you for the compliment.” Turning the insult into a compliment. (Takes a little more thought than a simple “I know you are but what am I?”)
Where the hell was I? Oh yeah…
Same principle is at work here. I don’t mean to sound naive or overly idealistic, but I truly believe this. People are going to joke. We with disabilities cannot stop that. Life goes on and we all shine on.
A lot of females with disabilities, in wheelchairs particularly it seems, feel that something of their femininity is taken from them by their physical appearance. This episode made the girl attractive, at least to Chris. And that is all it takes is for one person to find you attractive or worthy of love and affection and you’re on your way to something great.
If you haven’t seen the episode, then SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!! I also liked it that they showed, once again (I know I go off on this a lot) that a person with a disability is not always a saint. This girl just so happens to turn out to be a bit of a meanie.
Oh yeah and as to the fact that the girl in the episode said her mom was the former governor of Alaska, big deal. If that was what Palin was all in a fit ab0ut, well all I can say is politicians get a lot of jokes flung in their directions.
I don’t know. What do you all think?