Archive for the ‘politically incorrect’ Category
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.
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. ;)
Below is a link to a story about LaKay Roberts, a child with cerebral palsy who is physically able to use a walker. But her school is trying to ban her from using it, citing concerns that she will fall in the hall and get hurt. I am in a wheelchair but when I was in school, I was able to strap in to a full body brace and use a walker. And I fell occasionally. But that was the worst that happened. Because you know what I did after I fell? I got up. When I was in school and I had my daily physical therapy session which included my “walking” in my braces and walker/crutches, I had a therapist or teacher or classmate who walked with me. Are you telling me this school can’t afford to give that much to this child so that she might have the opportunity to develop a certain degree of independence. Independence does not come easy. It requires that we first depend on another. That we have someone to lean on, someone to help us up when we fall. Because as we strive for independence, it will inevitably happen. We fall. But we get back up. And when we do, we are that much closer to freedom.
Here is the link to which I am referring. Let me know what you think.
It is a very sad thing to see that your country was the inspiration for one aspect of one of the most horrific acts of “ethnic cleansing” in human history. But it is true. As Anderson Cooper reported tonight on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360″, the Nazis took inspiration for their program of forced sterilization of Jews from the United States Government. The U.S. reportedly sterilized many thousands of people who were considered weak or not fit to procreate, including many with various types of what we would today merely call disabilities, but back then they were just defective quasi-humans, apparently. See the full story here.
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?
Prenatal testing encourages abortions? I don’t know, Rick Santorum, I think you’re a bit off the mark on this one. I think, first and foremost, it gives parents-to-be the opportunity to know what they are up against when their baby comes if he or she does have a disability. It gives them the opportunity to plan financially and prepare themselves emotionally for all that is going to be required of them to give the baby the best life they can provide.
And second, I think that by saying prenatal testing encourages abortions, Santorum is showing us his true feelings toward people with disabilities. I believe him when he says he is 100% anti-abortion. But to suggest that when a parent finds out their child will be disabled that they should for some reason want to terminate the pregnancy, well, that tells me something about Santorum’s mindset, to tell you the truth.
Liberals who consider themselves “pro-choice” are not “anti-life”. They are not going around looking for a reason to have an abortion. That seems to be what Santorum is trying to suggest here. But it doesn’t add up.
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.