5 sure-fire ways to piss off anyone with a visable disability

1. Alright, this is a bit of a cheap post with only one real point, but alas there is a point in there only being one point. I’ve come across a few blog articles discussing how not to approach a person with a disability.

The problem is that the points are always subjective. There is no ultimate list that everyone of every disability will agree on. For example, I was reading about one blogger’s dislike of the crouch thing people often do with those in wheelchairs, crouching low so as to talk face-to-face with the person, saying that this is a patronising pose to take. I quite like the crouch, especially if the standing person is particularly tall and we’re in a loud environment. It saves the neck, the ears and the voice. If someone did it just to tickle me under the chin and go ’Coochi-Goo’, then they could fuck off.
I would write ’Be patronising’ but you never know, someone out there might have a fetish over being treated like a 2-year-old. I wish I had that fetish, although it would make for awkward meetings, feeling like I’m in a strip-club when in reality someone’s gran is tickling my chin.
How can you piss anyone with a visible disability off, then?
Ignore any objections they have to your behaviour, and keep doing it anyway ’for their own good’. That sums it up, I think. If you’re asked not to crouch, crouch or remain in the crouch position. If they outright reject your assistance, assist. Do this and, congrats, you’re pissing the person off.
If you’re really concerned about not pissing a person with a disability off, you’ll probably be fine. You look rational enough especially in that fine top hat, so don’t worry about it. For the post’s sake here are 4 more tips on angering a disabled person:
2. Poke them in the eye.
3. Steal their money.
4. Extract all blood from their body.
5. Start over again.
So here’s my one piece of advice for anyone thinking of approaching someone with a visible disability: just do it. Seriously, this shouldn’t be an event that demands a warm-up routine and a list of directions. Just do it, without doing anything stupid. Those who do the really stupid stuff probably don’t read blogs or anything else, but think along the lines of lifting strangers off the ground without their permission and patting heads without a smidgen of irony.
You might approach someone who can’t talk, or there’s a chance you’ll approach someone who might have trouble conversing with you due to a physical or intellectual disability. So what? It’s likely they’d still appreciate being treated like a human adult.

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Shot awake

I’ve decided I must be immortal. Think about it, it’s been 24 years and I haven’t died once. Nothing existed before me. The 80s are a lie, everybody conceivably older than me are just acting that way and every baby is an empty flab of fake.
When I reach old age science will have invented the anti-ageing pill and I’ll be anti-ageing until I’m 15 again, whereupon I will reinstate my support of the ageing process. This is the only logical explanation for life.
Every now and then I have this dream in which I’m shot. I’m always a complete badass in this dream, smirking when the mystery character gets their gun out. I’m as calm as James Bond preparing to have his balls chopped off, although I have no witty banter. So I’m shot and then the game-over screen from Mario appears accompanied by the tune you hear when you die in this other game called Dynasty Warriors. Then, darkness. When I’m dead it’s inevitable I’ll start reflecting back on the event in my head like every dead person must do: ’See, I was right – there’s nothing to this death lark’ and I’m happy. Slightly cocky, in fact. Then I awake.
’Dammit,’ I cry, ’I’m still alive and everything is still a mystery.’
You see I’m pretty sure there’s nothing awaiting me after I finish my messing around on planet Earth. But if I discover I’m right – there is no afterlife, good or bad – I won’t be alive to brag about it, and if I’m wrong I guess I’m in deep shit and won’t feel up to celebrating.
It’s pointless, isn’t it? This post is pointless.

False disabled beggars

If you visit a popular holiday destination in Spain you’re very likely to pass a disabled beggar at some point. I’ve read that some of these could sadly be the result of human trafficking. Others, however, clearly are not.
I came across this guy in Tenerife with a twisted foot, begging for money to pay for an operation. Next day I saw him in the shopping centre’s cafe, buying an expensive beer, gold necklace beneath a stylish shirt. Using crutches, he moved with ease, with no evidence of pain.
Obviously he’s making a fortune out of the pity brigade, who don’t question whether he really needs help. With a bent foot there’s no chance he can secure a job, right? And perhaps holidaymakers automatically assume that this country has a terrible support system for people with disabilities based on this one guy. After all, everyone with a physical disability is innocent, suffering and cannot possibly act with deceit.
In the original draft of this post I was trying to place blame on the people who donate money to these beggars, but the real scums here are the beggars. Of course they are, lying about desperate circumstances in search of easy profit. Then again, if the media and people didn’t buy into this whole ’disability=hell’ narrative, there’d be nothing for the fake beggars (or human traffickers) to cash in on. Then AGAIN, there are genuine homeless people with disabilities out there who could benefit from a bit of generosity.
I can’t shake the feeling that if you put two fake beggars next to each other, one dressed in rags, the other with a visible disability, the latter would win every time. I dread to think what I could accomplish if I followed up on some of my dark fantasies. What would I earn each day if I found a free spot in Tenerife and sat there with a bucket and a sign? If I ramped up the spasms, made up my own gibberish language and unleashed the deadliest puppy eyes the world has seen…
But the world is safe. For now.

Radio Nah-Nah

One of my favourite films is Groundhog Day, but it’s one of those films where I’m happy just to watch. In other words, the scenario would be a sucky experience and I’m glad I’ll never be stuck in an eternal cycle, with no prospect of change. Ha, just joking: there exists this thing called radio which delivers that same experience for free!
You know that bit where Bill Murray keeps waking up to ’I’ve Got You Babe’?
They say we’re young and we don’t know…
They say we’re young and we don’t know…
They say we’re young and we don’t know…

I bet he really hated that song after a few weeks of hearing it daily, yet it would still come on the next day, and the next (it’s really the same day, but whatever). Well, every day I KNOW what I’ll be hearing in the car. Not because I have my own CDs on – what an absurd idea – it’s just all the radio stations we receive have a 6-song playlist which they share amongst each other. All except for Radio 1 that is, who possess 6 of the most recent songs but I’d rather hammer 50,000 nails into a wall than listen to Radio 1 because, although it’d take me about 5 million decades to finish the task, it’d be a less repetitive lifestyle than if I tuned into the station every day, every week.
I guess I’m still in their supposed age-range, but they just try too hard. The 40+ year-old presenters can’t like every song that they’re forced to play. But they pretend the amount of dub in that step was too hard to handle. And that rock, man. It has the beats.
’I’m right down with that one. I don’t know if you heard my colleague play it half-an-hour ago, so I played it again just in case. Sick.’
Let me explain my problem with Radio 1. When I was in secondary school I used to have a 10-minute bus ride to and from school. Then I got a new bus driver and a new schedule. Now we’d have to pick up and drop off other people, and as I lived furthest away I was the first on and last off and the journey had an extra 10-minutes added to it. That’s OK, I’m patient enough. But then the driver turned on Radio 1, and he kept it on FOREVER!
I swear I heard the Kooks’ song ‘Paper Dreams’ 10 times a week, once in the morning and again on the way back. I relieved some of the pain by imagining the band having a long, torturous tattoo together, the Radio 1 logo spread across their collective ass cheek and an arrow: ‘Insert disk here’. Then there was this other song where this guy sung, ’I’ve had the same jeans on for 4 days now.’ After a straight fortnight of that I was weeping inside, ’ For the love of Levi, please just change your jeans! I’ll happily burn them if that would help.’ Thankfully I’ve found if it’s a good, emotive song any annoyance I have towards it turns to happiness as soon as Radio 1 (or the other samey stations) finally drop it off their playlist. In fact I’ve been known to binge listen to an artist or band I’ve recently fallen in love with. I guess the difference is that I’m in control, that I’m choosing to let the songs into my life, the artist or band has hooked me in and won’t let me go.
My issue with Radio 1 wasn’t that they played awful songs (although many were) it’s that every bus ride felt exactly the same. The same route, the same stops, nobody speaking, the bus assistant sleeping so no conversation there either. And to top it off, this thing called a radio, this channel which must have access to thousands of songs was rubbing it all in. Every single day.
The worst thing about FM radio stations, worse than the limited music cycle, is the presenters. You always have the happy guy. Every station seems to employ the same happy guy. He loves your texts about lost socks, he loves moaning about the weather, and he loves you, whoever you are. I actually don’t mind the happy guy. If he ever showed a slip of annoyance heavy birds would drop from the sky, crushing every puppy in existence. There’s another guy, though, who keeps giving out teasers he’s made up. You know when they want to hook you in so you’ll endure depressingly bland Injury Lawyer adverts to find out what song they’re playing next? Of course, this can work well IF you have more than 6 songs to guess from. But here’s the worst part. Not only does he refer to the song without acknowledging it was played an hour ago, he builds up to it using a teaser I’ve heard him utter before. So far I’ve heard him use the same teaser 3 times in a month. It’s gotten to the point where he could hand out teasers of his song teasers and I’d still guess correctly. How hard is it to find a variety of facts on 1 song? At least he acknowledges this bit, though:
’I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, next up is my second favourite Nelly, after the elephant…’
They should acknowledge their flaws more often. Just say ’Today we’re playing exactly what we played yesterday in a slightly different order (if you’re lucky).’ It’ll make the monotony more bearable. It’d be like if someone had jumped into Groundhog Day to say ’Hang in there Bill, it’s going to be OK.’

Brain injury won’t happen to me

I went to the doctors to get my yearly jab – in the face. Doctors’ surgeries aren’t the most pleasant of places. I’ve had better parties. Bill Withers’ ’Lovely Day’ came on the radio in the waiting room and I wanted to see everyone get up, dance and be happy. It’s not easy with all those posters on the walls: Are you age 0 or above? Do you exist? Then you are at risk of death.
Anyway, on the way out I always notice and groan at this poster near the door. It says ’Brain injury – it’ll never happen to me!’ and below is a gloomy shadowy figure of a man in a wheelchair, head hung low. Below this image, ’My mates take me out… Sometimes.’
So I get it, alright? Nobody desires to be disabled. If they did, we’d see people lining up to head-butt passing traffic. And the point of the poster is that you shouldn’t fuck around, dumbass. Seriously, remove your head from the between the bin and its lid; I don’t care if you enjoy it. Still, if you already have a brain injury that wasn’t even your fault, all this poster tells you is that you are in the worst situation ever. For life. Look at you, nobody likes you. You don’t even have a face.
His life is in everyone else’s hands. His mates only take him out when they feel like it, meaning he has to actually be nice to them now he’s in a wheelchair.
I think brain injury is best served at birth. You grow up with your disability without any other reference to normality. It must be devastating to live with all abilities in check only to have them stripped away after an unfortunate, perhaps preventable incident. But there’s still opportunity to adjust, right? To mourn and accept and slowly rebuild.
I get the message, I get the aim and  that I’m not the shadowy figure, I didn’t mess up. Somehow, however, the poster manages to take a stab at disabled life in general: It’s miserable. Nobody will desire your company. There’s no point to life. Worst of all, you can’t buy clothes unless they’re the colour of a shadow. And I have no alternative ideas. If I didn’t have cerebral palsy the poster would probably scare me into thinking more about whatever danger it’s referring to (drink-driving, maybe?) It just doesn’t feel right whenever I see it, in the same way the Dogs Trust posters don’t feel right when they claim ’We never DESTROY a healthy dog’… I should think not! Maybe that’s their plan to encourage more people to adopt rescue dogs – take them home or else we’ll tear them all to pieces.