Saturday, 24 September 2011

Half Handicapped - by Mike Sands

What’s the difference between a Scottish guy and a water fountain?  Answer:  You can get a drink out of a water fountain.  That’s a racist joke.  But I’m half Scottish, so society allows me to say it without me being considered a racist.  An episode of The Jeffersons had George Jefferson going to court to pay a speeding ticket.  When George entered the courtroom he noticed a lot of black defendants in the courtroom.  He said in a loud voice, “There’s enough niggers in here to make a Tarzan movie.”  Not only did George use the ‘n’ word, he used it on TELEVISION.  Not only would any non- black person be considered a racist if they said that word, the CRTC, the FCC, FBI, and a whole bunch of other Alphagetti Agencies would revoke the television station’s licence immediately.
     I’ve had ALS for just over a year now.  They tell me the illness starts out slowly with muscle weakness, slurred speech and muscle atrophy, all of which I have experienced.  I also have a stiff gait, and my right hand is down to about 20% usage.  It’s kind of funny watching stranger’s reaction to you when you’re progressing toward full incapacitation.  One time at the bank the teller said to me, “Oh your hand looks sore.”  Another time I accidently staggered into a guy’s car when he was at a stop sign.  He rolled the window down and stated, “What are you, drunk or something, you just bumped into my car”. (A more civilized response would have been, “are you alright’)  This is why I consider myself “Half-handicapped” because at this stage of the illness it is hard to distinguish whether I ‘m just feeling under the weather for some reason (i.e injured or intoxicated) or whether I am handicapped.  They tell me after the second year of the illness, most patients are wheelchair bound.  That means, if it goes according to their schedule, I should be in a wheelchair next summer. Before I go, I have one more joke for you.  How many handicapped people does it take to screw in a lightbulb?  I’ll tell you the punch line next summer.

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