Emma Crees has been a writer for this blog for a while, but I have to say this has to be my favourite of her blog posts. I think that everyone should be able to laugh at themselves sometimes. I know that I do it. It is definetly a point of concern for people who do not have a disability about whether or not they can make a joke in relation to that person's disability, however it is common for someone to make a comment about somebody else because they have red hair, giant eyes or a big nose. Even today one of the people within the office who has vision impairment responded to the comment "You were standing right beside a fellow staff member and you didn't see her"....Her response was "I don't see anything!". If we can't crack a joke towards aspects of ourselves, then how can we truly ever be comfortable being who we are?
Please check out Emma's blog site at http://writerinawheelchair.blogspot.com.
I make jokes about being disabled, and specifically about myself and my disability. It’s just what I do. I refuse to see being disabled as a bad thing and somethings just are funny. Other times it’s a case of if I didn’t laugh I’d cry and laughing is definitely more fun. People don’t always know how to react to the jokes, disability being such a serious and horrible thing that they don’t know if it’s ok for them to laugh. Or perhaps they just don’t expect it.
I’ve frequently made jokes about my chair. I’ve convinced people that I’m not disabled just lazy. And once that a miracle had occurred because I stood up. When I last had a blood test the nurse commented that my veins were moving. I said “well, at least part of me is.” I thought that was hilarious, she didn’t even smile.
I’m not the only person who jokes about their disability. I know a couple of others who do. I also know a few people who can’t or don’t joke about it. I respect that but for me I need to laugh. I’ve even got a few able-bodied friends who now make crip jokes to me. Usually with the comment “I know I can say this to you…”
I want to share a moment from this evening. I’m really hoping it isn’t one of those “you had to be there moments”. I was really amused by it anyway.
I take a creative writing class. It started again this evening for the new term so we had a few people who’ve been before and several new members. We were just getting started and the tutor made a comment that he thought we had everyone or at least he hoped so because we didn’t have enough chairs for anyone else.
Me being me I just sat there and cracked “maybe if someone else comes they’ll be as organised as I was and bring their own chair.”
And just as I said it the door opened and another wheelchair user came in.
That, my friends, is why I make crip jokes. Because once in a while something happens that just makes it even funnier. I can cope with my life and my disability? But a world or even a life without laughter? I couldn’t cope with that.