10 Things Not to Say to a Person in a Wheelchair

Wheelchair

I’ll be gone for a while, because I’m working on another idea that will then be a post. Not like more than 3 of you care, but I’m going to try to keep my promise of doing updates fairly often. This has come to my mind after reading a post on The Huffington Post.

I am however going to put my own spin on it, as you may know I am a person who is a wheelchair, so I feel like I’m more than qualified to give my following experiences on the following. In the following article, I say ‘you’ a lot, I may not be addressing you, however the word you is a good way of keeping ones interest.

1.Slow down there. You might get a speeding ticket. 

I understand that you are telling me to slow down. Cops do not give you speeding tickets for running, do they? It’s exercise right? We can’t use our legs, and some of us can’t use our arms either, but to the ones of us in manual wheelchairs we see it as exercise too.

It is a rather annoying question, after being in a wheelchair for the past 27 years, on and off, I have a pretty good idea how to control my wheelchair, more than most people would assume. For some reason, some, able-bodied individuals assume those in a wheelchairs are mentally incompetent.

Our goal is not to hit you, and even if we do all you’re going to turn around and say “I’m sorry.” Remember this question is not original, we hear it more than you realize.

2. What happened to you?

While I do not mind asking this question, it is still a very rude question to ask. I’m sure we can find a problem with you and ask the same thing.

I don’t mind answering the question because it shows that someone is willing to get to know me, more often than not people who do get to know me tend to fall in love with the person I am.

However as you may have read in I Didn’t Eat My Vegetables As A Kid there are a handful of people who should not ask me this question. If you want to ask someone this question you should get to know that person first.

3. How fast does that thing go?

This happens to be a question heard by those in automatic wheelchairs, however I have heard it before, a few hundred times. We don’t keep a radar detector on us, and even if we did, I highly doubt it would even pick that up.

I assume it’s as fast as you can run, you don’t see us going around asking how fast you can run. I would just advise you don’t ask it because it shows us your ignorance.

4.  Do you know so and so in a wheelchair too?

Okay, I most likely do not. Just because people in wheelchairs happen to be a minority does not mean we all know one another. That’s like asking you if you know John Doe because he too is an atheist, or do you know Andy Smith, he also served in the military.

5. Is your significant other also in a wheelchair? 

Why would you even assume that only handicapped people can only love other handicapped people? My girlfriend is not in a wheelchair, nor was my kids mother, or my father.

Love does not have limits.

Speaking of love, if someone makes you happy, it’s not anyone’s place to tell you that you can’t be; religion or otherwise.

That is another ignorant question, if you want to be seen as a nice person you might want to rethink your line of questioning.

6. I’d rather die than be disabled.

If you even want to say that to me, or any other disabled person, regardless of the severity of said disability, just go stick your head up your ass and never come back.

Even if you really think like that, we don’t want to hear it; chances are we don’t even want to know you.

7. You’re good-looking for being in a wheelchair.

Well thank you, but who says that we can’t just be good-looking, do you really have to add the ‘for being in a wheelchair’ part.

We need to look good from time to time too, just like you. Other then it being a rude question anyways, it makes it sound as if you label us as less than human.

8. Good for you.

We had to adapt to living in a wheelchair, that means we learned how to do really basic stuff such as picking shit up off of the floor, opening doors, or even going outside. Don’t make us feel like we’re incompetent.

9. Can I ask you a personal question?

This goes really well with question number 2 and I don’t know what more I can say about that. However we do get several other weird questions.

From what I understand people are wanting to know if I am able to have sex. Most are smart enough not to ask me, but they fail by asking my girlfriend. Is she not supposed to be mad at the same question?

Ask a valid question, that is not rude, we are not talking parrots on display for your amusement.

10. Hey Speed Racer. Can you pop a wheelie?

Don’t be going around referring to a grown adult by a cartoony name. Just because I’m going by you does not mean you need to be calling me Speed Racer.

I do not mind the wheelie part of the question however, I can do it, and I even taught some of my friends, who were not disabled, to be able to do it to.

I Didn’t Eat My Vegetables When I Was A Kid

vegetables-10

I have a lot of ideas of what to write, but I figure that if I want people to read my stuff I have to entertain them as well, so I bring to you one of my many stories in life that you might find amusing.

Some of you might not find this funny, some of you might want to call me a jackass, hopefully you don’t.

I try to color my stories with words that make you feel like you were there, so if you are one of those that do not like to read a lot, this is not the story for you.

The year was around the time frame of 2008, summer I think, in Washington State. I was sitting at home doing nothing and was feeling board, as I was wondering around my apartment trying to find something to do as my friend Eric called

Guys keep their phone conversations really short, “man, I’m bored” so I said “me too,” after I said “I’m coming to pick you up” I hung up the phone, I pressed the end button on my archaic cell phone, before high-definition and touch screens were even a thing. Back when polyphonic ringtones were the bees knees and the cats pajamas.

On a side note this was a Monday, I remember that because I just took my son back to his moms the day before.

We got back to the apartment and still didn’t have much to do other than watch TV.

Back then Eric really liked his alcohol, at that time I lived with a roommate that kept a liquor cabinet. This particular liquor cabinet had a pretty good selection. We used to have parties at the apartment where Jason, my roommate, would collect five dollars from everyone who wanted to drink, and if you gave him five dollars you could drink until you dropped.

That makes us sound irresponsible, we made sure that no one had more than they could handle, and we were very careful on which ones and how many of our friends were invited.

To make a long story short, Eric and I decided to drink that night, like most other nights. Eric was putting the ten dollars I gave him into the “liquor collection,” I looked at him and said “dude, were going to get hungry and then we wont be able to go anywhere” he pointed at me and said “so, you got food here” I then grabbed my car keys and told him that we were going to go get pizza.

It was a somewhat bright day out, it was in the summer so it was not raining, it was about 6:00 at night. As we are headed to my car I saw this kid riding on one of those skinny skateboards with a handle bar. This kid most definitely saw me before I saw him because as he approached us he asked “are you drunk?”

I knew this kid was talking to me for reasons you’ll find out. I quickly said “no,” he then asked “what is wrong with you?” With a very annoyed tone to my voice I said “everything” and looked down as I continued to walk towards my car.

Kids are curious, but they don’t understand some things! I didn’t want to sit there and have a long conversation with a kid that was, most likely, not going to understand the majority of what I had to tell him. Because of the fact that I was thinking, I toned out the whole conversation taking place between Eric and this kid.

As I’m thinking I also thought of my kids mom who once gave me the best idea of what to tell someone next time that question was asked.

I look up and join back into the conversation. As I’m looking at the kid I ask him “do you want to know why I walk this way?” Of course he said “yes,” after all that is why he came over to talk to us.  I then said “It’s a sad story man, I don’t know if I should tell you.” This did exactly what I wanted it to do, it peaked his interest. He was on the edge of his seat waiting for me to say more.

I looked at him and simply said “I didn’t eat my vegetables as a kid!” His eyes were very wide as he said “really?” Eric then said “yea man, it sucks, you better go eat some carrots or broccoli.” This kid ran across the yard, forgetting his scooter, to go back to his apartment.

As we sit in the car Eric is laughing as he tells me how great it was and asks me “where did you come up with that shit, that was the best thing I have ever heard.” I then proceeded to tell him that I kind of felt bad about it, he says “why man, he is at home right now eating vegetables, his parents are happy that you scared the shit out of him”.

We get back home from Alfy’s Pizza and it is now starting to get dark, street lights were starting to come on. After eating two pieces of pizza, I took a shot of vodka with Eric and as fast as I could I walked into the bathroom to throw up in the sink. I was not even drunk, but Eric gave me shit for it anyways.

You know how I told you it was on a Monday? I spent the rest of the night throwing up into an empty trash can. That brings up another story I will have to write about, it’s quite funny because Eric is drunk as hell at this point.

I was sick because that previous weekend I was hanging out with my kid, who was about three years old at the time, and he was very sick the whole weekend.

A few hours later my roommate came home and spends the rest of the night drinking with Eric as I lay in bed throwing up every two hours.

That is my story that I like to call ‘I Didn’t Eat My Vegetables When I Was A Kid.’  Maybe I’ll tell the whole ‘Trash Can’ story, it’s quite funny.

I hope you found entertainment in this story, I’d love to hear your comments. The longer you pay attention to this blog the higher your chances of finding out why I walk this way.