Wednesday, January 02, 2013


It was kind of funny to watch.

A fellow told a disability joke to another fellow. The joke teller had his back to me, the joke hearer was facing me. The joke teller was one of those people who are kind of naturally loud. At the punch line the face of the listener seemed a mass of confusion as it shifted between, 'I want to laugh because my friend told me a joke' and 'I don't want to laugh because I don't want to offend the disabled guy that's right in my view who I know heard the joke.' All this happened in a split second before I too laughed and then told Joe the joke.

Here's the joke:

A fellow is in a horrible car crash and is wheeled into the emergency room of the hospital. The doctor examines him and discovers that he's paralysed down the left side. He calls for a specialist. The specialist sticks his head in the room and says, 'What's up?' The examining doctor says, 'He's paralysed down the left side of his body, what do I tell him?' The specialist says, 'Just tell him that he'll be all right.'

Maybe I hear the joke differently than others, maybe I hear the joke differently than it's intended. What strikes me as funny is that the specialist is, for the most part, right about it being all right. Because it usually is, in the end, isn't it? I know, from my own experience, and from the experience of many others with disabilities that - once the shock is over, once the adaptation begins - it becomes 'all right, alright.'

So from where I sit today, at my computer with tasks that wait for me, with emails to answer and with phone calls to make. I fit into my own life perfectly. Like I always have. Like It thought, once, that I might never again. And, I'll tell you this, I wish that someone had told me then that it'll be 'all right' ... because, today, it feels just like that.


Anonymous said...

I don't see this as a disability joke. Rather it is a play on words. Albeit in a poor setting. I have more often used it in response to the question, "are you alright?" being " No I'm half left! "

wheeliecrone said...

Yes, me too.
Happy New Year to all of us who are 'all right' - in spite of or because of limitations - in our own estimation, or in the attitudes of others.

Ettina said...

Would be even more fitting if he had left neglect.