"That was not funny!" she glared at me.
"What," I asked astonished that she was speaking to me. The only thing we had in common is that we were sitting in the same bar. Joe was having a beer and I was quietly sipping on a tea. The bar television was playing some sports game with the volume up. Sports bore me. I glanced at it every now and then during the commercials.
One commerical caught my eye. It was for the 'reality series' "last comic standing." I like the show, I don't see it as the 'eat fried worms to win a million' kind of reality show, it's more of a plain old talent contest. Besides they've had fat comics, disabled comics, hell they've even had white comics. It's fun. So I pricked up my ears to hear more about when it started.
They were saying that they were touring the world to find comics this year and then showed an Auzzie delivering the joke, "The doctors said my friend was unstable. They think he needs psychiatric help, I think he's unstable because he's got only one leg."
I belted out a laugh. That, to me, was funny.
The woman at the bar swung her chair around, saw me sitting in my wheelchair and told me that it wasn't funny. That comics shouldn't make fun of crippled people. This woman was giving me a lecture on disability humour and she used the word 'crippled'!
I was calm, "First, the word is disabled, not crippled, and that joke was just funny."
She shook her head sadly and told me that I was obviously a self loathing kind of cripple if I found anti-cripple humour funny.
I gritted my teeth, "The word is disabled, not crippled. And it WAS funny."
"I have a friend," she said, "In a wheelchair and he uses the word cripple all the time. He says that using the word takes it's power away."
"Umm, lady, he can say it, I can say it, but you can't. AND the joke was funny."
She shook her head sadly at me then swung her chair back having finished with me.
I rolled up to get back in view, "I don't need your permission or the permission of any frigging (that's not the word I used) walkee to laugh at a joke."
I'm still upset. Not that we disagreed on the humour but that we had the converrsation at all. Who did she think she was, telling me what I could laugh at regarding disability humour.
NOTICE: DISABLED PEOPLE DO NOT NEED PERMISSION FROM ANYONE TO LAUGH AT OURSELVES OR OUR DISABILITIES. AND, AND, AND CRIPPLED IS MY WORD, NOT YOURS. YOU'VE HAD IT LONG ENOUGH, IT'S OURS NOW.
And the joke was funny.