>I had the most bizarre experience earlier today. I was walking up to the bureau about lunchtime and there with this guy on a push bike who was riding along but slowed down to talk to me. Not someone I know.
The very first thing he said was “people laugh at you all the time because you’re disabled.” Weird.
Then he started talking about how my chair means I can go down the town and run people over. The main gist of what he was saying was things about how “isn’t it good what disabled people can do these days?” I responded to him a bit then said I needed to get on and couldn’t chat. I sped up a bit in my chair but he kept pace on his bike and kept talking, asking me questions. So I just stopped responding. Eventually he said he had to go and cycled off.
I was telling some of the others about it in the bureau. One of them said they thought he was lonely and said that people do that sometimes, pick up on differences when they need to talk. Said they’ve had their own differences to the cookie cutter Brit stereotype picked up on at times too by strangers looking to chat. Which is interesting because my differences and his couldn’t be more different.
Someone else said that there’s been something on TV lately (which I don’t know about) which had stuff about people laughing at disabled people. She thought he could have said the thing about laughing to mean that I shouldn’t worry because he wasn’t doing it.
I don’t know and I probably never will but it certainly struck me as a bit of a bizarre opening gambit.
The things people say to me about being in a wheelchair and because of being in a chair is actually something I’ve been thinking about blogging about for a while, particularly about how I react to those things. Because recent events make me think maybe I need to change it a bit. So it’s apt that this happened today. But for now, I think I will leave that here.