Oh, Oh, Oh, Conversations with Cripples

Three conversations:


At the gym, for exercise, I go up and down the ramp somewhere between 10 and 20 times. I’m not travelling for a bit so I want to do exercise that keeps my ‘pushing’ skills at their max. It’s a long ramp, a good grade, and it really works my muscles. I arrive at the top to a question from a fellow member who had just come over to work on the cable machine at the top of the ramp:

“So, why do you push yourself up and down the ramp. You’d think you’d be tired of pushing all day.”

“So, why do you run on the treadmill?”




I am at the till having made a purchase, there is a little bit of a line up behind me. I had taken my gloves off so I could complete the transaction. When done, I take a moment to put my gloves back on. I never push without gloves, today it’s even more important because my wheels are both wet and dirty. The clerk, looks up at an impatient line-up (putting Christ into Christmas is way easier that putting Christ into fellow shoppers) and asks:

“Why do you wear gloves anyway?”

Gloves on, I roll back to where I can look down at the tellers feet.

“Why do you wear shoes anyway, you’re indoors?”



At an informal gathering people are chatting, someone I don’t know is there and they are asking their friend about who I am and what I do. Their friend and I aren’t friends but we have friends in common and they answer by describing a bit about what I do. Later I am asked by the same person who asked the first question (lots of points if you followed all that) in a mammoth act of ignorance about disability, benefits and the poverty line:

“Can I ask you why you work, surely you could live off the benefits?”

“Do you work?” I ask.

“Yes, I love my job, I …” when they finish I say.

“I don’t understand why you work, surely you could live off unemployment and other benefit packages.”


Question for all of you. Are we that alien to them? Are we so far from the norm that they can’t see any typical motivations for us? How do people grow so ignorant about people who live in their midst? But I guess this also explains racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, disphobia, and ableism, huh?

and I’ll throw in a 4th one for free:

“Why do you write a blog?”

“Because I enjoy typing.”

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