It’s Friday here in a frosty Decatur, GA. I sit here thinking about things like advocacy, Independent Living, peer support and how I thoroughly enjoy messing with people. I’ve posted previously here and on http://www.ILiveWithADisability.com about some of the “games” that I play, usually it’s just something I do to amuse myself (with occasional point values involved). What can I say? I’m odd.
Last week during a trip to the mall to visit my favorite store (the Apple Store) I happened by a kiosk selling sunglasses. The gentleman manning the booth opened his mouth to attempt to offer to sell me a pair until his eyes met my cane. He then shut his mouth and relaxed. Unfortunately for him, I’ve got some vision and noticed. Suddenly I had my prey and the hunt was on. I wandered over to his booth and began pawing over the glasses. I sorted through lime green lenses, hello kitty frames, a cardboard display and a zebra print glasses. I tried each pair on and since he wasn’t offering any help I looked intently at his register’s monitor as if it were a mirror.
“How much light do these block out?” I ask through a pair of lavender lenses.
“Well, uh. . . ”
“I think I like these better,” as I switch to a pair of lensless frames.
At this point the man at the kiosk doesn’t know what to do. As I decide to leave him alone and continue on my journey I realize that while I was acting up I had sat my glasses down (my expensive prescription glasses) and I don’t see them. Now I’m legitimately patting around looking for my glasses, sometimes the game can turn on me. I eventually found them, thanked the man and continued on.
Another fun activity is enforcing the “priority seating for the elderly and people with disabilities” on the train. I hate when I get on the train and the seats by the doors are full of people and their bags. I’ve taken to seeing this and then click clacking over with my cane, turning around and starting to sit. This accomplishes a number of things: 1) they generally move it before I come in contact (I’m a fairly large man) 2) I get to sit down instead of flopping around the moving train 3) it raises some awareness of their rudeness (either self-awareness or awareness from other passengers) 4) I occasionally get a nasty look until they see the cane, afterwards I generally still get a nasty look but they don’t say anything. I’ve very rarely sat on anything.
Other games amount to outright lying and seeing how absurd I can make a story and still keep a straight face. While standing at the crosswalk a person will ask me “how do you know when to cross?” I smile and respond with “my phone tells me.” or “I just get a feeling.” I’ll go to a coffee shop I visit frequently and be confronted with another customer who will try to force me to let them carry my cup, when I refuse their assistance they’s say something along the lines of “aren’t you afraid of getting burned?” “I don’t want you to scald yourself.” A simple reply of “I don’t feel heat,” “they’re getting me a sippy cup” or “you mean this isn’t ice cream?” generally get people to leave me alone.
What tips, tricks or pranks do you use?