Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Quick Word About Stutterers

Since Porky Pig first amused us with his inabilty to utter a simple phrase at the end of a cartoon, we’ve mocked, mimicked, made fun of, laughed at, ridiculed, hurried and generally harrassed people who stutter.

Perhaps it’s because, technically, they haven’t told us not to yet. Or it could be how sad and pathetic they sound struggling to say even simplest little thing. Like
“J- J- J- JERK!” Even though many feel we should be patient and polite to the stutterer, who really suffers most, them or us?

How do you say “fine thank you” to a person who takes a minute and a half to ask “how are you?” Do you look them straight in the eye and not blink as though, for that moment, time stood still for us as well? Do you finish their sentence for them since they’re obviously too stupid to form words? Or do you look at your watch impatiently, tsking and sighing because the person you really wanted to talk to has walked away... and gone home... and died of old age? It’s not easy to listen to a stutterer and not worry about your meter running out and your car getting a ticket... or getting towed... or getting rusty.

For example, there was a boy in school who we called; “Hooked on Phonix.” He would tell the teacher he had finished his test by saying, “Duh-duh-duh-done! Now, how can you not think of Beethovens 9th? Or sometimes he'd be trying to talk to you and just stand there with his lips carefully shaped to form a word and his finger in the air. People would start looking at his finger... or what he’s pointing at... or the dirt under his nail. I saw one person actually sniff his finger, they were so bored.

We all knew he used it to his advantage. The teacher would call on him because he could raise his hand just fine, but when he got up to give the answer, all he had to do was go “uh-uh-uh-uh” until one of the other kids who actually knew the answer got impatient and blurted it out. Then he’d just nod in agreement like that was what he was gonna say. What a bullshit artist. Then the teacher would say “Very good Hooked” and the guy who actually knew the answer would get a: “I’ll see you after class young man.”

It’s hard being around a “verbal false-starter” in any situation where time is a factor. On the phone; “Please begin recording your message now.” ...“We’re sorry we did not record your message, either because you were not speaking or because you were stuttering...or because you swallowed your tongue.”

Who wants to make a long distance call to a stutterer? Or let them order at the drive-up window; “Welcome to Quickie Burger can I take your order please?” “Buh buh buh buh buh” “Okay that’s one Bubba Burger, no bubbas and extra bubba. Would you like a bubba with that?”

It’s a known fact that stutterers can sing just fine. Which proves they’re doing it on purpose. Just to get you to hang on their every they do. You’ve got a clear statement to convey but you’ve got wait till Mr. Reluctant gives his long awaited opinion. It’s also been proven that most stutterers are boys who have been sexually molested. Well what do you expect if you never say “Stop.”

“Hey kid, mind if I sodomize you? Well, yes or no? Tell you what, I’ll start and you tell me if it’s a problem. It’s alright? ...I’ll take that as a yes? If you don’t like it, just say the word. So I guess you’re fine with this, eh? Just lemme know if you want me to stop. No? Alright, say no more, silence is golden. Well it was fun. Don’t mention it, the pleasure was all mine. Anything you need before I go? No? Alright see ya later, Patrick.”

And then a minute later:
“C- c- cut it out F- F- F- F- Father F- F- F- F- Fitzpatrick!”

By numbsain. Note: We at Goldmind’s Unwind apologize for being insensitive and if you are a stutterer and you were offended by this, we deeply apologize. You should have said something.

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