“Hey Dave,” she typed.
There are several people with intellectual disabilities that I know and keep in touch with through Facebook and Facebook messenger.
Most of the time it’s just quick check ins but sometimes it’s more in depth than that.
I recently had a discussion, for example, with a man who wanted to know the best way he could talk to his boss about being teased by co-workers.
That turned into a fairly long discussion that is still, month’s later, not quite done.
But then there is a woman with an intellectual disability who contacts me with jokes and horrible puns.
I like her and I like the jokes but she knows that it’s very, very hard to make me laugh. I smile, a lot, but I don’t laugh much.
Poor Joe, he laughs at everything and I laugh at nothing. It’s our version of Jack Sprat and his wife.
This time, she got me though.
With a really funny joke.
“What’s plain language for ‘Please leave me alone and let me do it myself?”
I liked the question when I first read it, without knowing the answer. I liked that the joke was a disability ‘in joke’ and that, more intimately, it was an ‘in joke’ between us.
She constantly calls on me to use plain language when we chat, and she does it even when the language is very clear.
She follows the question up with an LOL, or more commonly, LMFAO.
Ha Ha, I didn’t laugh.
So I expected a groaner as would be our history but instead I, Laughed Out Loud.
So, here it is …
“What’s plain language for ‘Please leave me alone and let me do it myself.”
I laughed even as I typed it.
Saucy. Cheeky. Vulgar. Funny.
All wrapped up in a conversation that would have been impossible for me to have, because of technology and because of repressive practices, a mere few years ago.
Ain’t it freaking grand.