Posted by: Gavin Lehmann | June 6, 2009

My supersecret, superuseless, superpower

So, if you’ve read the title of my blog, you’ll have got the ‘life’ part, have (I hope) grasped what MS  is you may still be wondering  what the hell superpowers has to do with anything. Well, allow me to fill you in…

That supersecret power appears to have no real use, and so in many respects can’t really be called a ‘superpower’ per-se . I only posses it when using my wheelchair, and it seems only when I really don’t need it. The power of invisibility! Thats right kids, to become truly invisible all you really need to do is mug some old granny and steal her chair (In all seriousness though, don’t, otherwise this man will come get you).

Yes, for some reason it would seem I become invisible to all other individuals, and mute too. I was in chster recently shopping in Zavvi (okay, not THAT recently) in my wheelchair. I needed to get past this lady who was browsing the DVDs so I say “excuse me” and nothing. So I say it again, more forcefully this time, still nothing. So, I practically yell “EXCUSE ME” and still nothing (yes there was music playing, but it wasn’t that loud). So I reach over and tap the lady (tap, push, punch they’re all basically the same these days) AND SUCCESS! She begins to turn around to face me, for what I assume is to move out the way…

“It’s polite for people to say excuse me first!” she shrills “I did, three times, I practically yelled it”, this obviously cuts on mustard with her. “Well, I didn’t hear you” clearly, otherwise I wouldn’t have needed to tap you, no? “You’re a liar” chips in the burly meathead who I assume was her other half (they were both quite plump to be fair). By this point they’d moved out the way allowing me and my partner through and I yell back over my shoulder a couple of expletives at them. Now maybe it’s just me, but if someone in a wheelchair had needed to tap me as they’d said excuse me and I hadn’t heard them the last thing I would do is turn around and have a go at them for a supposed lack of manners.

I’ve been to gigs where other than speaking to be reguareding issues with wheelchair access the individual in question has spoke over my head to my partner, completely ignoring the fact that I’m sitting in the chair. It’s not entirely the general publics fault, I mean how often do you see someone in a wheelchair when you’re out shopping? A couple of people, perhaps maybe three or four, not that many really, not in comparison to the thousands of other people you’d pass on an average Saturday. People just aren’t used to it, they just don’t see that many people in wheelchairs, they don’t know how they should behave. If you really want to confuse them, try pushing an empty wheelchair, very odd =) If you really want to wierd them out you should ask if they’ve seen a disabled man lying about anywhere (you could even throw in the fact he couldn’t have got very far as he’s a double arm and leg amputee).

All I ask is that people treat me just the same when I’m using my wheelchair as when I’m not, is that so much to ask? I mean you don’t talk to other people sitting on your sofa any different? Unless they’re a burglar, and if that’s the case they’re getting a little bit too comftarble with their ‘job’.

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Responses

  1. Ooh, you are naughty!

    But I like you.

    I do know what it’s like to be “invisible” though, and it really p’s me off.

    • If you don’t mind me asking, invisible in what way?


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