[nfbwatlk] Humor about the Public and Dog guides

Albert Sanchez albertsanchez at suddenlink.net
Thu Jun 30 19:02:17 UTC 2011

Yup, sure true, all have good time in Orlando, A.S.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Prows, Bennett (HHS/OCR)" <Bennett.Prows at HHS.GOV>
To: "NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List" <nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Thursday, June 30, 2011 10:59 AM
Subject: [nfbwatlk] Humor about the Public and Dog guides

> Barbara Pierce first put this article on a list or two about three years 
> ago.  I just came across it while deleting some material not needed. 
> Given the discussion about taking dogs to amusement parks, I thought this 
> little amusement would help us all get to Orlando in a good frame of mind. 
> Hope you enjoy this.
> /s/
> Bennett Prows
> From: nfbwatlk-bounces+bjprows=comcast.net at nfbnet.org on behalf of Mike
> Freeman [k7uij at panix.com]
> Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2008 6:46 PM
> To: NFB of Washington Talk
> Subject: [nfbwatlk] Fw: I have to share this with someone
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Barbara Pierce
> To: 'NFB of Ohio Announcement and Discussion List'
> Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2008 6:08 AM
> Subject: [Ohio-talk] I have to share this with someone
> Maybe you all won't find this as funny as I do, but this guy seems to me
> to
> get the tone right from start to finish.
> Enjoy,
> Barbara
> I'm blind, but there's no need to talk to my dog
> The Herald, Scotland (UK), February 06, 2007
> I'm utterly exhausted with people constantly asking how I became blind.
> Considering that I'm 42, and blind since birth, it could be imagined
> that by
> now I would be familiar with this question.
> On the contrary, if anything I'm getting more impatient with the same
> old
> questions day after day.
> "Have you been blind all your life?" To this I  always respond: "Not
> yet".
> "Your hearing must be so much better than mine?" Answer: "Pardon?"
> "That's a lovely Labrador you have there." Answer: "Labrador? My dog is
> a
> Shepherd."
> Not original answers, but they always make me and Moss, my black
> Labrador,
> chuckle.
> It always happens when I'm trapped and unable to escape. When I'm on a
> bus,
> train or taxi.
> People are naturally curious; I understand this. But they can't resist
> going
> that little bit too far if you show any glimpse of  being generous with
> your
> responses.
> "Couldn't you get an operation to get your sight back?" Answer: "No! I
> like
> walking into bus stops."
> "My auntie was blind. She had to stay in bed. You're so brave going out
> and
> about." Staying in bed. Umm, now there's an idea. That was one smart
> auntie.
> "How do you find your mouth when you eat?" Answer: "In the same way you
> find your bum when you wipe it."
> "If I was blind I would have to kill myself." Answer: "Why wait?"
> These normal questions are the reason I've come up with a fantastic
> plan.
> For years, various organisations have been providing Blind Awareness
> Workshops. In fact, I've had to deliver a few. These workshops show the
> public how they should respond if they encounter a blind person. Topics
> such
> as, don't go up and shout at blind people, they are not deaf. ASK, if
> they
> want to cross the road? DON'T drag them across the road by  the ears.
> When you are giving directions, DON'T waggle your finger in some  vague
> direction and say: "It's just over there next to the post office. SEE,
> you
> can't miss it." Wanna bet?
> Many years ago I was waiting for a bus in Union Street in Glasgow, when
> two
> little old ladies decided to lift me, from behind, on to the bus. They
> proceeded to push, heave and shove me. Now, I know I'm not known for my
> speed, but I was heading in the right direction of the door under my own
> propulsion. You won't be surprised to hear that they failed miserably.
> After
> all, I'm 13 stone and 6ft.
> To get me safely aboard they caused mayhem: pushing mothers and toddlers
> aside to get to their prey. The driver had to leave his cab to untangle
> buggies, shopping and various limbs and walking sticks. I wonder if the
> ladies survived that day. I know I'm scared.
> I've decided to call my new training course The Blind Person's Guide to
> the
> General Public. Topics such as dealing with people who are giving
> directions
> to my dog while ignoring me.
> This did happen in Glasgow's Central Station by a member of the railway
> police. I couldn't believe it. Was he having a laugh? No, he really was
> under the misapprehension that my dog knew what  he was on about.
> Not once did he refer to me at all. Bizarre behaviour!
> My course will teach blind people how to cope when faced with this kind
> of
> attitude. When people come up and say: "You are a lovely boy" - when
> talking
> to the dog. Say, "Thank you very much but I'm spoken for."
> Another tip is always to have a pair of headphones in your pocket. It
> is
> awful to be trapped on a train with someone going through all their
> fears
> and traumas about being blind. Just say that you are going to listen to
> an
> audio book. Pop on the headphones and put the jack in your pocket.
> They'll
> never know the difference.
> When you get caught by someone asking silly questions, the answer is to
> turn the conversation round at the first opportunity. The one main
> conversation that everyone likes to talk about is themselves.
> Now this doesn't just apply to us blindies - the technique can be used
> by
> everyone. Let me give you an example. I was travelling on the Glasgow
> Underground. Sitting opposite was a woman who decided to interrogate me
> about my then German Shepherd guide dog. "What's its name?" The
> following
> questions  took that kind of line. Then she started to get a little more
> probing. "So  how did you lose your sight?"
> Now in the correct circumstance that is a perfectly reasonable
> question.
> However, not on the underground when surrounded by ear-wigging
> passengers.
> I had a number of options. One is telling her to mind her own business
> (or
> words  to that effect). I took a different tack. This was the first time
> I
> had  put  the technique into action.
> It worked a treat. I ignored her question. Then I asked her some
> questions
> of my own, such  as,  "Where are you off to today?". By the time she got
> off
> three stops later,  I  knew that she had just broken up with her
> boyfriend,
> she was looking for a  flat and was thinking of moving south again! But
> she
> left the tube feeling  happy.
> I hadn't been rude, and the only thing she found out about me was the
> name
> and age of my dog.
> A good result, I would say. I'm not a reporter for nothing.
> Ian Hamilton reports on disability issues for BBC Scotland.
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