Sunday, June 04, 2006

the ways things were

thanks to a post & some followup comments over at vladville

your friendly neighborhood happyfunboy got all nostalgic yesterday. 

ya see…

the place i went to undergrad was one of the most handicapped-accessible universities in the nation.

Access

no kidding.

and it wasn’t like it anyone made a super-big to-do about it to anyone, really.

it just was…

the way things were, you know?

one of my many jobs while i was there involved reading textbooks onto tape for visually-impaired students.

now, believe it or not...

i ended up being 'requested' a lot, and hence paid more than the standard reader, simply because i could read advanced mathematics textbooks onto tape in a way that was still intelligible to the listener(s).

i’m talking…

pages & pages & pages of equations. 

and yes...

i am keenly aware that, at this very moment, the vlad is somewhere laughing his head off about the notion of the word intelligible being applied to any recording of my voice.

but that also got me thinking about the way things were…and an incident i witnessed.

i edited the fine arts journal for a while…

and our office was very close to the elevator in the student union building.

not surprisingly then, we saw a lot of the folks who used wheelchairs, or crutches, or what-have-you to get around.

but there was one particular student who used what was basically a fully mobile gurney to get around.

her name was jan.

because of the obvious severity of her impairments, jan always had a student or two, usually female, assigned to help her during the day.

now, bar none…

jan was the sweetest sweetest person you’d ever meet in your entire life.

you’d have sworn she knew everybody on that campus. and jan always stopped to say ‘hello’ and chat a bit if i was in the office, even tho speech was fairly difficult for her.

i never ever saw her in anything but a sunny sunny mood.

so one afternoon…i stopped in the little restaurant/hangout directly behind our office to grab a quick bite.

and i saw jan in there, at a table with a couple of girls who assisted her from time to time.

so i looked around while i waited in line…and i saw the two girls were turned around and looking over at another table.

basically, some total jackass 1 or 2 tables away, showing off for some of his numbskull buddies, was flinging nachos at jan.

so the nimrod made some face at the girls…then followed that with some rude remark, mocking the way jan talked, which all the rest of the pinheads at his table started guffawing at…

and i’d taken about two steps toward that table…

when from the far back corner of the place, this very big fracking blur came out of the shadows from behind the nimrod, then slammed him face-down into the plate of nachos on the table in front of him.

like, a couple of times.

it was the boyfriend of another girl who helped jan from time to time.

now this guy was a superbigfrackinghuge guy, like a rugby player or ex-football player or something.

and this guy proceeded to carefully and methodically pound the frack out of that dirtbag.

upon finishing, the boyfriend dragged the now roughed-up scumbag over to apologize to jan, and to pick up the food he’d thrown at her.

me and a pretty good number of other folks had kinda gathered to see the finish to this thing.

so…the jerk hadn’t even stammered out 2 words before jan said:

that’s ok…i’m sure he just got carried away.

absolutely amazing, huh?

but like i said…

no big deal, right?

except that…it was a big deal.

and still is.

jan was one of the primary inspirations for both the name happyfunboy, and the guiding principles of the funcave:

  • try to help other folks out
  • try to keep the funcave both happy & fun
  • try to keep the numbskulls & nimrods from ruining the aforementioned happy & fun

all i’m saying is…

seriously…

we’d all be well-served by a nice long look in the mirror.

what have any of us got to complain about?

 

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