Sunday, June 24, 2007
Sit down comedy
[visual description: A photo of a cornish hen on a plate with garnish.}
At the annual Ski for Light* talent show, the act I do is called "sit down comedy".
During my act I don't tell jokes that just include disability but I do include material about the humorous side of living with a disability. I've told jokes about my attempts to cook as a quadriplegic, including all the TV ad "cooking made easy" appliances I've fallen for. Then there are my jokes about my travels during wheelchair tennis. Their favorite is a story I tell about me, the quadriplegic who struggles to cut up any food, being served a cornish hen at dinner.
It goes something like this:
"I'm sitting there looking at the cornish hen on my plate, wondering how I'm ever going to cut this up. It's got some kind of sticky glaze on it so as I put my eating utensil on it I figure that might help hold it down. But the hen keeps slipping no matter what I do. Finally I get my curved utensil into the inner part of the hen and as I move my elbow to try to cut it, the hen flies across the table, hits the wall opposite me and sticks there. And stays there - mounted like the head of a deer.
No one says a thing. There's the hen on the wall and, except for a few casual glances, the conversation goes on. Finally one of the kids says to another "Bet you that'll fall within the next five minutes." "Nah," the other kid replies. "It's real sticky and it's got a lot of honey on it. I give it ten."
The host gets up, goes into the kitchen and brings me out another cornish hen. I couldn't believe it. Am I supposed to keep practicing? I have visions of a line of cornish hens on the wall and the worse part is I'm really getting hungry!"
Well you get the idea.
What's interesting is that the talent show is held in the bar area of a lodge so we always have able bodied folks in the audience who aren't with our group. In the first ten minutes of the show as I sit there telling jokes about disability, most of them are afraid to laugh. However as our group sits there, not only laughing, but laughing very loudly, I can see the visitors relax, turn around from the bar and start to smile.
In my opinion, humor is good for the soul.
*Ski for Light is an adaptive ski program for both visually and mobility impaired participants. Trips are held by regional branches and there is an annual international trip.