Thanks to everyone who participated in the amputee joke contest!
Here are the three winners...they'll each get an advance copy of my new book.
By the way, this first winner reminded me of a piece I like to perform, "The Top 5 Things You Never Knew About Being an Amputee." You can watch it live by clicking here...the volunteer I had on stage the day we recorded the video was pretty hilarious.
It's all about attitude. Here's my top-ten list why being a below-knee amputee isn't all bad:
10. You still have a knee, which causes AKs and hip-disarticulations to call you "flesh wound".
9. Leaving only half the total amount of toenail clippings beside the bed increases marital harmony (and toenail clippers last twice as long!).
8. You get twice the wear out of socks (wear once, swap feet, wear again -- repeat at your own risk).
7. You are more likely to survive the next ice age than otherwise whole people (fewer extremities means less overall frostbite).
6. When riding your bicycle, stray dogs that begin to chase you get very confused.
5. When people say "sorry" after stepping on your foot in a dark theater, you can honestly respond "no problem".
4. You don't have to be quite as picky with your appearance as other people (go a day or two without shaving, wear a ball cap instead of brushing your hair, wear a dirty shirt, etc.) as long as you wear shorts because no one will notice anything but your leg.
3. For the clumsy, spraining your ankle becomes a thing of the past.
2. In rattlesnake country, you cut the odds of getting snake bit in half.
1. After seveal tequilia shots, and you are wearing long pants, you can freak out people who don't know you are an amputee by kicking the crap out of hard objects while demonstrating no pain!
I take regular walks in my neighbourhood from the late spring to early fall. During the warm months I wear shots and not having a cosmetic cover everyone can see I wear a prosthetic leg.
On my walking route lived a group of little girls who would often watch me as I walk by. One day they worked up the courage to ask me why I wore a metal leg.
Being Canadian and having lost my leg above the knee to bone cancer I explained I lost my leg the same way Terry Fox did, but of course I'm all better now. The girls were very excited by this explanation and one piped up with: " You lost your leg running across Canada?"
Warning: This one is not appropriate for children. So if you're a child, stop reading, please.
Disability humor always seems to evoke both fear and joy, both embarrassment and slapstick. Never is disability humor outright tasteful. It often seems to play with stereotypes. There always is a degree of 'hoops' involved.
I stitched together a cow hide cover for my prosthetic arm. So when someone says, what's that, I can tell them "I am half Wolf, half animal" (as the "half man, half dummy" thing got old real fast). But I am not sure whether public etiquette would allow for a cheerful laughter here. However, this is my personal invention and it's definitely cool when you see the real fur. And I have to laugh when I see the others' face at times.
One of my shirts says "It was a lot worse than it looks". But you are probably not supposed to laugh either. Besides it's not really too funny either because it was a lot worse than it looks. It's more like a blood freezer, but then that's what makes a >real< good amputee 'joke'. Conversely someone may ask 'how much worse can it be?' which will suspend them motionless in content space.
The "Keep staring, I might do a trick" is one of the great commonplace one liners. I also like "Give them a finger and they'll take the whole hand".
But of all the disability jokes, this one brings it to the point: a woman puts out an ad for the guy with the most incredible sex powers ever. When the door rings, she finds a guy without arms or legs sitting in a wheelchair is waiting in front of her door. When she asks him, what are you doing here? He answers, well I'm here for your ad in the paper. She asks, so how did you imagine this would go? He replied, well how do you imagine I rang the doorbell?
On a far more cynical note, I also like this joke: "Q: What do you tell an amputee that is waiting at a train stop? A: Nothing - he has been told everything already".
I guess I may also write a book. I'll include the usual iron biters' credos such as "where there is a will there is a way", or, "ah, you are disabled? then you can go participate in the paralympics" (bwahahaha). Maybe it will be good to do answer general questions (such as "how could you (...) do this incredible (...) ...?" with general answers such as "I always was taught by my grandmother how to kill roaches" or "I believe in God and that gives me power".
But what really was the best moment of disability humor, that was right after the amputation, a good friend asked me whether I'd now have to also wear black leather coats, suits, white ties, wear brown leather gloves, become a "real evil" guy, and always have a purring white fluffy cat on my lap ('animals don't betray you') while plotting how to kill humanity. Just like in James Bond. I think that was a day when we laughed all afternoon.