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Mike Gripe / 25 January 2013

A dog might bark into a phone doesn't mean i understand it

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Don'cha just hate it when you go to one of these disability arts panels or disabled activists meetings and they just won't use the mike or the megaphone.

You'd think they have something to say but don't want to be heard.

Went to such an event yesterday. Tiny room, packed with bodies that increasingly shuffled and shifted as they couldn't hear nor barely see due to overcrowding and it took four speakers before one of them had the grace to use the mike.

I know.... I should have spoken up. Given it a bit of gob shite and shouted at them to use the facilities they had available but you know if they can't be arsed why should I and besides after a minute or two of trying to listen and failing you get lulled and think, I just can't be bothered with this.

So, four speakers in and the mike is in use, and its getting passed around and its like a new toy. I can hear my voice. Wonder if I can make it go away. So you get the head turns, or the reader who drops their chin into their chest, brings the paper forward and moves the mike away from them. I mean its like that comedian fellow who played first you hear me, now you don't. At least he knew what he was doing and was only taking the mickey - it was his job.

A new classic of the genre debuted last night. Avoiding the bad taste jokes now a woman holds the thing in between her knees. I'm sorry but the knees don't speak. That's not what they're there for. They help your legs bend and that's about it. They're called joints. They're a long way disconnected from the thorax so its no good singing my thigh bone's connected to my hip bone, all the way up until the jaw bone cos I can't hear ya.

Anyway, she's prattling on about something that I can't be bothered to strain to hear when she passes the toy to my hero - the buddy who i'd come to hear and what does he do - open with the old chestnut; "I don't need this do I? You can hear me can't you? I'm a right gobby northerner me and they can all hear me up in t' pool". For goodness sake.

Listen up Peeps. Must admit, I missed most of the chat. It may have ben good, bad or indifferent. I don't know but I swear to Christ they were whinging about access and wanting more inclusion. Hello!!! I'm the guy at the back, under the droning fan, next to the crisp eater and the man who fell asleep before he started the snoring, right net to the gangway where the disinteresting crowd are leaving. I'm not deaf, I can't understand the signers, I'm not partially deaf, I don't use the induction loop, but I'm gaining a little bit of empathy for their situation from this experience and really most of you delectable panellists should know a lot better.

Hi there. My name's Mike Gripe. Signing Off.

Keywords: access,disability activists,disability art