Poem: Yorkshire Boris

People think this is all we do.
Hang around and wait,
But today I’m out on the prowl,
Looking for a mate.

She doesn’t have to perfect,
And I’m not gonna beg,
It’s a bonus if she has a cracking bod,
And a great set of legs,

No I’m not on tinder,
I’m up here on this shelf,
Watch out you slender legged ladies,
Let me introduce myself,

If I get thrown out in the garden,
I’ll be on such a low ebb,
I’ll have to try online dating,
“Single girl wanted, for hanging out on t’web.”

House spider (8)

Poem: Yorkshire Boris

Livin on a Prayer

What did you do Saturday morning?

Me I went to the centre of my village to get cash out, then into our equivalent of a 7-11 to get a few bits of shopping. Glamorous eh. Oh I missed out something, I got given a second hand necktie then I got prayed for and “blessed” twice.

As a practising atheist, praying as about as useful to me as a bacon sandwich is to a vegan. A man approached me as I walked, with my crutches, towards the cashpoint.
“Excuse me,” he said. “I’m from the local Christian church and we are doing a treasure hunt, and we needed someone on crutches.”
Strange treasure hunt, I think still walking.
He continues “Is there anything you would like praying for?”
“No not really” I politely reply. “But if you want to knock yourself out”
On I go to get my cash out, smiling to myself, thinking briefly of Anneka Rice and her Treasure Hunt. That was a good show.

Into the shop.

There is a woman in the way preventing me reaching the bread. I wait patiently, no rush there is plenty of bread. A mousey middle aged woman with a squint approaches me.
“This might seem very strange.” She says “But I saw you and felt I must go in the shop next door and buy you this.”
She was right it did seem strange.
She has in her hand a purple necktie. She continues “This is to show you are very much welcome into the kingdom of God.”

I take the tie, it would be rude not to. She blesses me and leaves the shop. I get my bread.

Regular readers (if I have those) will know that I am pretty much live and let live. If you wanna believe there is a man in the sky, fantastic. Just don’t expect or demand me to agree with you. It ain’t happening. Some of you will say, where is the harm in blessing and praying. Hell you got a free tie. Well did either of those people ask what I wanted? Offer me some actual assistance, carry my shopping to the car for instance. Surely this is far more “Christian” than mumbling a few words in the hope that God will hear.

It only occurred to me when I was home. These acts of religious “saving” or “blessing” isn’t for the benefit of the subject. It’s an entirely selfish act, a completely empty gesture. The equivalent of me going up to a stranger and asking them to watch me play with myself.

If you are religious and want to make a difference, pray if you want, but actually do something to help, volunteer, if you don’t have time send money, ask people what they need. If you think your God will help, great but you can help too. If you can’t bring yourself to actually help, go away and leave me to enjoy my Saturday.

Rev James, the only religious thing I've enjoyed recently.
Rev James, the only religious thing I’ve enjoyed recently. For good beer follow @goodbeertweet on twitter
Livin on a Prayer

Comment: The Ugly Face of Disability Hate Crime

Following the documentary on BBC Three last night about disability “Hate Crime” I feel I must add my comments. Sorry this is a little long.

I hate the term “Hate Crime” Gene Hunt expresses this best.

How are we ever going to move on, live together and integrate as a society if crimes against any group of people are labelled in such an insane way. It’s justifying why someone committed a grievous act against someone else, reporting a “hate crime” produces two groups of people. Those who support the victim, and those who support the perpetrator as they agree with his or her politics. If a murder is reported as a “murder” one person killed another, we can all pull together and agree that that is a bad thing regardless of our backgrounds.

This approach removes the often incorrect assumption that “he only killed him because he was disabled/white/black/green/gay” No he got killed because he was sleeping with his wife/husband/girlfriend/mother/tortoise/guitar.

Last nights show was presented by Adam Pearson who has neurofibromatosis which causes excess growth of the skin. Which gives him a striking and unusual appearance like many disabled people. Now I like to think that when I’m sat down or propping up a bar I look pretty “normal” I don’t of course, the way I hold myself up, my movement that is both ponderous and jagged are both clear giveaways that I am “different”.

As kids we stare at “difference” it’s a survival technique present in most inhabitants of the earth. Don’t believe me? Walk slowly into a field of cows. They will all look at you, “Who are you? Will you feed us? Will you kill us? Where are your trousers?” If no-one batted an eyelid at things out of the ordinary we and the cows would get killed.

Of course we like to think we have evolved, it makes us feel superior and for the most part it helps us fit in and not be different as the environments we inhabit are largely about inclusion and acceptance, on the surface anyway.

A place where our true feelings are often is expressed is here on the internet. This very page has a comments section. Upon which you are free, with varying degrees of anonymity to call me whatever you like. The comments section can bring out the very worst in people and statements or poor attempts at humour can be misinterpreted.

One of Mr Pearsons TV interviews was posted on YouTube and seemed to be a significant part of the programme. One comment was nasty suggesting that he should have been burnt to death at birth. Harsh you have to say, but the comment was sent to YouTube who didn’t do anything about it. Mr Pearson mentioned “genocide” and I turned off.

It’s a comment on YouTube! The person who made it is probably 12 and as he accompanied his comment with “lol” he was hardly suggesting people hunt you down and burn you. So to suggest genocide is giving this comment much more credence than it deserves. Much better to laugh at it or reply back taking it further “Yeah hideous burns might improve my looks” Thus disarming any malice and perhaps leaving the commenter with a “See him there, he looks a bit weird but he’s alright” feeling winning him over and maybe stopping such comments in the future.

There are times in everyones life where we need to pack our thickest skin (no pun intended) regardless of which groups we align ourselves with. There will always be people who prey on easy targets or promote hatred but we should never underestimate the power of our response.

If you are in the UK or use a VPN (shh!) you can watch the program here.

Comment: The Ugly Face of Disability Hate Crime

Fiction: Strange Territory

My target, just sat there, perusing the carriage, he wore a thick black coat well even though it must have been hot, being as it is mid-July. I don’t think he’s seen me yet as I am well shielded by the seats, tables and irritated commuters between us.

I enjoy my journeys but commuters annoy me. I audibly growled my annoyance at one woman earlier who was kicking up a fuss about the “Quiet Carriage” she seemed to think it meant she should be able to hear a pin drop and was making a fuss much louder than anyone else around, flapping her arms around at the train manager like a demented parrot. She very nearly blew my cover.

Nearly.

I want to move closer, but something stops me. Maybe it is too soon, a strike now in front of everyone on the carriage would perhaps be foolhardy, I’d certainly be in the doghouse that’s for sure. At least it would give the parrot lady something real to complain about. If I waded in now and hit my target I’d be extra loud just to stick in her craw.

But no distractions, that would give him the upper hand. If he won, as unthinkable as it is, it would be terrible. I’d have to leave the train, tail between my legs like some amateur. I’ve seen off bigger foes than him before. If I bide my time and strike only when the time is right, it will be him that is forced into retreat with only that smart black coat to hide his shame.

The train ambles into another station. Our air conditioned bubble is momentarily burst as people take one last look around for lost belonging before leaving to be replaced with strangely similar looking people. Faces different of course but they moved and even smelt the same. Anxious, hurried each and every one. I can only assume that no-one wants to be here.

The train began to trundle on it’s way. He is still there, he’s spotted me. I give him the signal.

Nothing, no response.

I signal again, just in case he missed it. I catch his gaze. He looks away. Good he can’t bare to look at me, he knows he is well out of his depth here.

It’s time.

Nothing stopping me hurtling down the train towards him, that bastard, sat on my train. I’ll show him. I grit my teeth and bound towards him with all the power my short legs can muster, there was no doubt that this was no longer a quiet carriage as I got as close to his face as I could, snarling, teeth snapping. This place was mine, how dare he be here, near my person.

Then I heard the words that always stopped me.

“Dex, down”

I hit the floor, and waited to find out if I was a good boy.

IMG_2477

Fiction: Strange Territory

100 Word Friday Fiction: Aftersun

It was too hot to work, flies buzzed round Joe’s head as he tried to keep the sweat out of his eyes with little success.
The job needed to be done, unfortunately for Joe it turned out to be the hottest day of the year and the sun burned down on to the top of Joe’s balding head.
There was once a time when his wife Josephine would’ve rubbed aftersun on that,
she would’ve put lotion on his blistered hands too where the axe handle had slipped from his grip.

Joe looked at Josephine and let his axe fall again.

100 Word Friday Fiction: Aftersun

Being WyW_URZ

Like many of my age (old) I started gaming on a Commodore 64. The games took ages to load and I was invariably rubbish at them. I remember Speed King which was a bike game, way over 30 mins to load just to see the pixelated arse of my rivals disappear into the distance never to return.

Spin forward 30 years and I’m still rubbish at games, they just look better. I have finally got to grips with shooter style games using the PS4 controller (as opposed to mouse and keyboard) but of course the lack of dexterity and co-ordination caused by my disability does not aid this.

Movement of a character on screen for the average player is a relatively sedentary affair, you sit, controller resting in hand, relaxing on the couch, occasionally venturing to edge of your seat for a “good bit” but in my observation average gamer uses the same amount of movement to bring down great empires via their console as they do doing up a shirt in the morning.

Not me.

Just simply moving my character involves me being sat correctly, properly supported. Fully concentrated. That’s just to start. Once I get into the game, kak handedly actually trying to shoot other players, my legs want to get involved and if I tense up cramp can get me down better than any headshot. Jump scares? I’ll throw the controller in the air. It can be incredibly frustrating at times, fighting yourself, before you can play a game. Sometimes I shout at myself, it’s just a game though right?

Gaming is part of my life. I am aware of my own limitations, nothing wrong with trying to push them or adapting my style of play to suit. I play for fun, when I’m not having fun I do something else.
I play to beat my top score not top the leader board.
I play to help my team, although sometimes I know I will hinder them.
I play because very occasionally things like this happen

Feel free to add me WyW_URZ on PSN.

Being WyW_URZ

Poem: Handwritten

IMG_2377

In case you can’t read my scrawl..

Handwritten

This is how I used to write before,
The search engines kept the score,
Spell checks and metatags
Hit Counters Server Lag
Just me, ideas and my scrawl
On paper, fag packet or the wall,
Mistakes there for all to see,
Great plans, the never meant to bes,
Great beginning
Cliched end
Never having to click “Send”
The crossing out
Tippex Pen
Screw it up
Start again!

Poem: Handwritten