Friday, 4 November 2011

Friday Flash - He's Odd

Jeff Peterson across the road is as deaf as a post. He misses listening to his classical LPs but I bet he doesn't miss the wife's nagging. Then there's that dumb kid years ago at school, Margie Fields. No, not dumb, mute. Really bright lass but quiet as a mouse. Our Louise's little lad lost an arm to septicaemia and Keith Simpson goes to the hospital so often I'm surprised he doesn't just move in - something about dialysis, if memory serves.

They’re just the most obvious ones I can think of. Bad things happen, but people get by, they cope. They learn how to make the most of it and they just get on with things. No, the worst part is the bloody doctors, always hanging around like uninvited ghouls, always inventing new names for old problems, as if giving something initials makes it something else. Half the time I think the acronyms are just so they can win at Scrabble.

I can’t see. I accept this. The world out there has been nothing but a combination of sounds, smells and textures since 1984. I'm fine with that - you would be too if you saw the decorating decisions my wife makes. But the doctors?

They tell me I'm not blind. I just have Ocular Dysfunctional Disorder.

18 comments:

Peter Newman said...

I really like the voice of this character. Very distinct. The first paragraph really had me hooked.

FARfetched said...

Yes, the opening got me hooked too! Age-related hearing impairments run in my family, and sometimes I look forward to it for the same reason Jeff Peterson doesn't mind it.

Your narrator makes a good point about doctors. Personally, I think they use those names to distance themselves from things they can't fix.

Lots of enjoyment packed into a tiny little flash!

Tony Noland said...

The grumpiness was honed to a fine edge. Fancy names for common ailments... one of my pet peeves as well.

Craig Smith said...

Reminded me of the old man from UP.

It sounds almost exactly like someone's thought process. A hard thing to do.

"Half the time I think the acronyms are just so they can win at Scrabble."

Made me chuckle :).

theothersideofdeanna said...

I work for a Clinical Research Organization so I definitely know how irritating all those acronyms can be (we actually have to take tests on them)!
I too like the voice here Icy - well done!

Michael A Tate said...

I think that photo is the most amusing one I've seen in a while with context to the story...even though I kinda feel bad about saying it.

But like the others have said, the voice was quite distinct.

John Wiswell said...

Never thought about it that way. You never see wives nagging in sign language. Can I count rolling my eyes at someone as an ocular disorder? That'd be effective cover.

flyingscribbler said...

But unless those words are in the scrabble dictionary no amount of fancy acronyms will win on that triple word score. Great piece of writing zooming in on this guy's take on life.

Tim VanSant Writes said...

Great work on the voice in this.

I sometimes have Ocular-Rectal Disorder [also known as a shitty outlook].

afullnessinbrevity said...

As others have commented, the voice in this speaks so strongly. Well done.
Adam B @revhappiness

Helen said...

I loved the voice of the narrator, and never suspected that he too had a dysfunction - this line made me laugh out loud " I think the acronyms are just so they can win at Scrabble."

Clever piece of writing. You know when I worked in disabilities, in an adult training centre one of my students or charges whatever you want to call them was blind, as in she could not see a thing, yet we were not allowed to say blind. We had to say visually impaired - she was that all right!

helen-scribbles.com

Steve Green said...

I like the way you get the points across here Icy, and the undercurrent of humour running through it.

Most people with disabilities tend to cope with them with strength and a sense of humour, it does seem to be the PC brigade and such that have to interfere in their lives, and not necessarily to the benefit of the disabled person.

Raven Corinn Carluk said...

Hear hear! Doctors always acting like they know best, when really they're just practicing medicine.

annecmichaud said...

Ugh, you pinpointed it so accurately: they find new names to old problems. So true, Icy!

Katherine Hajer said...

I have to chime in about how great the voice is, and what a great point it is about how the new labels don't change what the underlying thing is.

@John Wiswell, yes, I have seen married couples nagging each other in sign language. The method may change with the language, but the behaviour doesn't!

Stephen said...

Ha, you would think that people clever enough to dream up Ocular Dysfunctional Disorder would remember how O.D.D. that comes off. I have to agree with your protagonist on this one. It seems like they're always calling something a disorder these days. I can't wait for the bumperstickers on vehicles for people who want to proudly own up to their disease. Though I hope I never have to read a bumper sticker that announces: "I have O.D.D." ;-)

Icy Sedgwick said...

Glad everyone has enjoyed this one. I'm always struck by how people just get on with life, taking their disabilities into their stride, and it actually makes me so proud of total strangers when they don't let things hold them back.

brainhaze said...

Icy your wit in this one is awesome! I love the character, but particularly love the part about doctors winning at scrabble with their ongoing need for acronyms. Genius!

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