Ever get really bad questions from clueless abled people? Here are some answers that might come in use.
Q: What’s wrong with you?
A: The fact that I hang around with ableists like you.
Q: What’s your disability?
A: My business.
Q: You’re looking so much better, aren’t you?
A: I like to think I’m becoming a better person all the time. Glad it’s showing!
Q: Can they fix you?
A: You mean what can they fix me, like for lunch? I’d like a salad with awesome sauce, if there’s any left over from making me.
Q: [Intensely personal question]
A: Please, let me inquire as to all the intimate details of your life.
Q: So do you have sex?
A: Not with you.
Q: How did you get that way?
A: I’m glad you asked. It’s a long story. [Pick one of the following and go for it!]
- Back on the space station in ’89, I had just discovered the existence of…
- I was designing carpets for television talk shows at the time…
- I ordered a new jacket out of a catalogue actually, but they sent me this instead! It’s funny, really…
- While tracking down manufacturers of obscure bathroom tiles, as was my hobby back then…
- It was just an ordinary day. I was in bed, dreaming about strawberry milkshakes, when a really big milkshake started to speak to me…
(You might also enjoy Answers I love to/hope to one day give)
22 thoughts on “Amusing Answers to Clueless Questions”
Oooh, I like these. They’re much snappier than what I generally give. (“Why are you using a cane?” “Because I need it.” “Why do you need it?” “Because I’m mobility impaired.” “How are you mobility impaired?” “I have some trouble getting around without a cane.” Nobody’s pursued it past that.)
My favourite answer to “how did you get that way” has always been “you know, it’s the weirdest thing, I woke up one day, and it was just like this!”
My favourite answer to any ‘how’ question that I don’t want to dignify with a proper response (or even when I’m just feeling uncommunicative) is either “magic” or “witchcraft”, depending on my mood.
I always fail at these questions, and have started just giving people very strange looks instead.
Oh dear, Lis, now I’m imagining it going further. ‘What kind of trouble?’ ‘Well, this cane acts as a force field that allows me to harness and contain my powers of win. If I wasn’t holding on to it to control it, the universe would explode with the sheer force of my win. Does that answer your question?’ Trouble indeed.
These are great. One time someone asked me what happened to me and I answered, “broccoli allergy.” The look on her face. Lovely.
A friend of mine told my grandma that “she was so damn special she even had her own air.” She was on oxygen, so she always had an oxygen contraption with her. She made that her line when nosy folks quizzed her about her oxygen. People just don’t expect that kind of sass from the disabled, especially an old lady.
At one point recently I had referred to my tendency to go floppy when exhausted. At a time when I was right on that edge and largely pretty limp already, but most of my body was out of view to her and propped up by assorted wheelchair parts. She looked at me and then said “but you aren’t floppy yet, right? Since you’re typing?” Shortly after that I did go completely floppy, so she turned to my friend and went “Why is she sleeping??” My friend couldn’t do much more than facepalm.
There was the day I almost got run over by a server in a restaurant and wound up clinging to the wall. The server didn’t stop, naturally. “Are you okay?” asked a customer.
I wrote out the milkshake story and am linking in case anyone wants to read it.
One I get a lot is “What’s wrong with your foot/Why do you have a limp?” I always want to say, “My foot has *~*magical powers*~*.”
My best true “why I am currently impaired” story happened during my teens. “I tripped on my skirt during a rapier duel and sprained my knee.”
People keep quoting the question “What’s wrong with you?”. I dunno about doing an Ableist Word Profile for that one. It seems like that would be dignifying it with too much of a response.
A blank stare would be dignifying it with too much of a response. If you can’t figure that one out, I don’t know how much good the rest of the blog will do you.
My favorite was telling this “gothic” guy that my thyroid surgery scar was a tattoo. He bought it, but I couldn’t string him along, so I relented and told him the truth.
Usually, when people ask if I’m okay, I say no. (If I’m not OK.)
When they ask if something is wrong, I say yes.
These are amusing (to me), because – unless they’re my friends – they don’t really want to know.
‘Do you have sex?’ Wow.
The first few times I was asked these sorts of questions (admittedly being asked about my sex life is yet to be encountered…), I was so flabbergasted at their rudeness I often was too flummoxed to answer.
Now I am a fan of asking their own question back at them:
Them: What’s wrong with you?
Me: What’s wrong with YOU?
I found this list of “ten witty comebacks to some common sayings” on the WildKat forum a while back. I think she got it from Apparelyzed, but I couldn’t find the original link.
I never seem to have the ovaries to bring out a retort like these. My answers are usually pretty boring; “What’s wrong with you?” “I have X”. Feel like I’m letting the side down now! 😉
I have got to start getting more creative with my responses. The only semi-decent one I’ve ever come up with was when a guy (who already knew about my hearing problems) suddenly came up to me one day saying “Hey, I shouted your name and everything – why didn’t you stop?” Not having noticed him doing this, the only reply I could come up with was “I was too busy ignoring you.”
(I told you I need to be more creative with these things.)
Wow, I just love these–Thank you!!
Another neat one I heard (or read?) years ago, but still haven’t worked up the courage to use is, “I asked too many ridiculous questions and my leg fell off.” [Adjust as needed…]
I’m comment-shy and haven’t posted before, but I am so in love with this site. Thank you all for the insightful, funny, amazing writing. You’ve improved my day many times!
I’ve never considered sass, I’m usually to busy being uncomfortable. Next time I’ll put on a look of slow horror as I raise my hand to my face…”what happened to by eye….? What do you mean…?”
When my skin’s inflamed, I pull the same “OMG, what’s going on?! Thank you kind person for alerting me, I never would have known.”
Some of these – any physical othering – is also fun to do when someone points out you’re fat. Grab the offending part and go, “That wasn’t there an hour ago!”
for me it, it really depends on the age of the asker. if it’s a child, i tell them. if it’s an adult, i generally give them my best “what, were you born in a barn that you think a question like that is ever socially acceptable?” look and don’t answer otherwise.
It depends on my mood. If I’m indifferent I’ll usually say its a congenital defect, but I’ve given other answers too.
“what happened to your hand?”
“got bored of it and left it at home.”
“cr*p, it’s fallen off again. could you help me look for it?”
“sorry, I don’t remember, I was just a foetus when it happened.”
“seems fine, what do you mean?”
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