The other night, I was watching The Burn, which is Jeffery Ross' new show on Comedy Central. It's pretty funny, though some of it depends on his guests, but the bits are usually pretty good. One bit is called Public Enemies, dedicated to mocking the annoying to the their face, in public. One episodes, it was bouncer, but on this particular episode, it Spot Snatchers: able bodied people who take the handicap parking spots. Here's the clip on Comedy Central's site.
This is not a new concept, we've seen comedy situations where spot snatchers receive some sort of ironic punishment for their actions, but I don't think we've ever seen anyone confront the actual people, certainly not on a mobile roast podium, and not simply an avatar, portrayed by an actor.
After watching this, I found Ross on Twitter and sent him a little thank you tweet, "From a cripple, thank you for that bit #SpotSnatchers". Obviously, this pleased Jeffery Ross, as he retweeted it and it got a handful of replies.
Now, I am a cripple, I walk with a cane, and I'm pleased as punch to get some attention, the whole reason I joined Twitter was to get some attention for my comic that would hopefully translate into sales. However, this seems to have gotten a different kind of attention. I've gained a new follower, a lady in a wheelchair who is an actor. Her "gimmick" if you will, is a series of short films on YouTube based, in part, on her life as an actor in a wheelchair. More power to her. But, I'm concerned she might think I'm some sort of advocate that uses Twitter and my art as a platform for handicapped and disabled issues. I don't.
I might put a character in there, just as I might put transgender, gay, and atheist characters in something, as those are my "pet issues". I have no idea what it's like to be in a wheelchair. I don't think I'm the right person to be an advocate for The Cripples.
And yes, I call myself a cripple, but that's our word, you able-bodies don't get to use it.