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Disability Bitch and the TV amputee

16th June 2010

• Disability Bitch is published every Thursday on bbc.co.uk/ouch
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Readers, something important has cropped up. We have some disability TV to discuss. Yip yo. If you haven't caught on yet, there is 'one of us' in the Big Brother house again. But I'm confused with the response from his fellow contestants.
Big Brother contestant Steve Gill
Double amputee, visually impaired, Steve Gill
has entered the Big Brother House     &nbsp
When Steve Gill entered the reality TV arena last week he made a huge point of telling viewers that he liked to display his two prosthetic legs and false eye, which he sports courtesy of an injury sustained while serving as a soldier in Northern Ireland, twenty years ago. He likes displaying his fake eye so much that he wears a black one, rather than a, y'know, one designed to look like an actual eye. He likes it because it makes him look like a pirate.

At the weekend, shiver me timbers, he exchanged his buccaneer-esque eye for one that looks more normal-Joe-about-town ... but none of his housemates noticed. I assume they were all too busy looking at their own reflections, but that's gotta hurt the pride of a crip trying to grab a bit of the limelight. No?

Anyway, I HATE BIG BROTHER now. I hate it so much I might actually have to watch the world cup. And you know how I feel about multi-limbed men kicking pigs' bladders around well-manicured lawns, even at international phony war level. But as usual, BB has disabled housemates. Or, at least, one disabled housemate. And, as usual, it's causing our little big community to analyse every last second. We can't help but watch.
DB with a plate of doughnuts
DB is forced to choke on a perfectly good doughnut     &nbsp
I happened to catch a segment of BB a few days ago that's worth mentioning in this respectable weekly column. It made me spit out a perfectly good doughnut when I heard one of the more physically normal housemates use the line: "Steve, I don't think of you as disabled!"

Naturally, Steve nodded his thanks.

Forgive me for destroying this heart-warming scene of human-to-human acceptance, but I'd just like to point out that most folk have the standard ration of four limbs but Steve has just two. And, where most people are blessed with binocular vision, our chum Steve is forced to plug one of his empty eye sockets with a fetching fashion prosthetic.
So - and do forgive me for splitting hairs here - I'd just like to ask precisely how many limbs and sensory organs you have to lose before being considered 'disabled' within the Big Brother compound.

Obviously we know why this is. We know 'disabled' is Normie shorthand for 'rubbish'. And so, we know they think that saying, "We don't think of you as disabled" is a compliment, when in reality I'd rather stick my head in a blender than be Normal.
A theme park
Life is a rollercoaster...     &nbsp
I do, as you know, feel sorry for the Normals. They can't help being the way they are. They can't help that Handicappers are better than them. Which brings me to my second news story of the week, for it seems a kindly philanthropist in Switzerland is building a theme park called Paradrom, in which non-disabled punters can experience the reality of being disabled.

Yes, I checked the date, and no, it's not April Fools.

Unfortunately it won't be open 'til 2013, but when it is, even the most dull of ordinary people will, at long last, be able to experience the frustration of trying to buy a train ticket when you have a learning disability and, er, some other stuff. What an amazingly good use of his money, don't you think?
I'm about to phone Paradrom and offer my services. I'll not only volunteer to trip up users within minutes of their entry to the venue, I'll gladly treat them like dirt, turn them down for no reason when they apply for jobs and make them jump through months and months of impossible hoops if desperation leads them to seek assistance from the welfare state.

I'm confident my own special roller coaster rides will give them an insight into the whacky world of disability. And if they enjoy it as much as they think they will, I'll be only too happy to hit them over the head with my walking stick at the end, thus offering a permanent memento of their day.

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Readers, this week on Facebook, me and my 2460 chums have mostly been arguing about Big Brother. It's not that I'm obsessed by reality TV, more that there aren't any disableds in the football. Become my friend, join the chat and Be wise with your privacy settings out there, kids.

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