Caveat One: If you are a slave to political correctness, you might want to navigate elsewhere.
Caveat Two: If the terms “retarded,” “retard,” or “midget” offend, you might want to navigate away.
Oh, who am I kidding, you wouldn’t be reading this if you were wired like that . . . So, last night, an organization that I’m deeply involved in had a little outing. We partnered with the local professional basketball farm team for a night at the game. Since my dad played pro ball once-upon-a-time (back when they still wore tiny, satin shorts), I thought it would be fun to get him, my beloved and the offspring and show our support.
Luckily, two other people decided to do the same thing. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Obviously, this was a professional bloggers night out, right? And since bloggers are notoriously averse to pants and getting off of couches, that would explain the poor attendance, right? Not exactly. This was actually a respectable professional organization, but basically nobody showed up but us.
As we walked into the arena, I was having mild palpitations about some announcer proclaiming it “our night” and expecting there to be mad cheers from our section. I knew there was no way the six of us could generate the kind of volume needed to even begin to save face.
I needn’t have worried. You see, it’s never “your” night at the game. They’re not that stupid. They invited MANY groups to the game. For instance, it was also “Pet Rescue Night.” Five local rescue groups actually had cages full of sad-eyed creatures, each doing their best to appear irresistible. Mostly, they pulled it off.
There was also another group of dogs looking to be rescued. It was apparently Hoochie Night at the ballgame, as well. Their clothes, what little they were, appeared to have been sprayed on. In fact, I’ve seen Mystic tans that didn’t cling so tight to the skin. I’m sure these girls are big basketball fans.
Apparently, it was also Special Needs Night, as an extremely large contingent of severely retarded individuals descended upon the arena and, just to make my night perfect, all sat in our section. Well, I thought, maybe I can get them all to cheer when they call our group’s name? Or maybe I could just pretend to be retarded and cheer when they call THEIR group’s name. Or maybe I just AM retarded and should have stayed home.
I must say, there were quite a few characters in the bunch. And it actually made the game much more enjoyable to see their enthusiasm and humor, especially through their particular lens. But the really odd thing that struck me was how many “normal” people look mildly retarded. Now, you have to understand, the official group were very apparently afflicted. They suffered from physical affects as well as mental. They were not subtle. But then, some average Joe would walk by and I’d be struck by his or her resemblance to my section-mates. Could it be? Are the stupid people of the world actually just mildly retarded?
And watching the typical straight male sports fans go apoplectic on the refs, etc., then comparing that to the model behavior of the special needs gang, I realized that there is a place in this world for the word “retarded,” but not for these special needs kids
By the way, there was only one quasi-midget in the bunch. And I think he was actually with OUR group.