“We should use our lipreading skills for solving crimes.” Emily Howlett’s 5 New New Year’s Resolutions for Deafies

Posted on January 9, 2015

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So, we’ve been in 2015 a little while now. Long enough to have made and broken a whole heap of ridiculous New Year’s Resolutions, making now the perfect time to make our New New Year’s Resolutions. The ones we might actually stick to…

Right, here we go. Top five resolutions for Deafies.

#5 – Only say goodbye when you’re actually going to leave.

For all our struggles, fights and progression, there is still one vital arena in which Deafies just cannot hope to compete with our hearing counterparts; we find it impossible to get the hang of the simple ‘goodbye’.

Well, I say let’s all stand together and say 2015 is the year when we finally do just that. 2015 is the year that somewhere, somehow, a Deafie will turn to another Deafie and say, “I have to go now, take care,” and then LEAVE THE ROOM. This is our Waterloo, people.

I jest, of course.

If that ever actually happened, the sky would fall in, the Earth would implode and humanity would be scattered across the galaxy, with Deafies floating past Mars still signing their farewells. 

#4 – Stop eavesdropping on the unsuspecting hearing folk.

We know we can do it. They worry we can do it. I’m talking about lip-reading passing conversations just because you can. Nobody is safe; the two old ladies at the bus stop talking about their nose hairs? Busted.

The yummy mummies who give off such an aura of calm capability, speaking very quietly so nobody else hears exactly how awful NappyGate has become? Double busted.

Don’t even get me started on teenagers…

We have a great power, Deafies! But with great power comes great responsibility. We must use our lip-reading skills only for good; helping solves crimes by relaying CCTV conversations, eavesdropping on terrorist plots and figuring out what politicians really say about their constituents.

Very good. Very, very good. Sadly, also boring. Forget this resolution; go forth and eavesdrop at will.

Learn what happened on Hollyoaks last week, and why your neighbour’s mother’s cat disappeared in such mysterious circumstances. Deafies are not the heroes Gotham deserves; we’re just having a good time, yo. 

#3 – Stop pretending you don’t know what’s being said.

“Sir, do you realise you have paid for all this with Monopoly money?”

“Sorry?”

“This is Monopoly money. You can’t use it in real life.”

“I can’t quite get what you’re saying?”

“This isn’t real money.”

“Yes, yes, that’s the money. Tat-ta for now.”

Or:

“Madam, you need to get out of the ball pit now.”

“Sorry?”

“You need to get out of the ball pit. It’s for children.”

“I’m sorry, what?”

“Madam, you don’t even have a child with you. You need to get out of the ball pit now.”

“I can’t hear you, sorry. I’ll just stay in the ball pit, out of the way.”

Or even just ‘accidentally’ mishearing people asking you wash the pots, move your feet or walk the dog. All these things. This ongoing selective understanding must stop. I vote we all stand together and stop it… Hmm… Next year. Maybe. 

#2 – Stop playing the Deaf Card.

Do I need to explain this? I mean, we have our very own Limping Chicken ‘deafinition’ right here, and we all know how to use this very special privilege.

Fancy a free cinema ticket? Deaf card (should work). Extra fries with your meal? Deaf card (might work).

A legitimate reason why Benedict Cumberbatch simply has to sign your forehead while he’s in Leicester Square for a premiere? Deaf card (could totally work, don’t crush my dreams, man).

Extra help with support while you’re at work? Deaf card (definitely won’t work). On which note, forget this resolution too. Dammit, we need to keep hold of these Deaf cards. It’s a tough world out there, and it’s only getting tougher. Which leads me onto…

#1 – Stop letting them get away with it.

They. Are. Screwing. With. Us. As they say in many a gangster film. But in the films, the bad guys never win. They screw with the wrong people, and the people rise up against them, and the bad guys end up splattered. Sometimes literally.

There is a lot of bad stuff going on. Support and rights are being pulled out from under the toes of deaf and disabled people every week.

At a governmental level there are some shocking loopholes just not being closed, and some unjustifiable decisions being made. And a lot of people in power are just not making good enough resolutions to change that. So, we have to.

Join campaigns. Make your vote count in May. Educate yourself, and fight for your rights. That sounds like a pretty good resolution to me.

Beats the less chocolate thing, for sure.

Emily Howlett is a Contributing Editor to this site. She is a profoundly Deaf actress, writer and teacher. Emily is co-director of PAD Productions and makes an awful lot of tea. And mess. She now has not one, but four grey eyebrow hairs. C’est la vie. She tweets as @ehowlett

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