Canine watersports.

Last week I bought a fan. This week I bought…

Masking tape! For masking stuff, such as my disappointment. I don’t know if Canadian Tire is my favourite store, but when it comes to non-food-related goods, I shop there the most. The first level only: I don’t see myself ever needing anything they sell on the second level. I go up there occasionally to turn my nose up at their redneck supplies. Among the toys, fishing gear, and poorly assembled bikes, they sell coyote urine in a travel-size mist bottle. Also, they used to stock 3D coyote targets, with half the legs missing (perhaps it’s just a poorly photoshopped product image) but, as the website says, “Unfortunately, this product is no longer available.” I am disappointed!

Maybe, in a quest to make my life more stimulating, I could introduce coyote urine into my life and spray anyone who dares to double-cross me! But while we wait for the chaos to follow, I have some thoughts to share.

I wish I knew Russian.

And Mandarin.

I wish everybody could make a living wage, and have universal health care that includes mental, dental, and vision care. I wish for no more wars, except for thumb wars. I wish every child in the world feels loved and wanted. I wish wishing for social change were enough to make people believe I am a decent human being despite fantasizing about spraying coyote pee on people I don’t like.

Right below the ilk that I would spray coyote piss on are people who say, “Oh, I wish I knew sign language.” How do I respond to that? 

“Thanks. No meaningful action required: I am grateful you thought of it.”

I could buy card stock and print out cards linking to Dr. Bill Vicars’ ASL University.

Wish granted: You can learn how to sign!

Here’s a mock-up.

(I wish I were a graphic designer.)

My yellow hair stops me from being an asshole because I know people are likely to remember me the next time our paths cross. Instead, I politely smile because I don’t want people to be even less motivated to learn sign language than they already are.

I would love for more people to learn sign language. I don’t want them to frame it as being saviors for the signing deaf community, though. I want people to see learning ASL on the same level as any other second language. When I learned some French before moving to Montréal, do you think I did it to help the Québécois?

What would help me as a deaf person is if people started to reframe how they think about accessibility. For instance, would a company upload a video advertisement with garbled and/or missing audio, thinking it’s “good enough”? No? Auto-generated captions aren’t good enough either.

A few years ago, there was some hubbub on Twitter about movie theatres adding more screenings with open/burned-in captions. People who don’t rely on captions to understand a movie did not like this idea. (Oddly, people don’t seem to complain much when it’s a foreign film.) One person tweeted, “Just wait until you can stream it at home. It’s not that big of a deal LMAO.”

I considered responding: “If it’s not that big of a deal to you, and you can’t enjoy a film with onscreen captions, why don’t you wait until you can stream it at home without?”

I didn’t because Twitter isn’t a place where different perspectives can meet and align.

Ooh, don’t you hate it when someone keeps asking your friend questions about you while you’re standing right there? And they ask these questions in a different language, so you don’t know what people are saying about you?

Me too! Why am I expected to be okay about being excluded from a conversation about me in front of me? It happens so often, and it’s so infantilizing.

I wish more people realized how patient I already am. An ex-friend (who long-time readers might remember as Mr. Ayahuasca) once told me that he no longer goes up to people trying to communicate to them in writing. “I just start signing to them as if they could understand me. It’s hilarious to watch them stumble and figure out how to react.” 

Part of me was like, “Yeah, taking the power back!” I have yet to take his advice; however, when I try to communicate with someone in writing/by texting, and the person continues speaking, I will start signing to them. Usually, they fail to connect the dots: “Why are you signing to me? I don’t understand sign language!”

Thus, the card comes out:

On one final curmudgeonly, completely different note: Rain City Tea Co. teas suck. Actual rainwater has more flavour than their teas.

There’s no swirling going on.

It says plastic-free, but the tea bags come in a plastic bag within the paper packaging! The gall.

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