Wednesday, January 7, 2009

lost in translation

Youngest and I were coming out of a grocery store a week ago when a man approached us. He was holding a laminated card that said something along the lines of "I'm deaf. Give cash."

I don't know what exactly the money was for. Was it to increase education among the general public about the daily-life hurdles deaf folks face? Was it a donation to help fund a job training resource center for the hearing impaired? Was it just for him because he doesn't have regular employment? I have no clue. But who's going to be the asshole who doesn't give money to a deaf guy in a parking lot? Of course I handed over a bill.

He then gave me a small green leaflet with line drawings of 20 or so common American Sign Language signs. He also made some sign to me which I assumed meant "thank you."

Youngest glanced over the leaflet. "Hey mom," he started, "I found that sign he made to you. It doesn't mean thank you."

"Oh? What does it mean?"

"It means 'Sucka!' "

I wanted to "sign" something special to Youngest. But didn't. Cause I'm a good mom that way : )


ShallowGal said...

I'm the asshole who doesn't give the deaf guy money. I scream "use your words" and walk away.

xoxo, A

Whitenoise said...

My sister is deaf, we're on to the scam. Good sense of humour on your lad... ;-)

countrymouse said...

Amy, I don't even care what I write any more. I just pound out any old thing that comes into my head, just HOPING that you'll leave a comment because you're comments are so freaking *funny* : )

I didn't know about your sister, Captain. Have you not mentioned her on your blog or was I just absent from class that day? Does this mean you're fluent in sign language? Are your wife and kids? Very interesting!

Whitenoise said...

No, not fluent. We don't actually see much of her- she has other issues and our contact is primarily by email. But- they have their own world- deaf people, they're big on "deaf culture" and are more than capable of holding down many jobs.