Sometimes I play the hand card.
For instance, if I’m lying on the couch watching football and my wife asks me to help with something, I might mumble, “Sorry, I only have one hand.”
Or if a friend asks if I can drive them to the airport I might look at them, point at my arm, then say, “Can’t.”
Basically, if you ask me to do something I don’t want to do…sorry, one hand.
Hopefully it’s obvious to you that in these instances I’m joking. It’s a cheap joke, for sure, and it gets old (based on the looks and sighs I get from my wife), but it’s still funny to me. And sometimes it even results in unexpected benefits! One time at work, for example, I moved desks to where there was a much larger monitor than nearly everyone else had. My supervisor came by and said she’d need to swap it out for a regular one because they only had so many of them. I begged and pleaded with her to let me keep it, but she was steadfast. That’s when I jokingly pulled out the hand card. “Listen, Michelle,” I said, feigning seriousness. “I’ve been here a long time and you know I don’t ask for much. But, c’mon…I have one hand. Let me keep the monitor.” “Oh, for crying out loud…just keep it, ya weirdo,” she said.
And I did.
Because THAT is how to successfully play the card. Throw it out there as a joke and see what happens.
You might be thinking, “Ryan, that’s not really fair. You can’t ask to be treated the same as everyone else and then play the hand card to get out of things.” Now, if I actually used it to get out of things, I’d totally agree with you. The fact that I’m joking 99.9% of the time means I can do it whenever I want because…I have one hand. See what I did there?
Now, not to get too serious, but, I want to be clear: I’m not talking about the very real challenges minorities face on a daily basis. And yes, I’m including amputees as minorities because we are in the minority. We get stared at, excluded, and made fun of, too. Though the oppression experienced by amputees is different and usually less overt than others encounter, it has and still does exist. This is another post in and of itself, methinks.
In reality, I never use my hand as an excuse. Never would. That’s why the joke is funny. It’s absurd. Not that I needed to explain that to you. Nevertheless, the next time you’re holding 37 bags of groceries in both hands and you ask if I can get the door…