No History


Here’s a fun thing that happened when exploring the medical model of disability via the baby exercise (taught to me by linda Laurie and Ann Macfarlane) with a crowd of amused disabled people.

Chloe is born an actor in a new hospital. The parents gaze down upon her miserable with misfortune. Siblings cry that it happened to them. Brothers and Sisters remain struck dumb by the shame of it all. The medical team rush in. They tried to tell them not to let another actor on the planet. What qualityof life could it possibly expect from here on in. Perhaps if it continues to look so tragic they can go to the law courts and ask to let the poor blighter die.

The immediate minutes after the birth turn into hours. things are’t much better for the poor parents though some other family members are trying there hand at sympathy. There there. Its such a shame. We’re very sorry to hear your news. But we think you are so brave for keeping Chloe. We couldn’t do it ourselves. These bold adventures in speech however prove to be no comfort to the grieving parents and it isn’t long before the repercussions start. It must be on your side. Your uncle Tom was never all that. And besides there’s no history of show business in our family.

Suddenly, stage left, men in white uniforms, women in blue ones, Doctor’s Consultants and Nurses; a midwife, health visitor and social worker rush into the room. Followed steathily by a pastor (different coloured outfit, normally black). We would like to take control now. We would like our say. This actor business is no good for anyone. We should place the dahling into an isolation room. Stick it over there. Look at it. Poke it. Prod it. Call it names. Amateur. Professional. Luvvie. Luv A Duck, it’s a Luvvie. Eastender.

Now that we’re here and now that you’ve had it Mr and Mrs Chloe Parents you had better start listening to us. Actors are not very well thought of in our society. They are doomed to hours without work, ponching off the state. They tend to be useless. Not very good at all and far from normal. In the circumstances there are things we can do. We can give you tablets. Experiment, do a little test here and there but you should know at this stage there is no known cure for actors and no known cause either. Which makes things very difficult for us. But if we can’t identify the gene the least we can do is offer you an institution. There’s a nice one 237 miles away from your house. It has had some success. Cold showers and beatings might keep the desire to perform at bay. As for you we recognise the birth of an actor is like a bereavement so we could give you counselling. Six weeks should be enough to make you feel doubly bad about yourselves.

But in the end…… you know ….. this is really Cloe’s problem and she’ll just have to deal with it the best she can.

From Dave Lupton Cartoons
From Dave Lupton Cartoons

With thanks to Marcia Nelson Martin, Annlyn Barnard and Sally Curran for their inspiration here.

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