Shit people say to service dog handlers (with TBI)

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I have a huge fondness for snark. Huge. And snarkily. I’m not a fan of being sarcastic to people just to prove I’m funny or in charge like saying, “Wow, your boyfriend has terrible taste in women! Just kidding!” or “You’re so crazy. You’re fired!” I get that crap. Those are literally some sarcastic gems I’ve gotten. I never figured out what the first one was other than just microaggression. The second one? Supposed to be brain injury humor. But telling me I’m fired from my volunteer position because I’m being silly in a volunteers’ meeting is mean spirited. (Note: silly is not crazy, and you shouldn’t joke about firing me if I were mentally ill.) How can you tell if what you said is mean spirited? Lots of times you’re laughing, and the person you just spoke to isn’t. Or they’re laughing but looking like they’re about to puke or cry.

So why do I love snark but not sarcasm? In my community, snark is used for venting and directing your rage at injustice to a safe place. Snark, the way we use it, is about the person without power in a situation using a sarcastic tone to express dismay. Like, “Wow, thanks for telling me that your show’s at an inaccessible venue, but you don’t care because you don’t think disabled people would come anyway. Thanks for thinking of us! Not.”

You can find lots of fabulous snark in the many Shit People Say videos gracing the YouTube-iverse. I posted one you can watch and read about on this blog related to marginalized students requesting straightforward access in college and university settings. By straightforward, I mean the kind that the law says you should automatically get by showing up. But still, people have to ask, beg, demand, and often still do without.

Today I give you a beautifully snark-filled “Shit people say to service dog handlers.” It’s brought to you by the Service Dog Vlog Channel on YouTube. I especially love it because it’s made by someone who’s had TBI. And she just nails it: pity, unreasonable curiosity, denial. Yes, other people denying to your face that you’ve had a TBI. Blows my mind, but in the not good way.

Please watch, enjoy, curb your use of some of this stuff if you find that you use what she says. Also, and I love this, the Service Dog Vlog Channel has recently begun adding REAL Closed Captions to their films so you don’t have to rely on the nearly completely unreliable automated captions. Go disability access. Go team!