Madame Guttersnipe Speaks

Deacon's Note: While I have not to this point invited guests to post in this blog, Mdme. G is a good friend. She is also a valuable resource when I have a question about people who live with disabilities. You'll see her occasionally as a pseudo-fictional character in posts, but this time I've invited her to speak her mind, and the result is humorously zippy!
Madame Guttersnipe (yes, I am a real person) has another major pet peeve about passengers on the bus. It seems there are riders who leave their manners behind when they board. That's assuming they had manners to begin with. 

Now it's true, I do have multiple disabilities. I'm almost totally blind and wear a patch over one eye. I am severely hard of hearing and use hearing aids. I have mobility/orthopedic disabilities, and use a long white (blind) cane, a half-crutch for stability, and leg braces. Lots of stuff adorns me.
Some people think it's okay to ask me about all this crap. Children, yes; I warmly educate them. The eye patch usually catches their interest, and I tell them about how wonderful “lady pirates” are. Notice they aren't asking about my vision or what's “wrong” with me, just about my stuff.
I am always surprised by adults, however. Total strangers feel that they have the right to ask and know my personal body issues. Once in a while, someone will ask, but tack on about someone they know who is/has similar stuff. Their tone is quite different. The others though, ooze with condescension and inappropriate desire for gory details; hence my label "crip porn".
They'll ask:
How did you lose your hearing?”

(or) “How did you lose your sight?”

(and) “What are those for?” As they point to my leg braces.

Hello? I feel like “crip porn”! Manners, anyone?

Let me tell you some of my responses. Depending on my mood and the other person, there's a range:

"Excuse me, but I'll ask you something instead: How did you lose your manners?”

"Why do you think you have the right to my personal information?”

"Why do you want to know? Oh, just curious? Nunna yer beeswax.”

"I left my hearing/vision (choose from list):
  1. "At the laundromat, like the missing socks syndrome.
  2. At a restaurant, I put it down on a table and forgot to grab it.
  3. In my grocery cart, and it must have fallen through the bars. 

  4. Washing it in a restroom and forgot to take it with me.
  5. On a TriMet bus.

  6. I had a home invasion and it was stolen.” (This leads to a very long and very tall tale.)

Then: In all cases: “I called back, or lost and found, and no one had turned it in.”
For my leg braces, had this one last week from a questionable and rude young man.

"What are those for?”

"What 'those'?” I replied.

"Those 'things' on your legs?”
"Oh, they're to keep me from kicking stupid people with no manners, such as yourself.”

Here's a fave that covers two issues at once: “I kept kicking people who were inappropriately using the disability and elders' seats, and the judge makes me wear these for YOUR safety.”

But my all-time favorite? I have to be in high snark level to do this one, but it's great fun. This one is best on a crowded bus for the audience-value.

"How'd you lose your vision?” asks a crip porn collector, AKA person with no manners, and always a woman.
I reply in a VERY loud voice. “You asked how I lost my vision? Well, you know that old wives' tale about too much masturbation? It's true. I even have to shave my palms every day. Wanna see?”
At this point the inquisitor is beet red and trying to hide. The rest of the riders are cracking up, commending me, and have a great dinner-table story. I've had strangers tell me much later they had been present during one of those and how much fun they had sharing the story with friends. 
So, passengers (and operators), Madame Guttersnipe is real, she wants to sit in the 'Honored' area, and can be wonderfully friendly or really nasty, depending on everyone else.

See you on the bus!


  1. Thank you, Madame Guttersnipe. That was awesome. You made my night. Thanks, Deacon, for allowing her to post here.

  2. Thank you Madame G. I feel very fortune that I, at times, get to hear about them in real time. Deacon, keep at the good work friend..... Flying Cat!

  3. EXCELLENT Madame G. You are always welcome on by bus.

  4. Awesome read! Thank you very much Madame G! Apparently, manners, along with common sense, are lovely flowers that clearly don't grow in everyone's gardens.