Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fun - Through Aspie Eyes

This time, I am posting son 2's Creative Expression. It's a speech he wrote in 8th grade, that completely shocked, stunned, and impressed not only his coach, but a lot of judges.

To me, it's interesting because it belies the myth that Aspies have no sense of humor, that they don't "get" sarcasm and irony, and because it states so realistically his perception of what society deems "fun".

What is fun? Webster says it's the pursuit of something that brings enjoyment. When I asked my coach for topic suggestions and she said, "Oh, just do something fun", nothing leaped immediately into my mind. As I cogitated and pondered on "fun", not only did the word start to sound weird, but it also resulted in the following "Brain Droppings", to quote George Carlin.
Something Fun
For me, the highest form of fun is the videogame. But this isn't true for all, and is somewhat subjective. My mother, for example sees no fun involved. "How can you call it fun to keep repeating the same level umpteen times and getting so frustrated you yell at anything that MOVES?" The fun is in beating the impossible level boss or finding the key to solving the puzzle that lets you progress. Still, not for everyone. Some people, daft though they be, just don't enjoy videogames.
I considered sports. Though the participants seem to enjoy them, I just don't see it. Football is, essentially, running while holding an odd-shaped ball as eleven LARGE men attempt to FALL ON YOU. Fun? I don't think so. Basketball is trying to get an orange ball through a small hoop and while five opposing players try to prevent this. Ostensibly a no-contact sport, but why then, the term, "foul"? Baseball. You whack a small ball (that's done nothing to you) and run around the checkpoint while 9 players attempt to touch you with the ball you whacked. Fun? Not even for the ball. Golf? Well, Mark Twain said it best, "Golf is a good walk spoiled by a little white ball." Clearly, sports are also subjective.
Movies? Almost everyone enjoys movies, though not the same kind. An afficionado of horror films, for example, is not going to be having fun with a tearjerker drama or romantic comedy. Let's explore the genre concept a little closer: Horror films - one watches these to get scared. On purpose. Dramas - are watched when one WANTS to feel sad. Comedies - are generally people poised in the most embarrassing situations possible. (An example on TV is America's Most Painful - er - Funniest Home Videos. Not an episode without someone getting whacked in the crotch. This is fun?) So movies, too, are subjective.
Perhaps we should turn to advertising for our cue, as we do so much in our society. Then again, these are the people who tell us that a candy bar this <---------------------------------> big is "fun size". If that's the size of fun, what must a regular bar be? High Hilarity? And a king - size bar must be "Unbridled Ecstasy".
Generally, I find, if something advertises itself as "fun", or has the word "fun" on the label, then it involves the least amount of actual fun. For example, a can of Silly String has the word "FUN" in big red letters on the can. Yes...push the button and... a mess appears. Whee. Big fun. I can get that much fun by giving my two-year-old little brother Dad's shaving cream. Or just showing him the toilet. He can play for HOURS in there. The water, and swirling fascinate him. He once decorated the bathroom in finger paint art done in his own poop. (But that's next year's speech - "FUN - With Feces".)
Occasionally, "fun" takes an odd turn and runs into "fun-ny". We all like to laugh, but what we find humorous is subjective based on life experience and individual tastes. Some people like to do fun-ny things. I had a friend who had a crush on his dental hygienist. He ate an entire package of Oreos right before his appointments. Then another friend named his dog, "Stay". He found it amusing to watch the dog go back and forth as he said, "Come here, Stay!".
I think it would be fun to put my car key in my house... and have it start. I'd drive down the freeway, and when the cops pulled me over and asked where I live, I'd say, "...right here". Then I'd park on the median and yell at all the other drivers to "GET OUT OF MY DRIVEWAY!!". But the cops and the other drivers might not think that was fun, let alone fun-ny.
To end this speech, some of the thoughts I had that I couldn't make a speech out of on their own.
"When I die, I want to go quietly, in my sleep, like my Grandpa. Not screaming in terror, like the passengers in his car."
"It's a small world, but I wouldn't want to paint it."
"Purple monkeys should not be allowed to fly hot air balloons while singing showtunes medleys!!"
But I digress. In conclusion, "fun" does indeed seem to be subjective. But it can be "fun" to contemplate "fun" until the word "fun" starts to sound "fun-ny".
Well, I'm off to put Slinky's on escalators. Now, that's FUN.


  1. I found your blog through the People of Walmart site. I just wanted to let you know that I absolutely loved your comment. Though I do not have a child with autism, I did once have a 4 year old with daily tantrums who I did have to drag to school because she had a fit that I brought cantelope instead of apples for a fruit salad project! I have learned never to judge a parent for what their child is doing, or for how they deal with it.

  2. LOL, thanks, Emma. Whether our kids have a diagnosis or not, they all have special needs. How silly to assume that what works for one person works for all of them. I love your anecdote, my kids would fit right in with her! :) Thanks again!