Episode 5 of Growing Up Fisher demonstrated Mel committing the ultimate no-no, hiring in family to work at your business. Hiring family never turns out good in the end and Mel found this out first-hand. When ex-wife Joyce was looking for a job, Mel offered to help her with her resume. This was all fine and dandy until his partner at the firm got the idea it would be a good idea to hire Joyce. Those of you that watch the show know that Joyce is not the smartest tool in the shed. Although her intentions are good, she is a tad bit overbearing, in addition to continuing to live in her teenage years vicariously through her teenage daughter. If you love to see a typical, "can't stand your co-worker" depiction, you will definitely want to see the back and forth banter that goes on between Joyce and Janice in his episode. Check it out on NBC.com. Now, here are some of my favorite parts from the episode and a little truth about life as a blind/VI individual.
Joyce vs Janice : Let's make this clear, Joyce and Janice don't like each other. Well, actually Janice doesn't like Joyce and Joyce is too oblivious to realize this. A few of their run ins were classic including when Joyce replaces Janice's popcorn with snow peas and calls the snow peas "nature's chip." Janice about bites Joyce's arm off right there. In another great moment, Joyce wants to take down all of the horse paintings that Janice had picked out, in particular the one in the bathroom that had eyes that followed her around. Freaked out by the scary horse, Joyce reports that she must go across the street to the bank whenever she needs to pee. The final straw is broken when Joyce begins making nicknames for Janice and went a little too far. As she walked over to Janice's desk she begins spiting off nicknames, Janice, Jan Jan, Jan-atalia. I think that's all I need to say about these two's interactions.
Joyce Nearly Burns Down the Office: In one of her "genius" moments , Joyce puts the spoon in the microwave and nearly burns down the office. She is such a great multi-tasker as she is vacuuming while also spraying the microwave with the fire extinguisher. What makes this part great is the guide dog Elvis who does what all dogs do when they encounter the scary monster that is the vacuum cleaner, bark like its your worst enemy attacking you. Did anyone else's dog begin barking at Elvis's barking while watching this episode or was this just my dog?
Use it or Lose It: We all have heard of the phrase "use it or lose it" as it pertains to our talents and abilities,. The fact is that this applies to our senses as well. When we don't use one of our senses, it atrophies like a muscle from disuse. When we use one sense more than others, it hypertrophies similar to a muscle when stressed. The issue is that in our society where it seems the only dimension is the visual one, people are amazed when someone actually uses their other sense to get the same result.
In this episode, Mel displays this perfectly as he walks out of the mall with his kids and they question him on whether he knows where he is at. It is assumed that he doesn't because he can't "see" where he is at but he proves his kids and any other doubters wrong when he then becomes the mall directory and has a line of people wanting help navigating. Mel knows where Abercrombie & Fitch is by the huge base coming from it (I am sure he could also smell it from miles away from all the cologne they spray in there). He knew exactly where one shopper needed to go before asking as he smelled the dirty diaper the child was wearing. He also knew exactly where Victoria Secret was as well. This one doesn't surprise me and he may have used a special 6th sense to know where it was at but you get my point.
The fact is that we can get nearly all the same information from our other senses as we do from our vision if we just worked them a little harder. But because we don't work them very hard, they tend to not be as keen. Blind people on the other hand don't work their visual system as much but instead stress their other senses like hearing, smell, memory and taste. Next time you are in a safe spot, close your eyes and think about taking in the entire surrounding by using each one of your other senses. You will discover that you can gather quite a bit of information for doing this. If you were forced to use this method to learn your surroundings you would become very good at it and it would become second nature just like your vision is second nature.