Those of you that haven't seen Episode 6 of the NBC show Growing Up Fisher are missing out on a comical experience. The show goes total West Coast in its approach and the normally conservative Mel is persuaded to try some new things. Now, I call these blogs, "Growing Up Fisher is More Like Growing Up Scheidies," but this episode takes a detour from this association but still has some teaching moments.
Unlike Mel, I have never tried pot nor do I want to try pot but it is quite ironic that whenever there is a trace of mention that marijuana has positive benefits, all the pot smokers come out of the woodwork and proclaim it as the cure all drug. Pot is used for some that have glaucoma but it does not cure it and it will not miraculously restore sight as many Pacific North-Westerners may proclaim. As you will see in this episode, the pot does not have beneficial effects on Mel. In fact, in his stoned state of mind he discovers orange juice for the first time and gets lost in his house not remembering if he is upstairs or downstairs. I would highly recommend watching this episode for some great laughs.
The Curious Principal: Strangely enough the principal of the high school, Principal Sloan, moves right next door to Mel. While Mel was on his mission to find out who's pot he found at his apartment, he is in the car with the principal and is introduce to the West Coast mentality. Living in "liberal-land", I can totally see this being based on a real experience. In speaking with Principal Sloan about his experiences with pot, the principal reveals that it is his belief that he should experience for himself all drugs that students at his school may be using. He reasons that he feels as though he should understand how it makes them feel and why they do it so he knows where they are coming from. This sounds a little ridiculous but to be honest I bet you there are a lot of West Coast teachers and principals that also share this belief. Its probably just a way to validate their drug addictions but it made me feel right at home as this "free minded" approach is the norm up her in Seattle, WA.
Guide Dogs Are Pot Detectors: Guide dogs are multi talented creatures that can help out in so many ways. It is well known that they help lead the blind/VI individual to where they need to go safely but did you know they are great pot detectors? In this episode, Elvis leads Mel right to the "stash". He later leads Joyce to the pot which was conveniently hidden in the potholder in the kitchen. He gets very excited about discovering the pot. I'm not sure how dogs react when they eat ppot but I wouldn't want to try it. Keep your dog away from chocolate and make sure your pot isn't lying around either. :)
Surprise Undie Party: The ending of this episode was classic. It was Henry's birthday and Joyce had planned a surprise party. While Mel went upstairs to get Henry to come down to the basement, he used the old, "Hey Henry can you come down and help me with this blown fuse?" Henry was willing to help, knowing his dad may need assistance finding the box. Henry got out of bed still in his whitie tighties and headed downstairs. Mel, never knew that Henry was in his undies so when he flipped the light switch on, Henry showed off his pre pubescent little boys body to all his friends who were there to surprise him. This is totally the type of thing that happens on occasion as blind/VI individuals and no matter how embarrassing it may be, you have to be able to look back and crack up at it.
The Blind Card: The blind card is not one that you want to play all the time but it does come in handy at some points . Mel doesn't complain about being blind but he does admit some of its good sides. After Mel offers to help Principal Sloan move in to his new apartment, the principal quickly says, "there is no need for that." Mel, then says, "All in all, being blind is great, you get out of everything, airport runs, charades, …. "
Later in the show as Mel is getting "high as a kite" in the front driveway (not the smartest idea I may add), he is confronted by two police officers who are ready to arrest him until they see Elvis come out from behind Mel. They quickly change their demeanor and are totally all right with Mel continuing to "toke up" for the neighbors to see. Mel argues with the cops to arrest him but they aren't having any part of that. Mel didn't play the blind card in this incident but he was given the blind card.
As mentioned above, the blind card is not one that we want to use very often as we don't want people in society to portray us as needing assistance with everything. There are however a few times when it is all right to use it. One time when its all right to use the blind card is when you are in a situation where you are given a task but there is no accessible way to complete it. Most often this happens when you may need to do something unexpectedly or in a quick manner. Some of these things include; being given a map to find directions (without phone or other devices), being handed a document to read and sign, building a shelving unit with only the written directions to work from, etc. In these instances, I will pull out the blind card and ask for assistance. This is very reasonable and many would say not really a use of the blind card.
Second, the blind card can be used on occasion to expedite processes or get out of sticky situations. I use the blind card at the airport all the time. I could probably randomly go from one person to another asking how to get to security and then how to get to my gait or I could arrive 75 minutes before my flight leaves and get an escort through security and to my gait. Saves me a ton of time and sometimes you just gotta take it when its there. Sometimes when I used to ride my bike on my own (and I shouldn't have been), I would blow through stop signs or lights. Whenever questioned about it, I would just politely tell them, "Oh sorry, I'm legally blind I didn't see it." From that point on there was no more questioning. I went on my way blowing more lights and more signs, some of which I knew about and some of which I didn't. Never got a ticket biking on my own. Should I have? Absolutely, but the blind card helped me out on that one just like it helped Mel with his pot roast out in the front driveway.