Like Iggy Says, ‘All Aboard for Funtime’
I’ve been a moderator at MS News Today Forums for a while. One of my jobs, besides rejecting the interminable bots that try to become members, is to promote interaction.
This is the hard part. The bots are amazingly easy — they are so far away from getting near the Turing Test that even the Connor Test is too much for them!
A year and a half ago, I initiated a “Let’s Have Some Fun!” category in the forums. We can’t escape the limitations MS imposes on our bodies, but many of us can escape with our minds. Apologies to those from whom MS has taken even that away.
Reading can be difficult, and MS recently screwed with my vision. So, I’ve gone back to using my five-year-old glasses! For some, watching TV is difficult, too. But there’s radio, and now, the joy of podcasts. Even I was involved in one of those during the last gasps of my showbiz career.
When I first had MS, in an exercise group I met an artist who’d entirely lost the use of her painting hand and arm. So, she taught herself to paint with her other hand. We humans can be quite indomitable.
That which can’t be named also has forced many of us into continuous shelter, a self-imposed form of house arrest. I’m not sorry that this has conveniently coincided with the explosion of streaming services. Recently, Apple TV+ and Disney+ launched with even the same math sign! This adds to Netflix and Amazon Prime. There’s a plethora of others, even here in the U.K. It’s a global market for a global village.
As a kid in the ’60s, I started reading Marvel comics. There must have been many others like me, or my local news agents — which were a kid’s mecca rammed full of comics and sweets — wouldn’t have kept stocking them. But none of my friends ever did.
The comics must have been imported because of the jealousy I felt from all the ads in the back of each issue. The ads announced all sorts of Saturday morning Marvel cartoons on TV in the U.S. We had nothing like that back then in the U.K., so we trooped off to the cinema every Saturday morning to watch old black-and-white Flash Gordon serials. For us, those were still exotic! Man, I was envious.
Today, I confess to currently having all of the main streamers; I used to work in TV, and now I bathe in its rays. Hey, I no longer harbor envy.
So far, there’s only been one reply from an MS forum member about rediscovering his joy for whittling, which is something I found beyond me, even when I was able-bodied. But it’s exactly the sort of thing I wanted to celebrate.
Why am I spotlighting my abject failure in my column? Well, I still think it’s a valid idea to talk about what we do for fun. And I’d dearly like you to jot down, in the comments below, something you enjoy.
I’d also like your permission to transpose them to the MS forums in the hope that it might stir something up.
Dealing with a disease like MS is self-absorbing. I’m more than aware of continually bringing up its minutiae. I used to do this with showbiz — hey-ho! At lease Jane, my wife and now carer, finds my MS more tolerable.
Jane: “It’s understandable. If you keep repeating yourself, I might look like I’m listening, but I just go to my happy place.”
Regarding last week’s column and the travails of my wheelchair, it was the controller, not the battery, that was causing problems. After eight uncomfortably limited days, I’m back, baby!
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