April Fool’s Day. One of my favourite times of the year.
“What’s the matter, did you forget your name?”, is one of my non-favourite comments that I frequently received as a kid whenever I blocked on saying my name.
I’ve always hated being asked this stupid and ignorant question and thus, dreaded being asked to say my name each and every time in fear of going through this humiliating scenario yet another time.
Combine that with April’s Fool’s Day and you have a potentially fun way to educate.
Ok, maybe it is not prudent to actually do this gag in real life as people in general are good and just don’t know what stuttering is when they see or hear it. While the idea makes for a funny gag in a comic strip, I can imagine it can lead to a well-meaning fluenter feeling shamed (note that I wrote “well-meaning” and not “jerk”). And that’s not the message I want to convey. Shaming people into accommodating only builds resentment and fear. Do we really want people to avoid us even more? I don‘t think so.
Notice how I also drew Franky Banky being good-natured about the situation at the end – that’s where I am at in my stuttering journey. While it has been decades since I’ve been asked if I had forgotten my name, if the situation were to come up today, I’m sure I’d still be annoyed and insulted but I would simply smile and say “No, I speak with a stutter”. Their awkward “Oh! Uh, Sorry!” reply would be enough for me to know that I’ve done my awareness job.
If being asked if you forgot your name would definitely not be something you can see or feel positive about, that’s ok, too. Your feelings are valid and you can educate and spread awareness the way you want to.
March 30, 2023