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CRAB Attack Survival Guide

Published: 27 December 2010
It came across a disability support list.

Woman: "People stare at me whenever I go anywhere. I try to ignore them, but I'm embarrassed. Any advice?"

Man: "You are wrong to feel embarrassed.. The people who are looking at you are admiring your courage in adversity. That shouldn't embarrass you - it should make you feel proud and happy that people recognize your bravery. I bet if you speak kindly to any one of them, you'll strike up a conversation during which they will acknowledge your courage."

So, I wondered.. just what good would come of that proposed conversation? And why would anyone with a disability want to put themselves into that position? More importantly, what do we do about those situations?

When a woman with a disability speaks up about the was she feels when treated rudely, a Currently Regarded as Able Bodied (CRAB) person labels her feelings "wrong" and advises her to approach the rude person. That way, the CRAB can use the contact as an opportunity to perpetuate more of the same sad stereotypes we're so tired of battling.

My first instinct on reading it was to try and teach the CRAB some better manners, but then I saw a perfect opportunity to have a little fun.

In the interest of the common sanity of the disabled community, may I present:

CRAB Attack: The Survival Game
CRAB Attack: The Survival Game
The object of the game is to go about your daily business and use any CRAB attack situation to score as many points as possible.

Rules of Engagement
Players can manipulate and exploit all CRAB attack situations to obtain maximum points.

The best way to handle this situation is to play it up. "Yes, you know, you're completely right, I AM brave. Thank you for noticing. Will you buy me a hamburger?" The hamburger can be substituted with any product or service you may need. Score 10 points if they respond - with anything. Score 25 points if they buy you lunch.

See Courage above. Score 10 points for every "you poor thing" or related comment.

Immediately upon detecting the offending starer, begin darting furtively between parked cars, all the while moving closer and closer. Every so often, pretend your watch is a communicator and speak into it. Whatever you do, DO NOT LAUGH - it ruins the entire effect. Score 10 points if you make them run away. Score 25 points if you make it withing five feet of the starer and score 50 points if you make contact in any way.

Intrusive Questions
How did you get that wheelchair? - "t started as a wart on my ass" is effective, but "I stole it from some guy at the grocery store but don't say anytying because it's a lot of fun" works quite well too. Score one point for every second they don't respond.

What happened to you? - This is where you really get a chance to shine. Make it SPECTACULAR.. and as long and as detailed as you possibly can. Score one point for every second you keep them hanging. Score an additional 25 points if they walk away in mid-sentence.

Look quizzically back and move slowly toward them - then pause with recognition, point back at them and scream "MOMMY!! Where have you been?" Score one point for every additional person who stops or turns to look.

Stupid CRAB Comments
Hey, you got a license for that thing? - Respond with "As a matter of fact, I do" and start complaining about beurocracy and the government and anything else that's bugging you that day. Score one point for every minute their eyes stay focussed. Score 25 points if they walk away in mid sentence.

You've won if you make it home without strangling anyone who thinks our being in public is an opportunity to rudely invade our privacy.