Autism Spectrum Australia

Clash of the conversations

  • Posted: 29/05/2014
  • Author: Thomas Kuzma
  • Comments: Loading.. .

Hello everyone, welcome back to Aspire. I hope you all are enjoying this week. I relaxed, recuperating from meeting celebrities. I was less active than a sloth on sleeping pills except when I played Munchkin with my brothers.

Munchkin is a game of back-stabbery, filled with puns. You can fight the dreaded ‘Gazebo’ alone with your ‘Really Impressive Title’ or wield the ‘Muskrat Musket’ in a pit to the death with ‘Moby Duck’! The game’s true potential lies within the fine print. Each card has specific commands and if read correctly, you can avoid certain doom! Many times we can end up frustrated, Ben.

Frustration is difficult to picture though isn’t it? What does it look like? Is it in the shape of a sea of ‘NO’s? Or does it look like Clayton from Tarzan? (GO-REE-LUHZ) When we look at things, frustration and communication go hand in hand. We live in a day where having a conversation might involve technology, political correctness and/or a large variety of body language and hidden meanings. So when it comes to the verbal dance known as communication, we on the spectrum need to know that conversation can vary. From person to person, whether they are young or old, if they are a neighbour or from a different country, everyone has a different way of communicating. Let’s just make sure our shoes are tied, and not our tongues.

A Professional Opinion

As I traversed through the thousands of salsa dancing communicators of today, I came across the amazingly funny, spell binding author and chilled out host of ‘The Great Outdoors’ and ‘World’s Funniest Ads’, Andrew Daddo.

“What’s always funny and sometimes not funny about communication is when someone tells a joke they think is hilarious and the other guy completely misses it. That happens a lot with language barriers. I was in Mexico for ‘The Great Outdoors’ and we were given a really special Golden Sambucca (an alcohol) in a shot glass. Now I thought like anywhere else in the world you go “cheers!” and scull it. So we all go cheers and I scull mine, only to see everyone else sipping theirs. They looked at me like I was an animal or an alcoholic! So sometimes with communication, especially across cultural boundaries, everyone gets things wrong. That’s nobody’s fault; it’s just a funny mistake.

Now, everyone has problems with talking, but for those trying to be confident I think it’s all about respect. Respect is really important. Let’s say I am really good at maths, and you aren’t. You come up to me and ask “how do I do multiplication?”, by me explaining it to you in matters you can understand, you don’t lose face, you still understand something and you don’t feel like an idiot.

One of the main things I notice around the world is the relationship kids have with their parents. Everyone treats their children the same way, affectionately and lovingly. They cuddle their babies, protect their young and in that sense we are all really the same. We all ideally love our children. In terms of difference, the Japanese work on that respect level. For instance bowing is a sign of respect and how much they bow is how much they respect their peers.  Us Aussies seem to be hand shakers and the Americans like to hug each other.

When I write my first goal is to entertain my audience.  I want to keep them reading and I want to keep them interested.  Then if there is a deeper level, it’ll be about loving mum and dad or about not always having to be right. Families are always important in my stories. Something else that is important in my stories is that there are consequences to all actions. So I try to write funny stories but I also write these messages in too. For instance if someone does the wrong thing, they eventually get caught out or pay for what they have done in some way. I make sure my stories are mildly realistic.”

My Two Cents

So what are my takes on communication and frustration? Well some of my favourite characters embody frustration. There is the Disney Tarzan villain Clayton, Dr Becker and let’s face it R2D2 and C3P0 have had their arguments. I of course have had my own frustrations with communication, including the following story.

So I was out to dinner with a good friend Amanda, having Thai at the best place in Darling Harbour. Chowing down to our meals, in the best manner of course, I noticed how stunning Amanda looked. Now Amanda knew about my Aspergers, so she was more lenient than others about my condition while still poking fun at me when I screwed up. On that perfect spring sunset, I told her how hot she looked and how great it was to be in her presence. I went on to say how when things are hot they expand. Hearing this, Amanda shouted mockingly, “ARE YOU CALLING ME FAT?!” thus began an hour of me trying to recover the ass from my Aspergers. After much pleading and playful taunting, which included an old Asian man laughing his head off in the distance, she playfully hugged me and said things are alright. She does mention it whenever we hang out with my friends though.

In Conclusion

You know, with the number of times my foot has been in my mouth, you would think my head was a shoe. But everyone does it; it’s just a matter of finding the funniness in the matter. We realise how incredibly stupid it is for a chicken to cross the road, so we question its motives. Everybody slips up in communication; it’s just learning how to handle it. We need to brush it off like a bug or a feather. Otherwise we hold it all in, making it become infected and snap harder than Homer Simpson when someone steals his donuts.

Now don't forget, Drawtism is on next month! so make sure you are getting ready for a drawmatic june.

Now as Andrew Daddo put it, when communication goes awry, it’s no one’s fault, it’s just a funny mistake. I understand there are those however whose patience is lower than a limbo stick in Jamaica. For them I understand there are no intentions behind getting angry sometimes. To quote Becker:

Dr. John Becker: I have strong opinions. Yeah, I admit that. I have likes, I have dislikes, but none of them are racially motivated! Everything I say is motivated purely by stupidity!

Till next week folks, make sure you relax, and don’t get upset if the dice don’t roll your way! (last week’s riddle.)

I am made from those who have fallen

My insides tattooed for something I’m storing

I teach and I entertain but most of all

I can show you things like boats or nepal

What am I?

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Clash of the conversations