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Life Goes On, I Remain A Dick

June 1st, 2011  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  6 Comments

Let’s face it: kids are dicks. I was once a kid, therefore I was a dick. This passes for logic here at DadWagon. I mention this not just because our readers already know this, but more specifically, as the context of a story I want to share.

I played on the soccer team back in high school, which didn’t by definition make me a dick, except in this case it did. You know how before a sporting game the team will gather in a circle and put their hands in the center and shout something together? Well, on our team, for reasons that escape me, we didn’t shout “Team!” or “Win!” or “Fight!” We shouted “Corky!” Corky, of course, being the character with Down Syndrome played by the actor Chris Burke on the 1980s TV show “Life Goes On.” Shouting the name of an actor with a disability because it’s funny? Dick.

Fast-forward to my adulthood, in which I make some attempts not to be a dick. As it happens, the office of my former employer is in the same building as the National Down Syndrome Society, “the national advocate for the value, acceptance, and inclusion of people with Down’s Syndrome.” Not surprisingly, the NDSS employees a number of people with Down Syndrome, whom I would often share an elevator with if we happened to arrive at the same time.

From time to time, I would get on the elevator with a fellow with Down Syndrome who looked an awful lot like Chris Burke. This caused me a few problems. First, it reminded me of a moment in my life that I wasn’t proud of and would rather have forgotten. Second, it forced me to realize that I was still a dick. I think that everyone person I see with Down Syndrome is Corky! What is wrong with me? Bad, bad, bad!

This went on for several years of me seeing this guy and feeling bad and still thinking he looks like Corky and feeling worse. Eventually, I got into a conversation with the receptionist at my office, who like all receptionists worldwide, knew everything about everything (and because it was Harper’s, also happened to be a talented film director). Somehow the conversation turned to the NDSS, and I tell him what I dick I am because I think everyone with Down Syndrome looks like Corky. He looked puzzled and said, “Don’t you know? Corky, or the guy who played Corky, works for the NDSS.”

Yes, indeed, he does. As a Goodwill Ambassador. So I should feel better, right? Corky was Corky, so I’m not a dick. Nah. Still a dick.


  1. Clara says:

    June 1st, 2011at 8:02 pm(#)

    ack. Sorry to say this is so dissapointing Ted, what is the point of contributing to the ridiculing of people with downs syndrome?? I mean I appreciate your honesty, and maybe Im oversensitive, but the picture with “I lav oouu”, geez. I always just wonder if people would be so flippant if their lives were directly impacted by something like down syndrome…i mean ok, you are a blogger and supposed to talk about all those things that in the 90s we would have said was “un pc”, but it is kinda like people saying that Israel and the prime minister are a disgrace and nothing but trouble and an obstacle to world peace and in the same breath insisting that of COURSE the same commentators are not anti semitic, it just so happens that the jews run the world! But the anti semitic undertones are there. In this case, yea all people with downs look the same, (all blacks look same?), etc etc, ok ok, but to what end are you writing this? What energy are you contributing to?

    nevermind the blog post which I dont really understand the point of, but the picture is just shameful. Sorry have to say it like I see it.

  2. dadwagon says:

    June 1st, 2011at 11:18 pm(#)

    Claire–fair enough about the image, which was, I suppose, rather thoughtless. As for the rest, well, I don’t want to defend or walk away from what I wrote–it should stand on its own, or fall, whatever the case may be. But the picture–bad call. –Theodore.

  3. Surfer Jay says:

    June 2nd, 2011at 3:15 am(#)

    I concur. Still a shlong. See, if you were to come up to me and say, ‘Hah! You look like Jay! Oh man!’. With an accusatory tone, I may very well feel insulted, even inspite of being Jay. But if you said to me, ‘Hey you like Jay.’ I would say, ‘Well hey, what do you know I am Jay.’ And I would be glad that someone actually recognized me. So it’s all in the execution.

  4. Holmes says:

    June 2nd, 2011at 9:25 am(#)

    This probably makes me a dick, but the image of a kids’ baseball team standing in their team huddle yelling “Cor-ky! Cor-ky!” strikes me as pretty funny.

  5. dadwagon says:

    June 2nd, 2011at 9:50 am(#)

    @Jay–don’t know how much I like the proximity of “accusatory” and “schlong.” Makes me feel inadequate.
    @holmes: wouldn’t it be funnier though if we had just shouted “Schlong!” Or how about “Weiner!” –theodore.


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