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Stutter, stutter...

Updated: Feb 4, 2022

It's wonderful how so many TV journalists with stutters have achieved such success. You'd never know it until that day when the stutter shows up and wins, leaving your guests and viewers with jaws agape, feeling uncomfortable. I once played a word-game/drinking-game with a group where I was the new guy. One of the friends had a stutter and as the word came around the circle, you had to repeat once and say a new word. Unbeknownst to me, I sat next to the guy with the stutter. I'm competitive and so was his stutter and we both (me and the stutter) were determined to win that night.

I enthusiastically pointed out that he did not smoothly transition the word-baton and handed him his drink. This was beginner's luck. First time playing, first round, and I celebrated being the first to knock someone out of the game. As I climbed down off my high horse, I was surrounded by long faces. He tried to explain himself but could not gather himself to speak so, I took this silent moment to explain how he had lost by acting-out his stutter, "No! You said d-d-d-d..." The game quickly ended. People scattered from the circle to find different positions, like it was third-down and long with :38 seconds on the clock.

He was pissed, thinking that I was being insensitive. I'm pissed because he is a sore loser only to learn moments later about his impediment. If you have a speech impediment, you may be able to most things, News Anchor included but, I would think that a drinking word-play game may not be on the list of things to try. I mean, how much do you expect your speech to improve when you are drinking? Maybe you are that person that gets drunk, and your metamorphosis is neurological, then okay.

So, was it embarrassing? Was I uncomfortable? Slightly, but it was worth it for this story.

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