I think I met Rain Man outside my apartment.

This evening after a long hard day at the air-conditioned office high-rise, I was on my way home and decided to stop at the local street meat vendor for some chicken and rice. (Hold the hot sauce, it’s summer for God’s sake!) The rice, vegetables and hot chunks o’chicken are piled into one of thouse round aluminum take-out trays, doused in white sauce and bbq, and shoved into a brown paper bag. The bottom of the bag becomes very hot as you try to carry the tray upright, lest the flimsy plastic top come off and your delicious dinner goes asunder.

So as I’m walking back across the street to my apartment, you can imagine my haste. I wanted to get inside and put the piping hot tray of sidewalk-smoked goodness down and let it cool a bit before digging in while watching some TiVoed Simpsons episode. But before I can enter, this bizarre wiry chap who I’ve never seen before comes walking out of my apartment building courtyard.

“Almost two years exactly since the blackout,” he says.

His head was cocked a little to the side and he had this distant look in his eyes like he didn’t know exactly how to talk to a person.

Is he talking to me? I think to myself, Well, there ain’t nobody else around, so he must be talking to me. Oh, he’s talking about the Big Fucking Blackout from two summers ago.

“Yeah,” I reply.

“And 1977 too,” he says.


“1977. There was also a blackout. July 13th. Right around the same time.”

“Oh yeah,” I mutter, wondering where this is going.

“Same day the Cubs beat the Mets at Shea Stadium.”

“Right, yeah.” I mutter again. (I checked. He was right.)

Then he walked off, across the street.

Well that was weird, I thought to myself, say, my hand is really really hot! Ow! Rain Man made me forget I was holding a plate of piping hot street meat. Damn you, Rain Man!

And so that’s how I met Rain Man.

Curious… very curious. Perhaps you should have asked him exactly were he was during those events. Any more since then? Was he around?

Well, guess what, I live with him.

BTW, autistic people and those of us that love them, just loooooove the term “Rain Man”.

Wow, you’re friedo’s neighbor?

Whoohoo! Offended threadcrap in 3 posts! Score!

Not offended, atleast not by you. Just doing my part to fight ignorance.

Yeah. Fighthing Ignorance… Fighting Ignorance.

Since 1973… Fighting Ignorance.

Of course it’s taking longer than we thought…

Yeah… longer… since 1973… longer…

Autistic? I thought Rain Man was a savant?

Anyhoo, I bet you could catch him at the same time on the same street tomorrow and ask him for a stock market pick.

Huh. It appears the terminology has gone and changed on me.

Autistic savant it is. But I sure wonder why you are offended. I find Autistic savants to be fascinating, and any chance encounters would be met with a willingness to learn more and have patience, then fear them like folks did in days of old. If a movie helped folks garner even a smidgen more respect and understanding, then why is it such a bad thing?

Didn’t I just say I was NOT offended? I was serious! After 13 years of dealing with comments, stares, and flat out insults, by REAL people, in REAL life, why would I be offended by an anonymous entity on a message board?

Just to clear things up about the term:

Savant, is a very rare form of autism. And Rain Man was not depicted as a typical savant anyway.
Autism comes in many forms. That’s why it’s so hard to detect. So the general term of “Rain Man” is not really considered an insult, because the people who use it, are unaware of this. But because of that damn movie, it has been harder to try and educate people on the many different aspects of autism. They have THAT image in there mind, and don’t even consider that autistics are as different as the rest of us.

Now, friedo’s Rain Man, may very well have been a savant. But it’s not obvious. Most autistics have computer type brains.

Oh! did I mention.
I’m Not Offended

One of the Professors in child psychiatry at my university has written a book, in which he “diagnoses” famous people such as Thomas Jefferson, Lewis Carroll, Mozart and Andy Warhol with Asperger’s syndrome.

He makes a point about people with Asperger’s having the single mindedness to see through their unique vision of the world to its ultimate fruition, and how the unique way in which they interpret the world can give people without the disorder a new insight into how they themselves view it.

He has said that if you asked him which of 2 individuals with an IQ of 150 would win a Nobel Prize, he’d answer “the one with Aspergers”.
The book is:
“The Genesis of Artistic Creativity- Asperger’s Syndrome and the Arts”
Michael Fitzgerald

If anyone is interested.