Yesterday my son Jules, who’s autistic, opened the London stock exchange. (Now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write!) He was joining forces with an organisation called Purple who are trying to change the conversation around neurodiversity and highlight the disability employment gap.
The Stock Exchange is not my natural habitat. I know nothing about money. I find banking jargon mind-bogglingly obfuscatory. ‘Stagflation’ for example. What on earth is that? Stalking antlered beasts at Balmoral?… And ‘fiscal rectitude’? Surely that can only lead to hemorrhoids. ISAS , TESSAS , PEPS …they all sound like infectious diseases for which you should take an immediate course of antibiotics. Nor can I understand why the tax man is always nagging me while giant corporations like Google, Starbucks and Apple often pay no corporation tax? That’s an equation not even Einstein could fathom.
But Jules took it in his sneakered stride. Here is the little speech he made to the bankers, plus a small video of him opening the day’s trading here. I feel a bit like the interfering, pushy mother in the Gypsy musical, posting this, but I think it might help businesses to open their hearts and their minds to hiring people who are different. Cheers for now, Kathy
THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX by Jules Robertson.
Thank you for inviting me: it’s an honour to be here at the opening of this great stock exchange. I am sure that it will go up rather than down.
I’m an actor in the BBC medical drama called Holby City. What makes me different from other actors is that I’m autistic. Life can be hard for autistic people – we want to work, we need to work, but its really hard to get a job despite the fact that our brains are unique – Einstein, Mozart, Warhol, Steve Jobs – were all on the autistic spectrum – most of us have to live on benefits, in bedsits. Less than 15% of autistic people are in the work force, which is a much lower rate than for other disabilities.
The BBC took a bold step in casting me in Holby – it was the first time that an autistic actor player an autistic character. In the old days, when movies depicted the Rain Man, he was played by Dustin Hoffman. Today, he would be played by an autistic actor. That is an example of how my business, show business, is progressing. With Holby, the BBC took a risk, and it paid off. Could you take the same risk?
Autistic people have amazing talents. Some are very good with figures – like the Rain Man. They have very high IQ’s. They could add value to your business, and a job would help them value themselves. I can’t tell you how liberating it is to be finally earning a wage. Until recently my current account reminded me of all the girls I try to chat up – not showing the slightest interest. So it’s absolutely great to finally be able to tell my money where to go… instead of wondering where it went.
Purple have asked me here today to help you too to think outside the box and hire people who think differently, and who think laterally. So be brave, take a gamble by employing us. You won’t regret it.
In truth there is no such thing as normal and abnormal, just ordinary and extraordinary. And I think you’ll find that autistic people do have the most extraordinary minds. Why don’t you find out?
What do women really want in bed? Breakfast. Oh, and a good book. If you’re looking for a funny, frivolous yet feisty new read, do slip between my covers. Satisfaction guaranteed.
Here’s a selection of scribblings in which I peel down to my emotional underwear – a psychological striptease that occasionally reveals all.
I think women are each other’s human Wonderbras – uplifting, supportive and making each other look bigger and better.
If he wants breakfast, tell him to sleep in the kitchen.
Men think monogamy is something you make dining tables out of.
Many marriages break up for religious reasons – he thinks he’s a god and she doesn’t.
Love prepares you for marriage the way needlepoint prepares you for round-the-world solo yachting.
Boys will be boys, and so will a load of middle-aged boys who should know better.
Ladies who lynch.
No wife ever shot a husband while he was vacuuming.
I think therefore I’m divorced.
All husbands think they’re Gods. If only their wives weren’t atheists.
Happy wife = happy life.
I couldn’t ask for a better husband… as much as I’d bloody well like to.
Statistically, 100% of divorces begin with marriage.
Marriage is nature’s way of promoting masturbation.
Marriage is a fun-packed, frivolous activity – only occasionally resulting in death.
It’ll be an amicable split. You’ll both get 50 % of the acrimony.
A new invention is required. The monogamous husband. Patent Pending.
How Do I Hate Thee? Let me Count the Ways.
My wedding vows didn’t say To Love, Hoover and Obey.
I’m Having my period so can therefore legally kill you.
You are going to enjoy this marriage, even if I have to divorce you to do so.
A happy marriage is like an orgasm – many of them are faked.
All this emphasis on women faking orgasms, but what about men faking foreplay?
Why do men like intelligent women? Because opposites attract.
Why don’t women tell jokes? Because we marry them.
What does a woman really want in bed? Breakfast.
For women, life is full of lies – I mean doctors maintain that wrinkles don’t hurt.
Legal aid cuts prove that the Tories believe a person is innocent until proven destitute.
Sexist men are so stupid it makes you want to take the ‘men’ out of Mensa.
If a man ever tells you that women fall at his feet – it’s only because he gets them drunk first.
A woman must always fight back. Never just lie back and think of Canberra.
The best cure for menopause is the toy boy diet. A case of having Your Beefcake and Eating It Too.
I don’t fake orgasms. I’m faking being six foot one and seven stone.
Trophy wives tarnish quickly and then get left on the shelf.
Lawyers work 24/7. The partners of lawyers suffer from a bad case of subpoena envy.
Most shrinks should book an appointment with themselves.
The question on the minds of most women is – why doesn’t chocolate go straight to your boobs?
Don’t fall for a man’s puppy dog look… Just get him wormed.
It’s been so long since a man has touched me, not even medical science will want my body.
My top tip for keeping your youth? Lock him in the pool house.