Monday, December 27, 2010

I'll let you in on a little secret...

Tonight on ABC3 (kind of like PBS for tweens) here in Australia, a new game show went to air. It's called What Do You Know?

For the uninitiated, it is a fast, fun, quiz show that pits Australia's greatest teen know-it-alls against each other for nothing but the sheer joy of winning the series. No prizes (well, a couple right at the end of the series), just glory.

You may have picked up from reading this blog, that I am a bit of a know it all myself. And if you think I'm like that now, you should have seen me in my school days. I tried really hard not to be a pain in the bum, but I just didn't like letting 'dumb' go through to the keeper. So, I often stuck my hand in the air and shared my thoughts.

Cos, I don't want to shock you, but there's a hell of a lot of dumb out there. I'd like to apologise, well after the fact, to all my peers, because I really must have been tedious.

Anyhoo, flash forward to now and I get to write for a living, and throw the odd idea around. One of those ideas came from a combination of my past and my son's potential future.

If you've met Billy, then you've likely had a conversation about one of two things - Thomas the Tank Engine (and his 68 odd vehicular friends, and the plots and dialogue of each and every episode or movie ever written) or animals. And when I say animals I mean obscure mammals like the pika, the capybara and the agouti. Or any of ten or fifteen species of chameleon or iguana.

He knows stuff. He can't remember to say 'Good Morning' to his grandmother, who hangs on his every offering. But he knows stuff about stuff he loves. And once he warms up, he'll tell you all the stuff he knows. If you are lucky, he will also give you a list of all the people and animals he has known who have died.

It impresses people. I'm imagining, if he happens to turn into the Aspie-ish kid who traps unsuspecting folk in loooooong 'conversations' about the things he knows, it could become less impressive. We're working on avoiding that perfect social storm. But in the meantime, it impresses people.

I wanted, just once, for there to be a show on TV where 'kids who know stuff' were the winners, not the boring losers. And so, I strung some words together into a show proposal, and was lucky enough to witness the birth of What Do You Know?

But really, it's a bit of a secret. Though I'd like to dream such a day might come, I'm thinking that the chances of a national TV network marketing a show with the line, 'made to make Aspies look like heroes' are fairly slim. Last time I looked, people weren't making sexy slogans about difference. Shame, really.

In the meantime, if you are an Aspie, or know an Aspie, let me give you a clear message. I think you are heroes, and winners, and completely excellent human beings. You deserve a lot more credit than most people know.

And to all the people I offended with my opinionated, adolescent search for meaning... I'm sorry. Truly. If it makes you feel any better, I'm still looking. And I'm still annoying. I just get to drink more wine now.


Anonymous said...

Val you are the greatest!! I just love how the idea of this game came to pass. You are such an awesome mum and person. Keep up the great work :)
CaRRiE xx

Simon said...


Anonymous said...

You're bloody fabulous Val!!

Love it!!

Heather said...

Sounds like a fantastic show! I'm sure my son could teach them a thing or two about Greek Mythology or space! Hope it gets picked up by the Networks:)

Mama Deb said...

I'm late catching up, but this is fantastic! Keep us posted...and post clips! Woohoo!