Very Top Five Reasons to Pretend to be Colour-Blind

Monday, 17 May 2010
Colour-blindness is a disability worse than losing a leg. After all, there’s no such thing as a wheelchair for the eyes, and at least amputees can colour-coordinate their wardrobe.

I am colour-blind myself, despite the title and, despite lacking the capability to choose wallpaper that matches my sofas, there are many hidden perks to colour blindness; enough to convince you to pretend to be colour-blind yourself. It’s the equivalent of being perfectly able-bodied but never having to take the stairs, and never being caught out as a damn cheat.

It’s easy to deliberately fail a colour blindness test by claiming you can’t see the numbers or can’t order the shades and then you’re all set to begin living the lie. You’d obviously be revealed as a fraud by a genetic test, but who’s going to insist you take one of those? Why would you lie about something like this, they might think.

Here’s why; you can enjoy the following perks:

5. You never have to cook

“Oh, this meat’s gone green,” the colour-sighted might say, “These vegetables have gone a bubonic shade of brown,” they might add. “Probably best to throw them away and have take-away instead.”

But the colour-blind would happily chuck them into the stew, cue explosive intestinal protests from the whole family. Obviously you can’t be blamed, that would be like blaming a one armed man for failing to tie his shoe laces correctly. So they won’t say it’s your fault, but they won’t want you to tie their shoes anymore (metaphorically speaking).

In fact, you’ll soon find your relatives have become habituated to leap up from the couch and sprint into the kitchen whenever you say “I’m hungry; how about if I make dinner this evening?” Leaving you free to watch television in glorious monochrome – or so you claim.

4. You can take your dog into shops and restaurants

Taking your dog out for a walk and decide to pop in to see a film on the way home? For most people, it’s an impossible dream; but not for you.

“It’s a guide dog,” you can say, presenting the colour-blindness disability card you made yourself as your pooch wanders around the cinema foyer, hoovering up spilled popcorn. Most ticket sellers will be too polite to say that you don’t look blind, but if they do then you can just say that you’re partially sighted and look at them with a mix of scorn and disappointment, before talking your seat in the disabled chairs, which boast excellent views and extra legroom.

However, some clever shop keepers might be aware that dogs are also colour blind and insist that you drop this charade forthwith. In that case, point out that the dog is not there to offer colour-translation advice but rather as a empathic psychological nostrum to your disability.

If you still encounter resistance from non-believers, you can menacingly suggest that the dog is there to aggressively savage anyone who mocks you for your disability. That should do the trick.
3. You’ll always have an icebreaker for corporate away days

“Think of something unique or interesting about yourself to share with the group.” When spoken by one of those clinically cheerful facilitators this phrase injects frozen terror into the minds of those who hear it, making it pathologically impossible to think of anything even slightly interesting. And as they go round the room, coaxing tortured responses from your colleagues about how they “um… quite like watching football?” or “well… I… uh… once went to Japan on holiday… will that do?” they will soon reach you, combined gaze pinning you to the seat and searing your neurons into a stupor.

And as the pressure mounts, you realise that someone’s already taken your (rather weak) football answer and you eventually blurt out “em… em… I think my wife’s having an affair!”

Ooh, bring on the raised eyebrow from your colleagues, a surprised nod and a shaky “okay…” from the facilitator and ostracising sniggers later on when you’re having your scheduled coffee break.

But imagine if instead, whenever pressed to reveal a personal factette, you could simply say “I’m colour blind,” and know that you’ve revealed a non-personal, un-judgeable, relatively uncommon and interesting nugget of info designed to shift the burden onto the next person as quickly as possible.

2. You’ll have an interesting hook when chatting up women

(This might also work on men; I've not tried it.)

It’s easy to introduce colour blindness into a conversation with a recently met lady friend with whom you are stoking the fires of new acquaintance; “What colour’s that?” you ask, pointing at anything at all. She’ll answer with an inflexion of curiosity tinged by the mystery of your apparent inability to identify colours.

This will lead to a deep and interesting conversation, because colour-sighted people are curious about the mechanics of colour-blindness; do you actually see things in black and white? What colour do things look to you? Can you tell the difference between any colours, or is it just some? Does it affect your life at all?

“Yeah, it can be quite a drawback, but I get by,” you can confide, all the while drawing her ever closer with your tendrils of emotional falsification, then impress her by revealing that colour-blind people have better night vision and a increased ability to detect camouflage. What a man, she'll think.

And if you want to charge straight down the chat-up line route and fast track all this emotional attachment stuff, simply approach a woman and say “What colour are your eyes?” while looking soulfully into them.

She’ll be all like “blue” or “brown” or whatever. Feel free to ignore her reply, it doesn’t actually matter, because you then come storming in with the coup de grace; “I’m colour-blind, but I can tell they’re beautiful.” And boom! No woman alive can resist that charm. Probably.

1. You’ll be more employable

Being disabled is good for your employment prospects, probably slightly more useful than having a relevant qualification and slightly less useful than being friends with the boss. All it takes is a little tick in the “Are you disabled?” box on application forms and soon you’ll be reaping the benefits of guaranteed interview schemes, disability employment quotas and legislative positive discrimination.

Also, colour-blindness will have no effect on your perceived ability to do most jobs, as even the most illegal flouter of disability discrimination law can see that colour-blindness is an ignorably mild affliction. It’s also an invisible one, so you won’t find yourself hitting the (tinted) glass ceiling along with the loonies and freaks. Lucky you.


So, success in work and love, human rights for your dog, icebreakability and never having to cook - all in all, colour vision sounds rather grey by comparison.


Jeff King said...

ha--nice top 5...

Reno said...

I prefer calling it "color confused".

Phil said...

good one :D