Being blind is not a defence against embarrassing predicaments. And
it’s always the ones that end up making you look like a pervert
which are the worst – particularly when you’re trying your best to
These embarrassing encounters always seem to happen to me when I’m
approaching double doors. It’s odd – one of those strange
coincidences, like when you drop a piece of bread and Peanut Butter
and it always falls Peanut Butter-side down.
In the same way, if there is a breast around, you can guarantee
I’ll find it 99 times out of 100. I’m not looking for them, but for
some reason they appear as if by magic.
I am strolling nonchalantly along a corridor, thinking about lunch,
when suddenly the guide dog stops. “Ah, it must be a double swing
door,” I think. So I put out my hand to push it open – only to find
myself cupping a breast.
There is always a delay of a second or so when I find myself frozen
in terror, working out my next move. Strangely, the owner of
said breast never speaks, mumbles, screams or coughs.
In my defence, how am I meant to know that someone is there? Let’s
look at the scene again from the owner of the breasts’ perspective.
“Oh, look! Here comes a blind man with his dog. I think I should
hold open one of these doors and stand extremely quietly in the
gap, barely breathing and he’ll not know I’m here. Oh, he’s
stopped in front of me. Should I say something now? No. Oh!
He’s got a hold of my breast. Don’t breathe, don’t move,
say nothing. You would think his dog would know that I was here.”
Take the same scene now, from the dog’s view.
The dog looks at the open door and the woman standing in the
narrow gap holding it open. He sucks in his cheeks and looks up
at me, while raising one eyebrow. “How am I meant to get him
through there? If only she would get out the way. What they
teach you at guide-dog school is to sit quietly until the
humans sort it out. Fat chance. If only I could give her a
quick nip, that would shift her,” he might think.
Over the years I’ve tried various techniques to change the way
I open doors, such as dropping my hand to a lower spot – but
that could have implications which are even worse.
Once in a lift, I had another embarrassing encounter. I had been
counting the floors so I knew I was approaching ground floor. I
remembered the buttons operating the doors were on the right of the
double doors. When the lift finally stopped, I reached out my hand
to press the button, which is about shoulder-height. I stretched
out my hand – only to feel a face, which I was pressing firmly with
the palm of my hand, forcing the person’s head backwards against
the button. As the door slid open, the dog and I shot out, not
hanging around for a response.
These incidents bring me no pleasure. They are highly
embarrassing. It doesn’t matter how often it happens – I
still don’t know how to get out of it, or what to say. If
people only said something – “hello” would do – we could avoid
all this awkwardness.
So if I have inadvertently grasped your breast because I thought
you were a door, or used your face as the exit button, please
accept my sincere apologies.
Blogger Barry: This story was Written by Ian hamilton published in
The Herald, Scotland (UK) 2007.
I edited it slightly to make it a little more current.
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Barry Blomkamp Nd. Bsc (UL)
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