My Halo Broke

First. I apologize if this entry contains errors. I had to uninstall Microsoft Office, and haven’t managed to find a sighted person to read me the 2400 digit product code yet.

My idea for today’s post came from a conversation I had with Chris earlier today. He asked me if I’d ever noticed how shocked people seem to be when we blind folk use colorful language. I actually have found that the public’s expectations of me seem to be somewhat unrealistic. They either expect me to be a super hero or completely incapacitated. They also seem to think I wear a halo on my head, that I never engage in elicit activities, and that four letter words are not a part of my vocabulary.

So why is it that they often force me to be such a bitch? Yes. I said “Bitch.” Are you shocked yet? Actually, that’s a five letter word. No wonder I knew it.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve been sitting in a Star Bucks (my second home), and someone has approached me, and said. “What a nice dog. Can I pet him?”

Unless they are a very young child (I always let kids pet my dog–unless they are especially ubnoxious or their parents seem to have no control over them), my answer is generally “no.” I do, however, try to begin with something polite like. “I’m sorry. He’s working right now, but thank you for asking.” Those of you who know me well, and understand my potential for non-politeness better not be laughing right now. I know where you live…especially since you’ve given me your addresses so I can send you a wedding invitation.

Invariably, said person will pretend to back off, but in a matter of seconds I feel their hand on some part of my dog’s body. Do these people think we’re stupid? Like I’m not going to notice that you’re petting my dog. The gigantic, ploom-like tail, fluttering back and forth certainly wouldn’t give you away. So then I’m forced to be more firm. At this point, I usually say (while brushing their hand aside). “I said no.”

They will sometimes leave at that point, but often I’m not so lucky. They will reply with something inane like. “Oh. Sorry.” But they say it in this disgruntled tone, as though they can’t believe I’m actually refusing to indulge their every whim.

I am now incredibly tense…because I know what’s coming. Within a few seconds of this exchange, the same person’s hand will shoot out, and they will resume their previous behavior.

So now I’m mad. Can you blame me? And I’m reduced to something incredibly rude like. “Get the hell away from my dog before I break your finger.”

Their response. “Well. You don’t have to be such a bitch about it.”

I want to point out to the persistent petter that I wasn’t a bitch about it the first two times they ignored my request not to touch the dog.

I think having a dog allows me to meet some of the nicest people, and some of the strangest. Some of my favorites have been:
“How did you know I was touching him?”
“I’ll pet him anyway. I’m such an animal person.”
“But he wants me to pet him. He told me so.”
“You don’t want me to pet the dog because I’m black.” (that happened to a friend of mine.
“Wuf. Wuf.” (I want to tell them that the dog doesn’t speak stupid.)
“You’re so mean to make that dog work.” (Let’s talk about the dog you leave at home in a cage all day.)
“That dog isn’t very smart. He just crossed the street when the light was red.” (Um…Apparently you aren’t very smart, or you would know that dogs are color blind.)

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I'm an accessibility advocate working on issues involving technology and people with print impairment. I'm a stoner, crackpot, hacker and all around decent fellow. I blog at this site and occasionally contribute to Skepchick. I'm a skeptic, atheist, humanist and all around left wing sort. You can follow this blog in your favorite RSS reader, and you can also view my Twitter profile (@gonz_blinko) and follow me there.

2 thoughts on “My Halo Broke”

  1. Howdy Comrades!
    Your post brings to mind two examples of when I couldn’t resist defying the beatification often attributed to blind people. Do you get tired of sighted folks stopping you to ask, “Do you know where you are?” The most recent time some well-intentioned sighted person asked this inane question I replied, “This is planet Earth, right?” A while back, my friend traveling with his dog guide lashed out at this idiot that kept whistling at his dog, attempting to get the dog’s attention. Finally, my friend told the dude, “You stupid fucker, don’t distract the dog while he’s working.” It turned out the idiot was a cop who followed us back to our hotel. We were lucky we weren’t shot! Onward through the fog!
    Chairman Mal
    Power to the Peeps!

  2. Isn’t it funny that Freedom Scientific won’t share their name but they can use the word “Omni” while Invision America is already using that one for I.D. Mate? Ooooo .. new law suit a’coming folks!

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