It’s not easy seeing green
The great poet philosopher Kermit the Frog once said, “It’s not easy being green.”
I recalled that pearl as my wife and I watched the Broadway play Wicked on a recent vacation to New York City. Not only that, I thought at the time, but for some of us, it’s not easy seeing green either!
I knew that one of the main characters, Elphaba, was supposed to be green, but to me her face was a dullish gray. Maybe it was because we were sitting up high in the so-called “cheap” seats and wavelengths of about 510 nanometers ran out of gas before reaching us.
Previously from Dr. Brown: UWF: ultra-widefield imaging or ultra-widefield fighting?
For a fleeting second I even thought about marching to the box office to demand a refund for false representation of pigmentation. But I knew the truth lay deep inside my hopelessly flawed retinas: I am (gasp!) an anomalous trichromat.
Then the memories started, a steady stream of hue howlers that even in the darkened theater caused my face to burn a shade of hot pink—or something like that.
Do I not know my colors?
It began when my mother started allowing me to dress myself, and I would emerge from my room wearing a green sock on one foot and a gray one on the other.
Unaware that my chromatic cluelessness was all her fault, she assumed that I simply hadn’t learned my colors well enough. So she bought me one of those Crayola boxes of “64 Different Brilliant Colors” with the built-in sharpener, tossed me a stack of coloring books, and told me to get busy and stop bothering her, for Pete’s sake.
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