Emlyn on Ink Blots


For residents of the UK, of the generations who watched TV in the 1980’s, the name Emlyn Hughes needs no explanation.For the rest of the world, Emlyn Hughes was a football player born in Wales who had a very successful career, ending as Captain for both the English National squad and a successful Liverpool side. He was honored with and OBE, and when he joined the team of a successful sports quiz program, A Question of Sport, That was what I remember him from, in particular the way his voice would climb very high, with quite a squeaky quality.

Well I said that to say this, there was an office in my old section who was known as Emlyn, because of his stature and voice, both of which were similar to the real Emlyn, and whose real name shall remain unsaid to protect the guilty. The ‘Stories of Emlyn” are numerous, and mostly priceless, and so, for prosperity, I shall attempt to tell a brief portion of the most choice ones here.

Emlyn, Volume 1

There comes a point in everyone’s life when they get itchy feet, I think Emlyn was middle-aged when it hit him, draw what conclusions you wish.  Emlyn wanted to move from one Constabulary to another one in a more northern part of the country. I should explain here that in the UK, all officers are centrally funded, and all meet national criteria, so changing from one department to another, is more of a transfer, you have to pass the interview board, a physical, but you get to keep all your pension rights and that sort of thing.

Well Emlyn had this amazing quality, he always made a great first impression, very friendly, comes across as very professional, very helpful. It is only after you see him in action do you wonder what planet he came from, and what sort of filter dose he see the world through?

So getting back to Emlyn’s application to another Constabulary, of course he did very well in the interview board, and was selected for transfer, all he had to do was pass a basic physical, and he would get the job.

As you can imagine, the usual physical, can you flex, stand straight, cough, all that sort of thing. We all was going swimmingly until it came to the color blindness test. Most of us have taken the ink blot one, when the number is ‘hidden’ for people with color blindness. Well this particular department had a slightly different take. They had a sheet with a spot of one color in the middle, surrounded by a circle of dots around it is slightly different shades of the same color, and all you have to do is pick the color closest to the one in the middle. I should think this is a slightly more nuanced test than the ‘find the number’ one,  perhaps it may show up people with only slight color blindness. Well imagine if you can, Emlyn has passed the interview board, all he needs to do is pass the physical, he is in good shape, he is not color blind, since he passed the physical to become a police officer originally.

The nurse asks him, “Which one is closest to the one in the middle” Emlyn looks at the sheet, moves it around, turns it, looks at it for a very long time, then tells the nurse he cannot find the one which is closest. Well, that means he fails the physical, fails the selection process, and a very negative report is sent back to his current department.

Now Emlyn could be in some serious trouble, if he truly is color blind, he must have lied to pass the original test, thereby obtaining his position as a Police Officer by deception, and therefore all of his wages and benefits by fraud. So Emlyn gets to sit down for a little chat with Complaints and Discipline, where it comes out that during the color blindness test, despite the fact he knew it was a test of his color perception, when the nurse asked him which one was the closest to the one in the middle, he thought they meant which one was closest by distance, and he could not find any of them closer, because they were in an exact circle around the middle spot!

Emlyn being Emlyn, it all came out at Ref’s (refreshments, meal breaks come at odd times, so they are all known as ref’s) when he told everyone, which surprised no-one that he had screwed up, but gave us all a good giggle, and added to the annals of Emlyn stories.



About limey6

Father of four, husband of one, Ex-pat ex cop Englishman living in rural Maine
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