She had just finished her shower when the doorbell rang. Tiptoeing to the front door, shivering in plump, pink nudity, she called, "Who is it?"
"The blind man," came a mournful voice, so she shrugged and opened the door with one hand while reaching for her purse with the other. When she turned to face the man, he was grinning from ear to ear and she saw that he was holding a large package in his arms.
"You can see!" she exclaimed.
"Yeah," he nodded happily. "And mighty pretty too. Now, where do you want I should put these blinds?"
[Reader's Digest, 1958]
A fellow in our office told us about a household incident of which he had been an innocent but perplexed spectator. Our friend had called a Venetian blind repairman to come pick up a faulty blind, and the next morning, while the family was seated at the breakfast table, the doorbell rang. Our friend's wife went to the door, and the man outside said, "I'm here for the Venetian blind." Excusing herself in a preoccupied way the wife went to the kitchen, fished a dollar from the food money, pressed it into the repairman's hand, then gently closed the door and returned to the table. "Somebody collecting," she explained, pouring the coffee.
[Collected on the Internet, 1997]
Two nuns are ordered to paint a room in the convent, and the last instruction of the Mother Superior is that they must not get even a drop of paint on their habits.
After conferring about this for a while, the two nuns decide to lock the door of the room, strip off their habits, and paint in the nude. In the middle of the project, there comes a knock at the door. "Who is it?" calls one of the nuns. "Blind man," replies a voice from the other side of the door.
The two nuns look at each other and shrug, and, deciding that no harm can come from letting a blind man into the room, they open the door.
"Nice tits," says the man, "where do you want these blinds?"
Origins: Disabuse legend is anything other than a funny
The earliest versions of this story (which appear to date to the mid-1950s) leave out the nudity element we raconteurs now can't tell the story without. In those earlier tales, upon hearing the guy at the door identify himself as the blind man, a clothed woman (and it's always a woman) matter-of-factly opens the door and hands him money. She figures he's collecting for the disadvantaged, not that he's blind himself, so at that point in time the story did not turn upon the heroine's presumption that the "blind man" wouldn't see her.
A hastily-arrived at assumption leads to displaying oneself in the buff to a total stranger. We laugh at the heroine's discomfiture even as we assure ourselves we'd never jump that wildly to a worthless conclusion. (Which, by the way, is the underlying admonition of the
Another "blind man" tale has a slightly different twist:
In our college post office, a collection box appeared marked: Help The Blind Fund. It filled up rapidly with small change. One day it was replaced by a card which read: Thank you for your contributions. The Venetian blinds for our dormitory room have now been purchased.
Sightings: At the end of the first episode of the British television comedy
Last updated: 5 June 2007
Brunvand, Jan Harold.   Curses! Broiled Again! New York: W. W. Norton, 1989. ISBN 0-393-30711-5 (pp. 213-215). Playboy. "Party Jokes." September 1964 (p. 83). Reader's Digest Treasury of Wit and Humor. Pleasantville, N.Y.: Reader's Digest Association Inc., 1958 (pp. 471-472). Reader's Digest. "Campus Comedy." April 1967 (p. 93).
Also told in:
Braude, Jacob. Braude's Treasury of Wit and Humor. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1964 (p. 199). Cerf, Bennett. The Sound of Laughter. New York: Doubleday and Company, 1970 (p. 2). Cohen, Daniel.   The Beheaded Freshman and Other Nasty Rumors. New York: Avon Books, 1993. ISBN 0-380-77020-2 (p. 92). The Big Book of Urban Legends. New York: Paradox Press, 1994. ISBN 1-56389-165-4 (p. 138).