Saturday, October 26, 2013

The cost of vision.

Eyesight on the decline as eyeglass prices soar! Khan!

    There are two things about myself of which I used to really be proud. My teeth and my eyes. Oh, and my ears. Three things.

    I never went to the dentist till I was 40. That’s ‘cause I was raised a Hayter. “Preventive medicine” was foreign to us. Go to a dentist before your teeth hurt? That’s crazy talk.

I eventually had to visit the dentist because of a cracked tooth. Before Dr. Big Jake started work on my tooth, he had his assistant make me an appointment to have my teeth cleaned. Something about my gums. Great looking teeth, but apparently my gums needed some brushing… or something.

But, forget my gorgeous teeth with once diseased gums. And, forget my ever-enlarging ears. I need to talk about my once prized eyes. Not eyeballs. As you can see, my eyes are a pale blue that entices, while whispering “You don’t want any of this.”

No, I’m talking eyesight. I used to have the best in the world. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you, “Mark Hayter’s vision? How the #$@& should I know?” So, you’ll have to take my word. I used to see so well that I could tell if a gnat had cataracts. Just couldn’t see my gums very well.

I got my first pair of glasses when I was in high school. I could see perfectly well, but for some reason, I started hitting to right field. My coach said, “Hayter, why are you swinging at the ball so late? Go get your eyes checked.”

So, Mom took me to Lee Optical. Glasses that once cost $32 were on sale for $25. I chose the gray pair over the black. The only difference in my vision with my glasses on had to do with lights. The stadium lights fractured into multiple beams. I couldn’t catch a pop fly to save my life. All I could see were lights.

I went back to the eye guy and he said that the multiple light sighting would go away once I got used to it. What he wanted to say was “Hey, kid, what do you expect for 25 bucks?”

I stopped wearing the glasses, even though they looked really cool on me. One morning, decades later, I woke to find that the newspaper print had gotten really small. Over night. Since then I’ve been wearing glasses. You can’t tell from my picture there, ‘cause I didn’t wear ‘em all the time when the picture was taken. My enticing, blue eyes are now hidden behind Polycarbonate, PhotoFusion, AR-Teflon Clear coated lenses.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, this milk tastes funny. Maybe two of you are thinking that. But most of you want to know how much a pair of glasses with all that fancy stuff on it cost nowadays.

Actually, there is a price formula used by all eyeglass companies. A used car salesman from Poughkeepsie, New York created it. It’s very simple. -- Think of the highest price you would possibly consider paying for a pair of eyeglasses. Take that number and add 200 to it.

The pair I just purchased cost me $800. For that I got a pair of frames that are lighter than Twinkie filling. I can wad the frames up if I want. And, believe me, I’m gonna want to at that price. The frames are made of some kind of Titanium enriched, uh, flexible metal stuff. (I hope I’m not getting too technical.)

When the eyeball guy rang up the cost for my new specs, it came to $684. I thought, wow, that’s only $84 more than I would be willing to pay. I broke the Poughkeepsie formula! Apparently the eyeglass guy noticed my masked grin, and said, “Oops.” – Oops? Who wants to hear “Oops?” No one wants to hear “Oops.”

“Uh, Mr. Hayter, I forgot to ask if you wanted glare-resistant lenses?” That’s what he SAID. What I heard was, “Mr. Hayter, do you want to be able to catch a pop fly?” The glare-proof coating added another $125 to the price. Instantly a guy in New York started laughing his rear off.

Now, I apparently need to have my hearing checked. Kay tests me daily. She’ll whisper something to me three times before yelling it. “Did you buy toothpaste?!! Criminee, you can’t hear thunder!” That kind of stuff drives me right up the wall.

I might as well get on the Internet and figure out about the price of a good pair of hearing aids. You know, something a little smaller than a cereal box. I have every confidence that my research will dig up something like.  – “Take the Poughkeepsie formula and add another 400.”

End &

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