WARD’S WORLD: By John Ward
I suppose you know its time to go and get the eyes looked at as being a glass wearer – the spectacle things that fit over or in front of the eyes and not as in drinking glasses used for drinking from or then again dangling away as trendy earrings in some cases I have come to notice in recent times – you detect you are perhaps due for an eye test because as we get older its more noticeable as certain things strike you as being slightly not right, indeed striking being the operative word. If you find the lamppost is thicker than you thought it was as you try to walk through it as opposed to trying to walk past it as I can tell you they don’t bend much as I noticed recently as one poor soul bounced off one and exclaimed “Where did that come from?” as he stroked his forehead hoping to flatten the bump that was slowly appearing as I spoke to him.
I had approached him to ask if he was okay and he said no, his name was Eric and not Ray so at least part of his senses was still open for business and perhaps his hearing might be iffy or could it be the result of the lamppost encounter. I put it another way to Eric who is not Ray that if he was feeling a bit shaken up, perhaps a trip – the one that involves travel and not falling over – to the hospital to get himself sorted was in order and he then responded that he really ought to see the optician as he thought that it was time to have his eyes retested as he might be ‘a bit overdue’. On causally asking as in how long overdue, he replied that it was about the time we won the Eurovision Song Contest malarkey and on hearing this I offered to take him along to the opticians myself if it was that long ago but I did mention we had gone decimal in the interim and he replied he knew that as the coins were now thinner these days than before.
As we were going through the above verbal agility, a lady of possible similar age range came up to us and looked at me – this goes on a lot these days and its perhaps because of my uncanny likeness to Elvis Presley as if he was still alive, he could well resemble me or so I’m been told – and asked “What’s he been up to now?” and with a bit of this and that, this was Eric, who is not Ray, who is her hubby and she had been shopping and wondered where he had got to. I supplied the answer to that one in one swoop and pointed to the lamppost that had brought him to a premature halt in his tracks. She looked to the heavens at this point and rolled her eyes in their sockets and she spoketh: “I keep telling him he ought to see the opticians as he does need an eye test to be honest as when he’s driving he’s not all that bad (ALL that bad?!) but it’s things like putting the rubbish out that he falls down on (as opposed to over I assumed..) I have noticed lately”. Just then Eric was still stroking his forehead and looking around him and asked who I was and I replied that I was doing my decent citizen thing by stopping and asking about the poor soul who had run into the lamppost to which he asked who was it and has he gone already?. Tricky times then.
I left Eric and his wife to wander off with him still stroking his forehead and looking around as he went in some vain, fruitless quest to see the chap who had hurt himself by walking into a lamppost and must have been something of a mover as he was nowhere to be seen. Based on this I went along to book in for a new eye test myself as could Eric, who was not Ray, be a sort of omen in a sense? I like to think I do look after the important bits in life as in a swift look at my molars by my dentist in my half yearly or every six months check-ups and I always go early for such appointments in case they are having a sale as there may be bargains to be had by being an ‘early bird’ but I had neglected the eyeballs to be looked at so this was the time as I could not recall the last one, give or take the odd Eurovision Song Contest or two.
I am on first name terms with my optician – I call him Bob as it’s his name and he calls me Client (I suppose after Client Eastwood the film star bloke as I have been mistaken for him as well which just shows how bad the fog can be around these ‘ere parts at times) so we both know where we stand, me on one side of the counter and him on the other side that does the appointments side of the business. So I book in and duly turn up later for said appointment. After initial chit-chat about any problems with vision, we get down to the nitty gritty to find out if the old gag about being asked “Can you read those letters on the wall to me” and followed up by me inquiring “What wall?” is still going strong these days as in the actual eye test.
It seems that I still have the twenty-twenty vision thing, so not too bad for an old fogey then. Then armed with my latest prescription, I head for the new range of spectacles and asked my preferences and I point out glasses would be nice. I usually opt for the basic, traditional ones you look through as ‘designer’ frames are meaningless to me and I don’t bother with the tinted variety anymore as I find it’s better to just grow my eyebrows longer to protect from the sun or any rumour or threat that it’s on the way. I have no idea if Eric, who is not Ray, has done the same if only for the lamppost’s sake.