“When was the last time you had your eyes checked?” came a question from the receptionist at the optometrist’s office.
I had to think for a moment.
“I guess when I got my driver’s license.”
“You haven’t had your eyes checked?” came the response.
“I guess not.”
Because of my great genes, or because I ate a lot of carrots as a kid, I always had good eyesight.
Many, many years ago in high school when I did look at an eye chart I just cut to the chase and read the bottom line: N P X T Z F H.
That’s something like 20/10 vision.
My friend Google said only one percent of the population has 20/10 vision.
Thus, I never needed to go to the eye doctor.
The day after Easter I was always the one that found the eggs that had been overlooked.
That could also be because I had a lot of practice looking for golf balls in tall grass, a skill I’m losing as my golf balls find the weeds more often these days.
At the optometrist’s office that year, I was taken into a room and asked again.
“When was the last time you had your eyes checked?”
Apparently one of the answers on the chart is the date of the last eye exam and “never” is not a correct answer.
But never it was.
Next test, same question.
Finally the optometrist arrived and again, “When was the last time you had your eyes checked?”
“Why are you here?” was the next question.
It was probably around 1980 when word processors started to make their way into newsrooms, doing away with both typewriters and typesetters.
At that time it seemed like I was looking at a monitor 10 hours a day.
My wife Kathy and I bought our first personal computer in 1985.
I have written before that our first PC had a 286 processor and 110 meg hard drive.
It was fast and I was never going to need more disk space.
Of course, a year later I had to upgrade the 286 to the 386 and add another hard drive.
However, looking at the monitor all day gave me a headache. Since my wife had an eye appointment, I came with her.
Before running through a serious of tests, the optometrist gave me a piece of paper with some writing on it and asked me to read it.
I had little trouble reading it.
But then he took two lenses and put one over each eye.
“Now read it again,” he said.
The results were unbelievable.
“Wow. So what does that mean . . .?” I asked.
“You’re getting old,” he said.