Written by Peregrine Nation
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Saturday, 10 February 2007

Have you ever noticed how novelty products, the thought here is about glasses with windscreen wipers on them, actually stem from a very good idea? The problem was that the idea wasn't fully formed; that is until a bright spark took a new approach and put a big plastic nose and false moustache underneath them. One man's pain is another man's novelty nose, I suppose.

Those of us, who have to wear spectacles, either part or full time, face a number of difficult challenges not least of which, is disrespect from those who don't wear said face furniture. It's a serious business.

A case in point; most of us at some time or other, have faced the glasses sliding down the nose conundrum. Sunglasses count too so don't pretend it's never happened.

What to do? If, at the beach, you're holding a much prized triple-decker sandwich in one hand and your partner's revoltingly healthy fruit platter in the other, it is not hard to work out what happens when those glasses (sun or correctional) start to slide down your nose, is it?

Who said let them fall? Me too. There's no way I am letting go of a piece of culinary art or my wife's nosh. Mrs Nation is very clear about not putting food down in the sand.

If you only need reading glasses you may have noticed how they have a herd mentality. Several pairs of glasses dotted around the house is a common solution for the hard of reading. By the end of the day however all of those spectacles will all be in the same place, the kitchen is most favoured, but any room will do at a push.

The herding instinct is strong with glasses and many pairs have committed suicide by being placed in rear pockets and allowing themselves to be crushed by rogue buttocks. At the time of writing there is no help line in place for distressed eyewear.

Even those reading glasses placed in protective cases have been known to shed arm-securing screws in an attempt to be discarded rather than be parted from the herd. Their spine-chilling howls can be heard for miles, or is that wolves I'm thinking of?

There are many outspoken theorists who have written extensively on the problems faced by spectacle-wearing members of the community. One eminent professor of spectacleology at the University of Scunthorpe in Britain has been researching the phenomenon of dirty eyeglass lenses.

A recent paper in Blind Scientist magazine published in large print and Braille, states that there may be a connection between dirty eyeglass lenses and sunspot activity.

Apparently, when there is a lot of solar activity little children with dirty fingers, who shouldn't be in my office anyway, pick up reading spectacles and play with them, leaving greasy little fingerprints all over them.

Sometimes it's difficult to tell whether the glasses are dirty or I just need a stronger prescription. My optician says the same thing.

Back to the professor, who is apparently having difficulty raising interest in a manned probe to orbit the sun because he can't find strong enough photochromic lenses for his glasses to look out of the window of the spacecraft to observe the sunspot activity.

Consumer product designers are quite possibly in league with spectacle manufacturers too. It has often been suggested that there is nothing wrong with our sight and that packaging designers just make their print increasingly smaller so that we all think there's something wrong with our eyes. Either that or our arms just aren't long enough.

This brings me back to my original premise of designs not being thought through. In the shower at Chez Nation we have many oils, potions, unguents and other chemical paraphernalia in attendance. For those in need of reading glasses this can be potentially very dangerous. I do not want to put exfoliating cream on my head again.

Having handfuls of hair coming away in your hands is frightening enough, but it also took quite a long time to unclog the plughole.

The hair grew back but my children cried at the sight of my temporarily shiny head.

Trying very hard not to replicate such cranial deforestation I have taken to cutting one pair of reading glasses from the herd and roping them into helping me in the shower.

It's still very hard to see the writing on the products however, as once the water is running I am blind-sided again by the spray. If only there were glasses with windscreen wipers on that didn't have a big nose and a moustache on them. I am self-conscious enough in the shower.

Copyright 2007 Peregrine Nation

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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