You’re no ophthalmologist, but you’ve got an inkling that when the doctor giving you an eye exam says “Holy shit, gross!” your peepers likely aren’t in the best of shape. Your suspicions are confirmed when the doctor says your condition will require “special and significant correction.”
“What’s that mean?” you inquire. “Some kind of coke bottle glasses?”
The doctor looks at you in a strangely pitiful way. “You have a condition called oculis tarn stultus.Nothing so simple as coke bottle glasses for you, I’m afraid. No, your apparatus will be slightly more…er…unique.” He gestures toward the door and directs you to see the optometrist up front for your fitting.
The young woman at the frame fitting table is quite lovely and has a gentle disposition, so it’s little trouble to sit through her taking measurements.
Later in the week, you’re called when your glasses are ready. You go back to the eye center and retrieve your package from the counter- a hinged black box about a foot long and four inches tall.
“This seems a little big,” you tell the attractive receptionist.
“It’s standard for this prescription,” she says curtly.
You open the box and remove the microfiber cloth draped across the top to find a comically oversized pair of plastic black frames with no lenses. Attached to the frames below the bridge in a huge red rubber nose.
“Is this some kind of joke?” you ask.
The receptionist rolls her eyes. “No, sir, that’s your prescription,” she replies impatiently.
You’re about to pound the desk and ask What the hell are you trying to pull here? but you manage to calm yourself before you freak out. “I need to speak to the doctor, please.”
“No problem sir.” She pages the doctor.
After a few minutes, the ophthalmologist walks out of the back, staring at his phone, not appearing to be in any particular hurry. When he arrives at the desk, he finishes texting and puts away his phone.
“What seems to be the problem?” he asks.
You say nothing, opting instead to gesture, both palms up, at the open box with the novelty joke glasses. What the fuck is this?
“Oh, well, I guess I didn’t explain your condition well enough. Oculis tarn stultus roughly translates to ‘stupid clown eyes’. You got stupid clown eyes, man.”
You cross your arms and nod. Go on.
He takes a breath and continues. “Your condition means that your borderline-retarded jester eyes have an extra optic nerve running through your sinus cavity which, unless pressure is properly applied to the nerve, can’t properly transmit optical data through your snot canal. This apparatus applies the necessary pressure and corrects the problem.”
“This all sounds made up, doc,” you say, your voice laced with trepidation. “Are you taking me for a ride here?”
“No ride. Try them on.”
You put the glasses on and your vision clears immediately. “Wow!” you exclaim.
“Yeah, pretty cool, huh?”
“Not bad!” you say.
“Plus they do this!” the doc says, reaching for the red nose cover. He gives it a light squeeze.