Continued from here.

So you’ve upset your optometrist, by answering randomly when it was too difficult to determine which of the vision options you liked best. He caught you and he has left you alone to his office to complain about you to his internist.

Opto: “I got a wise guy.”
Internist: “Again?”
Opto: “Yep, He’s probably from the local fraternity or something, acting on a bet to make me look goofy.
Internist:”Boy, you sure get a lot of those.”
Opto: Don’t I know it! But I’m made of sterner stuff that they can ever know.
Internist: Surely you’re not going to –
Opto: You bet I am – prepare the Glaucoma test.

Now this being your first time, you have no idea what this entails, but you are bright and you can read the tea leaves to figure out what experienced eye-wear wearers world wide already know: The Glaucoma test is how optometrists punish wayward eye appointment customers.

He comes back into your room and says:
Opto: Sir, could you come with me . ..
You: Please, I . . . I’ll be . . . well, okay.

So you follow him and he ‘invites’ you to put your face up against another machine – this one more sinister looking – it has things attached to it. You – seeing no way to avoid this doom – do so. Certainly, you think, any damage done by this machine won’t be permanent – he has some kind of diploma – it’s there up on the wall – and it doesn’t look fake. You should just keep repeating to yourself “I’m in a safe place – Walmart – it’s well lit and open and hundreds of people would hear me if I suddenly started screaming in agony, wouldn’t they? Or is this room sound proof?”
 
As this doubt hits you, its already too late – you have your eyes up against the machine and Opto is saying –

“Now try to keep your eyes open and there will be a gentle – whisper soft puff of air that will waft ever so gently against your bare, uncovered eyeball which, if damaged will result in injury up to and  including total and permanent blindness, but it will, of course, do nothing of the sort.”

Okay maybe that’s not how he puts it – but you get the message.

He describes what the machine does, but you don’t believe that measuring the ‘bounciness’ of your eyes will tell him anything helpful, any more than you would have believed that little gnomes are doing the puffing. Actually that might be more comforting.

So finally he leaves and you try to keep your eyelids open, but you are staring at these tubes which look like something out of a science fiction / horror movie and it’s hard to keep your eyes open for more than a few seconds at the best of times (you never did well at those ‘stare downs’ in junior high) and now your eyes feel dry and you’re afraid of wafting puffs so at every movement felt or sound heard you find yourself blinking against your will.

You hear grim amusement and a trace of sarcasm in Opto’s voice as he said “I thought you said you’d never been in for an eye appointment before. . . ” and was that a slight chuckle you heard?

“I haven’t, it’s just that – “
“So, why are you afraid to keep your eyes open?”
“Well, you told me that it’s going to – ”
“Just keep your eyes open”

You do your best, it takes five tries and as you leave the room you look like someone has syringed your eyes with onion juice.

Minutes later Opto comes into the waiting room and says “Nope, all clear of . . . what was it that we were checking for?  … Oh, yes, Glaucoma. No, you don’t have it, but I thought it best to see if you were one of the one in seven million people who do. Don’t you? And what’s wrong with double and triple checking, right?” He smiles.

You nod. You just want out. He shows you to the reception area where you, as quickly as humanly possible, choose the glasses or contacts that you are going to order. And then you leave. Walmart customers stare at you. And when you get home you, after searching through the phone book, with shaking fingers, dial the first Lasik surgery doctor you find there.

“Lester’s Lasik – we fix up your eyes until they can’t be fixed up anymore! How may I direct your call?”
“How much for both eyes?”

Never again, you think.

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