Renewing license a real eye-opener
MY EYEBALLS aren't what they used to be, especially at 9 in the morning and more especially when I'm about to undergo an eye test to renew my driver's license.
I used to be able to read the tiny type on the back of an aspirin bottle at five paces, but now am forced to grope for aspirin after identifying the bottle by its distinctive shape.
I know I've still got normal eyesight and should be able to pass the eye test with flying corneas, but the hazel orbs tend too be a tad hazy in the a.m. Like most humans going through the preliminary bouts of old-timer's disease, I enlist the aid of reading glasses when doing things like, well, reading, but I'm at the stage where I buy the lowest magnification glasses from Longs. I'm still in the amateur ranks when it comes to propping up the peepers.
Still, there's a certain amount of pressure taking an eye test and the two guys ahead of me in line at the Windward Mall satellite City Hall aren't easing my anxiety. They are both pretty spry specimens for gentlemen who couldn't be over 112 and, despite the forces of gravity, appear to be almost completely ambulatory. But the first fellow is in the process of going down in flames, mistaking the cash register for the eye test machine and pressing his face against it.
His request to renew his license is rejected, which I think is an exceedingly reasonable move on the part of the license-processing lady. Not only would I not like this fellow in command of an automobile behind mine on the roadways, I'm not sure I'd even like him standing behind me in line at McDonalds.
The second gent does better, correctly identifying the various machines on the counter, but falters badly at the eye-testing apparatus. He stares intently at the hieroglyphics on Line 7 as directed for what seems to be a long time before finally and boldly announcing his first discovery.
"Z," he says.
The people in line groan in pity simultaneously.
"They are all numbers, sir," the tester lady says.
Dude, I'm thinking, go for the two! Say it's a two! But he opts to call the mystery digit a five and it gets worse from there. He's directed to get a new eyeglass prescription from his optometrist and try again later. As he's already wearing glasses with lenses so thick they look better suited to the Hubble space telescope, I'm not hopeful about the rematch.
It's my turn now and I'm thinking it must have been easier to pass an eye test in ancient times when Roman numerals were in use. I mean, at least you could to tell the difference between five (V) and eight (VIII), which I was having trouble doing. Line 7 was doing the Hazy Hula and the twos did look suspiciously like Zs.
But I take a breath, blink a few times and then totally nail not only Line 7 but the more fearsome Line 6. Soon I've got my new license, good 'til the year 2013. I don't know if me and my eyeballs will make it that far, but at least my license will be there.
Buy Charles Memminger's hilarious new book, "Hey, Waiter, There's An Umbrella In My Drink!" at island book stores or online
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