Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Call Me Magoo

For the last several months, my eyes have been getting worse.

Likely the result of looking at a computer monitor all day.

I did it to myself really. No matter how large a monitor, I have this disposition to set it to the highest resolution so that I can see more information on my screen.

But now I can barely see any of it.

Up until a few years ago, I was always so proud of how perfect my eyesight was. I could read traffic signs on the highway a mile ahead of me.

It came in quite handy.

But then my eyes started getting blurrier and blurrier when things were close up. The prescription glasses I got four years ago don’t even make a dent in the blurriness. I have to get new ones.

I bought a pair of those off-the-shelf reading glasses you can buy at the pharmacy. They work great – when I’m wearing them. But they are not the most stylish things in the world. And when I take them off I get a headache and things are twice as blurry.

I realized they were getting bad a couple of months ago when out for lunch with some of the boys from work. I couldn’t read the menu.

The light in here is really bad”, I said as I moved the menu closer and farther away from my face, shifting around in my seat.

You know the menu by heart, just get the usual!”, said one of my work buddies. So I did.

I realized this again the other night driving home through our neighborhood in the dark.

There used to be a stop sign at a three-way stop. I pulled up to the three-way and stopped. As I drove off, the guy in the big pick-up truck behind me (which could have been nearly every occupant in our little neighborhood) honked, and passed me screaming

There’s no stop sign there anymore, you idiot!”. He was right. I went back the next day in the daylight and the guy who called me an idiot was right.

It wasn’t there anymore.

There have been countless other examples, of reading personal emails, and other bloggers blogs, and assuming the blurry text said this when in fact it said that. And I responded to this and not that.

I think even my favorite sports writer, Pat Caputo has grown tired of my misinterpretations.

I just hate to wear those stupid pharmacy reading glasses.

But today was the kicker.

I was instructed by my lovely wife Darlene to go to the grocery store.

Make sure you get the lean ground beef, okay? Don’t get medium, don’t get regular … it has to be LEAN!!!” , making her point quite clear.

So as I was making my way through the usual list of items, I found myself at the meats section of our local super-mega grocery star.

I looked up and down the hamburger section and found the lean section at the very end. I looked all of the packages over and they all seemed … pale. Not bright red, but more of a pinkish tinge.

Hmmm ... they forgot to put the red food color in these”, I said as I picked up the best looking package.

I thought nothing more about it.

When I arrived home I unpacked the bag, took the lean meat out of the package, threw it in a frying pan, and started browning it as per the directions on the can of Manwich I was following. I love sloppy Joes, Darlene hates them, but she was not eating with us.

My lovely wife Darlene, on her way out the door for a meeting, noticed the browning beef.

This beef is awfully pale?

I know, all the packages were like that. I think they left the food coloring out”.

Are you sure this is beef and not ground turkey?

Wha?

This doesn’t look like beef to me”, she continued. “Let me see the package”.

I threw it away already”.

Where’s the receipt?

In the bag over there”, I said as I continued stirring the browning meat.

Darlene read the receipt and started laughing.

Enjoy your Manwich , Daddy!”.

Wha?

You bought a pound of lean ground PORK!

Crap, really?

She giggled all the way out the door. I dug the package out of the garbage. The only word I could read was “LEAN”. I pulled my reading glasses out of my briefcase and read the smaller print. It said “pork”.

I made it anyways. And some French fries and green beans, and I laid it out before the waiting girls at the dinner table.

They loved it. They loved the lean pork sloppy Joes, and they had seconds. My girls never have seconds. When those were gone they were upset there weren’t any more. I ate mine, and you know what, that Manwich even works great with ground pork.

But still, my failing eyeballs did it to me again.

Or is it my eyes? Maybe it’s my brain? Maybe it’s just me getting old? Maybe all my synopses aren’t firing on all cylinders.

Because this morning I arrived at the office wearing my sneakers.

Growing older really stinks.

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