Read this to get a perfect score on your eye exam.


[Originally published in January of 2009] 

I ran into an old friend, but don't worry, neither of us got hurt too badly. I'll just have to be more careful in the future...

A lot of people like to say that the "future is now," and those people are wrong because the future is actually tomorrow. Sometimes I ponder what it would be like to see into the future. Every time I would begin to tie my shoe, it would already be tied. More importantly, it would make my next optometrist appointment more interesting:

Doctor: Can you read the third line?
Me: On this chart or the one that will be here in twenty years?
Doctor: I'm getting a new chart in twenty years?
Me: Well, no, you'll be dead. But the guy replacing you is getting a new one.

Without this ability to look into the future, eye doctor appointments are not interesting enough because there is no possible way I can get a better result than "Your eyes are not getting any worse." It would be more inspirational for me to show up and have the doctor say, "Wow, your eyes are twice as good as they were two years ago. You can now see things in the air that you never saw before."

I have always been tempted to study for an eye test so that I know what is on every line of the Snellen chart -- the chart that has a big 'E' on the top, with a slightly smaller 'FP' underneath and so on. For example, the eleventh -- and bottom -- line is 'PEZOLCFTD.' I would love to be able to say that I can see that on my own from twenty feet away, but in reality, I had to squint just to see it on my computer screen a second ago.

On my next appointment, when I am asked to read the chart, I would like to say, "Let's knock off all of this easy stuff and start at line 11," at which point I will proceed to read the line blindfolded. Granted, this would completely screw up my eye prescription, but that would only balance out the fame that I would receive in return...

 There is one problem here, though: if I still see into the future and the 11th line is no longer what it is now, then my scheme will never work. If that's the case, the most exciting part of my next eye appointment will be getting drops placed in my eyes. When that occurs, I can always see the light...

But I digress.


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