I SPENT what’s known in the Middle West as the dinner hour last night with my one good eye on the local news. I say “one good” eye because the other was injured two days previous by a panicked box of saltines, which hurled itself off a shelf, from a height of 7 feet, 5 and one-half inches, later verified by a painstaking accident reconstruction, and slammed me in the right window of my soul, just under the ocular occlusor, fractionally before it had successfully occluded. With the corner of the fucking box. I’m thinking of starting a new blog devoted to the topic.
The effect was something like what might have happened if Buñuel and Dali had made Un Chien Andalou in 3-D. It didn’t appear to’ve done any real damage. It was no worse than a smashed finger or stubbed toe, except for the unsettling visual. Problem is that I have what the teevee pitchdoctor calls Chronic Dry Eye, which on occasion results in some piece of crud (“like cracked concrete,” my own doc explained) breaking loose and leaving the not-particularly-pleasant sensation of having something like a small burr in your eye which you cannot remove. This hurts like Hell, or like Hell on steroids, but is generally of fairly short duration. In fact, it’s practically unknown now that I’m on Restatis™, which I hope means the fine folks at Allergan, Inc. (NYSE: AGN) are about to cough up a month’s free supply.
Anyway, shortly thereafter it started to feel as though that cracker box had broken loose half the cracked concrete driveway of my right cornea; the resulting screaming terrified the cats, and woke my Poor Wife. I didn’t want to overuse the Restatis™, even though I’ve never experienced eye burning, redness, tearing, discharge, pain, itching, stinging, or visual blurring. I hoped that the so-called Liquid Tears stuff I sometimes used would help, but the bottle was empty. I drove to the drugstore with no depth perception, and stood there watering and cringing at the eyedrops section. My head was on my right shoulder, because downward-facing was the most comfortable position I could find, and I kept marching up and down the aisle when the pain got too bad; eventually I grabbed two products chosen mostly because the print was large, and drove back home. Help was minimal. Restatis, taken at its usual 12th hour interval that evening, did cause everything above except discharge. And relief.
I managed to sleep okay, with the help of an alcoholic stupor. I woke with that eye sealed shut, but it gradually worked its way loose. The pain had reduced to about 60%, with periodic episodes of excruciation. I was even able to get in my bike ride, and by the end it felt somewhat better. By evening I was around 80%, I’d say. I could still feel the point of impact, but the gravel had been hauled away.
Now, then: though I’d had symptoms, I never complained or even considered this Dry Eye business. It sounded like one of those problems the guy who invented the solution thought up, like breath mints for dogs, or cellphones. But it actually worked for me, and that email addy, in case you’re the Allergan rep for the Midwest, is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Such was not the case with my cycloptic news viewing. A major storm was developing over the upper Plains, and the potential for destruction was so great that the weather people decided to invent two or three terms so they’d sound more authoritative. It was a “derecho”. That is, on Channel 8 at least, it was a “derecho derecho derecho”, which was explained about a half-dozen times, or roughly once every fifteen times it was used. Then they broke into the Acronym vault. Significant Weather Alert Event (SWAE), Multiple Time Zone Possible Tornadic Activity Indicator (MTZPTAI), and High Electrical Energy Potential Valuation (HEEPV) were the three I imagined I’d heard before I remembered I had a good excuse to start drinking early.
"Derecho", about seven people thought to explain this morning, was coined in 1888. Bullshit.
We didn’t actually get any of that here; the actual event occurred in someone else’s market. I did wake with two eyes, in time to get the trash cans out, and to a hail storm which took them completely by surprise. Which, mind you, is a minor thing, even to someone as naturally irritable as myself. It’s just that the overloaded panic circuits and pretense of expertise far beyond anything justified by results sounded just like the NSA.
Eye’s fine today, thanks.