Old Friends and Old Age

Tyrone is sitting in an examination chair at his eye doctor’s office. He’s wearing a pair of half-frame reading glasses and flipping through a magazine. Dr. Barry Levitz walks in holding an electronic tablet.
“Mr. Johnson,” he says, “has it been a year already?”
Barry smiles as they walk out of the waiting room toward the examination room.
“Sorry about the Mr. Johnson, Ty. I was just wearing keeping it professional in front of the patients.”
“I figured it was something like that since we’ve been friends for over four decades. And it hasn’t been quite a year, Barry, but my insurance is changing – and not for the better. I wanted to come in while I still had decent coverage. You know, this National Geographic is disturbingly devoid of topless native women.”
“You know, that would actually be funny if I didn’t have to remove those issues from the office. Do you believe I actually got yelled at by a mother who caught her 12-year-old son looking at just that?”
“Seriously? If you can get a 12-year-old to read, you must be doing something right. It’s not like he was reading Penthouse Forum like we did at 12. Was she your people or mine?”
“Mine, so she had no problem screaming at me from the waiting room. Go on, sit in the chair.”
“I thought your people entered manhood at 13. Maybe the kid was just preparing for his Bar Mitzvah.”
“I’m sure the little deviant watches every R rated movie on cable, but his mother freaks out in my office. God forbid he learns a little about the culture in Borneo. So I see you are still using the dollar readers. Any other problems?”
“Not really, but I’m up to 2.25 on the reading glasses. If you recall, I was borderline for nearsightedness last time, and I’m a little concerned that it’s getting worse. I’ve been coming to you for 20 years and I’ve had a pretty good run.”
“You were at the edge last time. This may mean contacts or glasses if you want to be 20-20.”
“I want to be 18-18, Barry.”
“Yeah, I want to see the world through 18-year-old eyes for 18 more years.”
“Let’s see, since we’re both 55, that would be until you’re 73. Why stop there?”
“By then, I hope to be retired and living in Borneo. By 18, I mean that I still see young women as obtainable, and when I pass by the courts, I can still imagine myself driving the lane. I see these kids today and still think that if I lost twenty pounds, I could show them a few things. You, of course, would still be using the two-handed set shot.”
“Hey, my people invented the game. We just never considered using the x-axis as well. Sorry, we’re all getting older, Ty. Check this out.”
Berry bends over to show the crown of his head. He has a significant bald spot developing.
“Yikes!” says Tyrone. “At least you can pop on that yarmulke to pick up the ladies. Why do you think I shave my head? I’m getting it from both ends. My bald spot is right up front and what was left in back had too much grey.”
“I think my wife would discourage that. At least you can rock the Samuel L. Jackson look. Have you ever seen a completely bald Jew?”
“Who was that dude with the eyepatch?”
“Moshe Dayan, I was thinking more like Curly Howard.”
“You’re right, it would be funny. Nyuk, Nyuk.”
“Yet, now I have nearly enough nose and ear hair for a comb over.”
“My problem is getting to it before it gets out of hand. I get these long white ones that are stiff like horsehair.”
“I get those in my sideburns. At least I have Stacy to trim them for me. The progressive lenses will help you see them.”
“How about I just get Stacy to trim me as well?”
“You don’t want that. She makes me trim her where she can’t see.”
“Are you saying…”
“Yes, and before you get aroused, it ain’t foreplay. I’m a doctor who saves people’s eyesight, but when I’m holding a tiny pair of scissors, I’m Norman Bates.”
“I guess I can leave, now that I’m blind. Can’t she go to a spa and get waxed? I assume you could afford it.”
“I beg her to go. She says no Brazilian is looking at her private area. Only her gynecologist and I have that privilege…and both twice a year each. Well, do you want to look at the normal eye chart, or do you want the one for children? It has boats.”
Tyrone puts his hand over his left eye and says, “K, I, S, S, M, Y, A, S, S.”
After the exam, Barry punches several pieces of information into his tablet.
“So, what am I looking at, Barry?”
“Not as much as you used to.”
“Ba-dum, Tchhhh. Save the Borscht Belt schtick. Am I gonna need glasses?”
“Probably, but you’re not going to like it. Straight glasses are not expensive, but with the presbyopia affecting the reading, you probably are going to want bifocals or better still, progressives.”
“How much?”
“Progressives will be about 400 to 500 dollars, times two if you want a backup pair. Do you wear sunglasses to drive?”
“Jesus, Barry, and this is every three years or so?”
“Probably, although you can keep the same frames and you probably won’t change the backups. You’re not severe enough for laser surgery and you probably don’t want to be carrying around two types of glasses and swapping them constantly. What about contacts for the distance and keep using the readers? Or, you can wait another year, assuming you aren’t getting headaches.”
“You’re the one giving me a headache.”
“The progressives will allow the middle distance so you can use the computer.”
“Gee, and I thought the porn industry was just using blurrier actresses. I hear they’re hard to adjust to. Will they screw up my golf game?”
Barry pauses.
“I’m sorry, Ty. That pitch was so fat, I didn’t have the heart to take the bat off my shoulder. Why don’t you just get married again so you don’t have to look at other women?”
“Now I’m the one too stunned to respond. I’d get progressive X-ray specs if they made them.”
“Look, I’ve got other patients. Think about it and let me know. You still coming to dinner on Thursday?”
“Yeah, I’ll be there. Regards to Stacy. Hey, when do the drops wear off?”
“You’ll be blurred for a few hours, so don’t drive without sunglasses and don’t hit on my receptionist.”
“Is she unattractive? My standards aren’t what they used to be.”
“No, schmuck, she’s my mother-in-law.”

© Copyright 2014 – Robert O’Connell. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert O’Connell with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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