What’s the greatest gadget of all time?
It’s not the iPhone and if you think it is, you’re wrong.
It’s the glasses.
That may be the ugliest phrase ever written, but it’s not their fault that they don’t play well in sentences.
And given their contribution in the battle against visual imprecision, their chronic awkwardness where the written word is concerned is a tiny price to pay.
For all their simple brilliance at bringing things into lovely sharp focus though, there are still high fences, beyond which the wearers of spectacles cannot venture.
These are some of the pockets of activity that still bear a sign at the entrance “Not for the four-eyed.”
- Venetian masked balls
Waltzes, tiny little cups of wine, intrigue and *needle skids off the record* masks. The full-faced “volto”, the one that looks like a joker, even the one with a giant beak – none of them work over the top of a pair of glasses. You could, if brave, attempt one of those masks on a stick, but their powers of disguise are pathetic and it might be less trouble to just decline the invitation.
The seabed is just going to have to remain a mystery for the short of sight.
- The mosh pit
Not a place for anything delicately balanced or easily broken. Also forbidden: trays of champagne flutes, anything constructed over several years out of matches.
- The boxing ring
Wearers of glasses have to find alternative locations to vent their frustrations.
- The putting on of a crash helmet while simultaneously retaining ones dignity
A good crash helmet should be snug of fit, which means taking off the specs, putting the helmet on, and then trying to replace the glasses through the slot, a bit like posting them to your own face through a letter box, while trying hard not to get the arm of the “eyewear” in ones’ eye. Best attempted in private.
- Water parks
Either specs on and lose them on the first flume, or specs off and lose your companions for the entire day while also coping with the persistent suspicion someone has stolen them.
Those bug-like goggles favoured by jumpers are completely deaf to calls to accommodate additional eye-wear. Being unable to either appreciate the view or have a healthy sense of when to prepare for smashing into the ground renders the diversion a little too frustrating.
- Bank robbery
The qualities of a balaclava as a disguise are significantly reduced by the addition of a pair of glasses over the top.
- Doing your own stunts
Matt Damon is very much Hollywood’s go to guy when the script calls for a leading man in glasses, but he has to put them on, rather than take them off. Just as the transgender community has lobbied for trans actors to play trans roles, perhaps where the script calls for “Man, in heavy rimmed spectacles” they ought to pick someone with genuine sympathy for the part.
- Street fighting
The best you can hope for is a phyrric victory – sending your aggressor fleeing, then picking up the pieces and facing a large bill at Specsavers. Better to just hand over the £3.50 you were initially targeted for.