Wearily, Randy began the process of readying his brand new club for the second night of business. The grand opening the previous night had been a mild success. He was hoping that the number of patrons would increase as ‘word of mouth’ spread throughout the neighborhood. Every dime of his savings had been sunk into the venture and there was no budget left for advertising. Fortunately Randy, himself, was his only employee, so the customers at the grand opening had been enough to handle. Growth would only push him to hire a staff. That would increase other complications.
“All things in time,” he said to himself.
While flipping chairs from their resting place, upside down on a table, Randy spotted something shiny. After placing the chair in his hands right-side up on the floor, he reached for the object and discovered it was a pair of glasses. Funny. He had missed them the night before at closing time, but then, he had been exhausted. Besides, articles like that were most often nothing more than cheap things such as inexpensive sunglasses or costume jewelry. Seldom were the items of enough value to warrant a patron a return trip to retrieve them. He had been in the business working for others for many years and that is one thing he knew to be fact.
But as he placed his fingers on the glasses, Randy realized that these were special. Made of black plastic, the frames were a classic ‘wayfarer’ style most often used as sunglasses. These lenses were crystal clear, rather thick, and had a distinctive sheen in the muted light of the club. Taking a closer look, he could feel that the lenses were heavy with an appearance that seemed rather strong. Both lenses contained a prescription that pulled objects in a downward motion from right to left. It was apparent even to an unqualified layperson. Compulsively, Randy touched a lens with his fingers. The sensation was smooth and incredibly soothing. The person that left these behind most likely had been quite inebriated to leave without them.
Did they belong to a man or a woman? Thinking, Randy tried to recall. Which customers were wearing black ‘wayfarers’? It couldn’t be that hard to remember. There were several guys throughout the course of the day that had been wearing some kind of black horn-rimmed glasses but he couldn’t picture them well enough to recollect the specifics. There was a woman, though. She was distinctive. Tall with a nice rack, she had a shapely rear with long legs. Her hair was long, too, wavy, and jet black.
“Well, somebody will be back to claim these,” he spoke aloud.
In the meantime . . . . . but he stopped in mid-thought. The glasses were kind of cool. He wondered how they would look on him, and how would they feel? Behind locked doors, in the privacy of his own club, Randy slipped the glasses over his ears and let them rest on his nose. Surprisingly, they were pleasant and reassuring. He had never worn anything so comfortable. He looked into the mirror behind the bar. From this distance, they looked good. In fact, from this distance, he could see well. How odd. The experience was altogether new and sensational. Now, he couldn’t resist. Randy walked behind the bar and leaned into the mirror. The glasses fit flawlessly and were perfectly suited for his face. As he looked around the club, he felt his eyes gently relax. Despite what appeared to be a serious prescription, his vision felt awesome.
“I should get my eyes checked,” he muttered, “I can see perfectly with these.”
The truth was, Randy realized he could see much better.
“Maybe the customer that left them won’t return for them,” he thought hopefully.
Continuing with his chores, at 5:00 p.m. Randy unlocked the front door, opened it, and kicked a door stop under the bottom. It was a gorgeously pleasant day outside.
“Best let some of that good stuff inside of here,” Randy spoke though no one heard.
Within minutes, customers began trickling inside. By 6:30, Carl Harding entered and sat on a stool at the end of the bar.
“What’s with the glasses, cousin,” he interrogated, “are they new?”
Caught off guard, Randy realized he’d never removed them. As he went about the task of opening a bottle of Carl Harding’s favorite brew, ‘Old Peculiar’, his only recourse was to lie.
“Yeah, they’re new Carl. I just picked them up this afternoon. How do I look?”
Randy pulled a jar of molasses from under the bar and slid it down to Carl Harding to mix with his ‘Old Peculiar’.
“You look fine but they sure look strong. Are you sure they’re yours?” he cross-examined.
“Absolutely. I’ve never been able to see so well,” Randy responded honestly.
“Cause those seem really strong for a first pair. There was a sexy babe wearing glasses like that in here last night. Did you see her?”
“Yeah, I remember,” Randy replied wanting to forget.
“Or is that the schtick you’ve created for yourself to fit in with the name of your place? ‘McGoggles’? You need to wear goggles, i.e. glasses, to run this place?”
“No, Carl. I was referring to ‘beer goggles’ when I came up with the name.”
“Really, Randy? I mean, really? From ‘beer goggles’ to ‘McGoggles’ seems particularly obscure. So obscure that I don’t think anyone gets it.”
“Oh, I think some people, get it,” Randy retorted as several unsolicited heads sitting at the bar stools shook in the direction of negative.
“’Cause, I gotta tell ya,” Carl Harding persisted, “I’ve known you since we were babies and I never remember you complaining about needing glasses or“
“There’s a first time for everything,” Randy interrupted in exasperation.
Then he angrily walked from behind the bar to clear some tables. Jeez, he thought. Why does Carl have to be so meddlesome? Friggin’ lawyer. There’s got to be one in every family. Whether I need glasses or not, why can’t he just take my word for it? Who is he to question the name of my club? I don’t need him chasing off customers just because they think I’m a crackpot or a crook. Randy felt stupid for forgetting to remove the glasses. That simple act had forced him into this silly scam in the first place.
Putting the empty bottles and dirty mugs that he’d gathered into the sink, Randy removed the eyeglasses and placed them on the bar. That’s when he got the shock of his life. Without their aid, his eyes were practically blind! In a panic, he tried to go about his business as though nothing was wrong but he could see little beyond the length of his arms. Even the faces of people sitting on the stools on the other side of the bar were out of focus. For several minutes Randy tried to relax but it was useless. He couldn’t even see where he’d placed the glasses.
“With a prescription like that, Randy, you’re never going to cope without glasses or contacts,” a female voice interceded, “but surely you know that already.”
Randy squinted but regardless how hard he strained, he could not identify the person talking.
“I’m down here, Randy. It’s me. Doctor Green,” the voice continued. “It’s pointless to try to hide it, too. Your eyes have that tell-tale unfocussed look of a very nearsighted person; like they can’t see enough of anything to even bother trying.”
Embarrassed to have his eyesight the topic of discussion of, Randy wasn’t sure what she was talking about. But he remembered meeting the doctor the previous night. With her practice being next door, she seemed to appreciate having a ‘watering hole’ opening up within steps of her office.
“God, I love that look!” Dr. Green continued with a distinct country drawl. “That’s about the sexiest thing a man can do. And you’re a good-looking man, Randy.”
Randy was beginning to think it was time to cut the good doctor off. She didn’t seem to need any more alcohol. Unfortunately, she hadn’t even ordered a drink yet. In the mean time, Carl Harding had witnessed the exchange between his cousin and the doctor. She wasn’t a bad looking woman either, especially once one was fitted with his ‘beer goggles’ and he was getting fitted with the best of them. Since she seemed so interested in Randy’s vision and eyewear, Carl Harding thought it might be possible to join in the fun. And with Randy’s new glasses waiting on the bar within an arm’s reach . . . . .
Carl Harding placed the ‘wayfarers’ on his face and adjusted them with both hands. Whoa! The glasses fit perfectly as though they had been made for him. Even though he was in an early stage of inebriation, he could still see the difference. The view through the lenses was astonishing. As he scanned the club, Carl Harding could never remember such clarity. It was almost sobering. While Randy and Dr. Green conversed, he continued to enjoy sights that he felt he’d never seen. He looked in the mirror behind the bar, and for the first time saw himself in glasses. From this distance, the view looked pretty good. Maybe women could dig him the way that Dr. Green seemed to be going after Randy. But for now, nobody seemed to take notice.
“There they are,” a voice interrupted abruptly, “I’ve been looking for those glasses everywhere. I must have left them here last night.”
While he nearly jumped off the stool, everyone turned to see an attractive woman standing with her face about six inches from Carl Harding squinting to see his face and glaring into his eyes behind the glasses.
“It’s her, Randy,” Carl Harding squirmed,” the sexy babe”.
It was indeed the ‘sexy babe’ that they had remembered from the night before. She was still rather tall and buxom, still had a shapely rear with long legs, and her hair was still long, wavy, and jet black. The difference? She was wearing a black eye instead of the black glasses.
“I have a name. It’s Jewel, Jewel Valentine, and I need those glasses back,” the woman demanded, “I can’t see past the length of my arms without them, anymore.”
“Wait, these aren’t the glasses you think they are,” Carl Harding rebutted. “These belong to Randy.”
“Randy, who?” Jewel asked while stomping her foot.
“Randy, me,” responded Randy who had walked to Carl Harding’s end of the bar. “Give me those,” he said directing his speech towards Carl Harding whom he could vaguely see was wearing the glasses.
Carl Harding removed the glasses, Randy placed them on his face, and Jewel readdressed her squint and glare towards Randy.
“And just where did you find them,” Jewel asked, “here at your club?”
“As a matter of fact, I picked them up at my optometrist’s office, today,” Randy lied.
“That’s right, he got them from me earlier,” Dr. Green said adding to the falsities.
Randy looked appreciatively towards Dr. Green who returned a wink when she thought no one was looking. Carl Harding, in the meantime, had discovered that he couldn’t see anything past the length of his arms. What the hell? He’d only worn the glasses for a few minutes. But what a wonderful few minutes it had been he recalled fondly. Although, how was he going to get home? He couldn’t see well enough to drive. And how was he going to explain the sudden onset of myopia to his wife?
“Listen,” Jewel pled, “I have to find the glasses. If I go home without them, Utah will beat the shit outta me again. He was so pissed off last night when I couldn’t find them.”
“Are you saying this Utah character beat you last night just because you couldn’t find your glasses?” a portly man interrupted. “Is that how you got the black eye?”
“Yes,” Jewel sniffled.
“Detective Dehling at your service, ma’am,” he said producing a policeman’s badge from his coat pocket. Then he turned his attention towards Randy. “Sir, I’m going to ask you to give the glasses to me until we sort this out.”
Reluctantly, Randy complied by removing the glasses and handing them to the Detective who, in turn, gently placed the glasses on Jewel’s face. The Detective knew that the eyewear style was a popular one that was androgynous enough to be worn by all three sexes.
“Ma’am, do these feel like your glasses.”
Jewell waited for that ubiquitous moment, the ‘eye-opening’ instant when she knew her eyes would relax and the entire world would come into focus. She had experienced that sensation several times the previous night.
“Yes, they fit perfect and I can see better than ever,” Jewell smiled in relief.
Everyone in the room could see that the glasses fit unquestionably perfectly on her face. In the meantime, Randy stood while Carl Harding sat, motionless, stunned in their unconditional shortsightedness. Neither could follow the reactions of the other bar patrons. Then, at that moment, a man entered the club, took one look at Jewell Valentine and rushed to her side.
“Man, that is what I’m talkin’ about, Jewell,” the man exclaimed, “those glasses look fantastic on you!”
“Utah, you jerk!” Jewell screamed while stomping her foot again, “do you know how crappy my eyes are without these glasses?!”
Upon hearing his name, Detective Dehling immediately strong-armed Utah to the floor, placed handcuffs on his hands, and crushed him face down with a portly knee to the small of his back. The move had been accomplished with the deftness of a female gymnast.
“Sir, you have the right to remain silent and I suggest that you exercise that right for the moment.” Towards Jewell, Detective Dehling asked, “Would you like to press charges for assault and battery against this man?”
Ignoring, the Detective for the moment, Jewel began her own line of questioning.
“I put these glasses on last night only because you begged me to do it, Utah. Now I can’t see a gawdamned thing without them. My eyes are so screwed up, now. And in a drunken rage you smacked me around last night just because I forgot to take them with me when we left! What do you think I ought to tell Detective Dehling to do with you?”
“Baby, I didn’t ask you to wear the glasses to ruin your eyesight. I just wanted to see how you would look. I never seen nothing hotter than you when you’re wearing them. And believe me, if you have to keep wearing them forever, I’ll never be disappointed by that.”
“And you’re never gonna smack me around again?” she queried.
“No baby doll, I promise,” Utah claimed.
“Then let him go, Detective. Please,” Jewell requested.
With a final jab of his knee to Utah’s back, Detective Dehling grudgingly helped the man to his feet and unlocked the handcuffs.
“Now let me get this straight,” Detective Dehling asked Jewell Valentine, “the glasses that you wore last night you found in here?”
“Yes,” Jewell confessed.
“And wore them for the first time then? You didn’t even have glasses before that?”
“Yes and yes,” she admitted.
“Then you must give them back to Randy. He has a witness that corroborates his story. Those glasses appear to be his.”
“But they fit me perfect, and I can see perfect with them,” Jewell pled while squinting.
“Same for me,” Randy agreed while squinting.
“Me, too,” Carl Harding furthered while squinting.
Jewell grudgingly gave the glasses to Randy whom was relieved to return them to his face. Seeing Randy wearing the glasses for the first time, Utah turned to him showing a crooked little quirky smile.
“Man, those glasses look fantastic on you,” Utah said passionately. “What time do you close up tonight?”
“Get away from me, you freak!” Randy countered.
“Oh, honey, you can call me Elmo if you like,” Utah replied adoringly.
“On second thought, maybe I would like to press charges, Detective Dehling,” Jewel added.
Upon receiving a stern look from the Detective, Utah quickly gathered his zealous thoughts and removed himself from the premises. Once he disappeared from her sight, which was only about two steps away, Jewel pled to no one in particular.
“How am I going to get home? I still can’t see past the length of my arms.”
“Same here,” Carl Harding added, “I still can’t see past the length of my arms, either.”
“It seems each of us has the need for the use of a similar prescription,” Randy added further knowing he could not have seen past the length of arms before he had returned the glasses to his face.
“I’ll be glad to give you a ride home, Jewell,” a bar patron, Mr. Burmeister, offered without hesitation, “and I have dozens of pairs of glasses in my collection at home. I’m sure we could find something suitable for you.”
Word on the streets was that Mr. Burmeister, who resembled the actor Michael Douglas, was, in fact, the famous author and ‘Eyescene’ contributor known to all as ‘Specs4ever’. But, Dr. Green interrupted hoping to propose a more beneficial solution.
By the end of the first month after launching his club, Randy was considering the need to hire additional staff. Business had grown more rapidly than he could ever imagine. He was even entertaining ideas of extending hours to cover the afternoons. During an unusually slow moment, Randy scanned the room with his perfectly corrected vision through the very strong lenses in the comfortably fitted glasses that he hadn’t worn the day of the Grand Opening. Life was good! There was one thing that puzzled him, though.
“The only person that isn’t wearing black ‘wayfarers’ is Dr. Green,” he said to himself. “That good-looking optometrist seems to be the only person in my club that has perfect eyesight. Huh.”