September 14, 2005

according to darwin, i should be dead

i soooooo should have been naturally selected out of the gene pool by now, if nature and darwin and natural processes had their way. if not for modern science, i'd have been a goner long before today, which would be very sad, because of course, then i could not blog.

so. ways in which nature probably would have picked me off already if not for modern science: a) being
preternaturally pale and prone to truly severe levels of sunburn, i think we can count sunscreen as a literal life-saver in my case, since presumably i'd need to spend at least some time outdoors back in the day, working fields or making hay or whatever. which, you'll note, should be done while the sun shines. OMINOUS? i think so. also DEADLY. b) i enjoy a heinous level of seasonal allergies (which, ironically, are only partially treatable by modern science, as i'm allergic to decongestants. go figure.) c) some, uh, girl problems that started early on in the puberty stages that require medication ohmygodhowiloveyouorthotricyclen. ok, so that probably wouldn't have killed me, but i probably would have thrown myself in front of the nearest bus charging rhino, without the magical powers of drugs.

but, the piece de resistance would have to be my alarming level of blindness.

i'm lucky, honestly, since my vision is totally correctable with contacts. and dude, contacts? how i love thee. let me count the ways. in fact, let me compose a poem in your honor:

Ode to Contacts

By Alice

For those of us who cannot see
You answered our long-standing plea:
To save us from the infamy
Of bespectacled eternity.

O contacts! Do you know the glee
You have bestowed now upon me?
For always - joy! - can I be free
From taunts of “four-eyes!” hurled at me.

O contacts! You’re my cup of tea!
The cat’s pajamas! The bee’s knee!
I do, though, wish your price could be
Less than Sri Lanka’s GNP.

seriously, the darn things are expensive. like, hundreds of dollars. each year. not cool. turns out when your prescription gets high enough, though, everything has an "extra-bad prescription" surcharge. bastards.

just how bad ARE my eyes, you ask? perhaps you should ask one of the many friends or acquaintances who have discovered how amusing it is to make me try to guess how many fingers they're holding up, or what object they've put on their head now, when my eyes are reduced to their natural states. (the answers, incidentally, are "i have no idea" for both, unless said hand or head is within 2 feet of my face. then if i squint i can sometimes get it.)

a couple of years ago, i went to a new eye doctor, who started the usual tests to get a feel for how bad my vision was. i was sitting in a chair in a darkened room, with a projected image on the wall in front of me, which was probably about 10 feet away. the doctor asked if i could read any of the letters on the wall. i said no. he switched the slide and tried again. still nothing. i heard several more slides change, then the doctor asked me which way the E on the wall was facing. "there's an E on the wall?" i asked. there was a pause, then the doctor asked me to get up and walk towards the wall, stopping when i could tell him which way the E was facing. when i was about 3ish feet away from the wall, i was finally able to see something. moving closer, i realized it was an enormous capital E, the size of the entire slide, probably 14 inches tall. which i couldn't see until i was close enough to touch it.

i also can't read in bed unless i'm wearing glasses. without them, i have to have the page so close to my face in order to see the words that i literally go crosseyed. so if i do read without my glasses, i do it with one eye closed, and the book touching my nose. then i have to move either the book or my head from side to side, too, since if i hold the book far enough back that i can see an entire line, i can no longer read the individual words. it's pretty sad, friends.

so, obviously, were i alive before the lovely, brilliant, prodigious miracle of contacts (or, i suppose, an incredibly thick medieval pair of glasses) i clearly would have been hit by a stampeding boar, or walked obliviously off a cliff, or accidentally married a really, really ugly man by now. i flaunt my defective genes at you, darwin! ha! just wait until i procreate! those kids'll REALLY be screwed!


  1. THAT was the best poem EVER.

    I also thank god that I am alive at this particular time, as I would be one of those Southern women who always got "the vapors." Only my vapors would be less delicate mooning around and more unattractive snuffling from the fact that I too am allergic to everything.

    There's a reason why you're on my list of people I think are a HOOT! You're the best.

  2. Hahahahaha!!! I'm laughing heartily over here. The drawing that Amber made of you with the thick glasses came to mind. Love your Ode to Contacts poem, by the way. I agree with are a HOOT and a must read. So I thank modern science for keeping you alive and with us so that you can entertain the masses via your blog. :)

  3. Pretty girls with bad eyes make ugly boys very happy and hopeful. I didn't know your contacts cost around 800 bucks? DAAAAAANNNNNNNG. I think buying, training, and feeding a herd of seeing eye dogs and one rhesus monkey might be cheaper. Good poem by the way.

  4. I can appreciate your ode to contacts even as a person who has never worn corrective specs (bragging). And I too should have been plucked via Darwinism long ago (dirtbike).


  5. Alice, Alice, Alice. As you sister-in-contacted-blindness, I found your poem to be truly touching. Nay, inspiring. I shall respond in haiku form.

    I wake up in the morning
    knock my glasses off
    my stand and say "SHIT"!!

  6. It's like in the movie 'Twins', where Arnold was genetically engineered to be perfect, but he had a twin who got all the crap genes. You are the Danny DeVito to your sister's Arnold. Speaking of, is she single yet?

  7. Brilliant poem, Alice. I spit out my coffee when I got to the end.

  8. Go ask Alice...I think she'll know.

    Another hoot of a post, girl. Keep up the fun!

  9. What is the deal with people using that strikeout thing on their words? Why not just DELETE the word "bus" and put "charging rhino" in its place, it seems like that would be a real time-saver.

  10. armaedes,

    It was for humor's sake, since she was talking about being alive before the technology of contacts and putting herself in the past...ergo, no buses, but a higher chance of being run down by a charging rhino.

    Nothing kills a joke deader than explaining it...

  11. Holy crap, Watcher_don. That was some f'ing brilliant insight. I have another question for Mister WatcherPedia over there- what kind of contact lenses Alice is purchasing that are more than Sri Lanka's GNP? I looked it up, and in 2003 it was 15.24 billion dollars... seems kind of steep. Watcher_don, could you perhaps find Alice some contacts that cost less than $7.62 billion per lens? Please? She said it in her post, in poem form no less.... it MUST be taken literally.


  12. watcher - thanks, you explained it perfectly :-)

    anon - go eat a porcupine. slowly.

  13. Love the ode to contacts. I always looked like a dork in glasses. Of course now dorks are cool. So I had to get a new pair of glasses (mine were on a prescription from like 9th grade, that's how often I wore them) and picked out a groovy geek-chick pair of Valentino's...yeah, nice chunk of change. But they actually are the only glasses that have ever looked good on me. Let's hear it for geeks.

    I still wear my contacts most often though.

  14. love the "ode to contacts" *L*

    Stopping to think about my sibs and me. If not for medical technology developed within our life times, 1 of us would have never made it out of the teens, two of us would have never made it to 30 and I would not have made it to 50. It is truly remarkable how far we have come in so short a time

  15. interesting, I am going to blog this myself....