Just call me Timmy Mallett | Steve Canavan
They used to spend a good 78 per cent of each day rummaging behind sofa cushions, searching the bedside table or checking the bathroom windowsill for their spectacles.
It’s funny how times change, for I have just done something spookily similar.
I officially became a glasses wearer a month ago when, after suffering a string of headaches, I went to the doctor and told him I was suffering from a brain tumour.
After sighing and shaking his head, he advised me to go for an eye test and come back if I had any more migraines.
On entering the opticians, I was served by a young lady wearing a beige cardigan with a badge saying, ‘Hi, I’m Brenda’, who said in broad Northern tones, 'you got an appointment then love?'
I told her I did, and then, much to my delight, I saw exactly the kind of person I'd expected to – a very serious young man who took me into a darkened room and squashed my face against some strange contraption that looked not unlike a Medieval torture device.
He switched the machine on – a screen lit up – and asked me to read the letters. I replied, ‘what letters?’
He tried four different slides before something fuzzy come into view. ‘Can you tell what that is?’ he asked.
‘Bobby Charlton‘s face?’ I said. He gave me an odd, concerned look and replied, ‘No it’s the letter P’.
To cut a long story short I was told in no uncertain terms I needed glasses, both long and short distance, and had to choose a frame.
Now I’m not a vain man – with a face like this there’s no point – but this took the best part of an hour as I tried on every single frame at least three times.
The problem is I have an abnormally small head.
Even the smallest frames looked way too big. Each time I tried on a new pair I could hear the other customers in the shop stifle a guffaw.
In the end I lost patience and simply purchased the pair I felt looked least bad.
When I got to work my colleague asked if I was going to a fancy dress party as Timmy Mallet. Anyway, I began wearing them and must admit they made a difference.
Then, four days into my new career as a glasses wearer, I did something I had previously mocked my parents for all those years earlier and lost them.
I searched the house high and low but they were nowhere to be seen. These glasses had cost upwards of £100. I was distraught, so distraught that I did what any grown man does in a moment of crisis and phoned my mother.
‘Mum, I’ve lost the glasses I bought only the other week. I’m gutted,’ I told her.
Within seconds of my mother’s reply, I suddenly remembered she isn’t the person to turn to when seeking sympathy and understanding.
‘You stupid idiot’, she said, with real venom and disgust, as if I’d just confessed to murdering my next door neighbour.
‘That’s absolutely typical of you, careless, thoughtless. Sums up your generation.
‘Everything is disposable, you don’t look after things. Absolutely stupid.’
I patiently waited until she had finished and then said, ‘mum do you still want that picture hanging in the front room?’.
‘Oh that’d be lovely, thanks so much love’, she replied, as if forgetting the last seven minutes of vitriol had ever occurred.
The upshot is I returned to the opticians and they charged me £100 for another pair.
Then, three days later, I went to get my guitar out of its case … and there inside were the glasses I’d ‘lost’.