Hello, gentle readers. How is everyone doing today? Feeling hail and hardy? Ready to leap out of bed and beat the day into submission? Hurrah for you.
I, alas, am a little under the weather.
My old football injury is acting up.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have a football injury.
In my eye.
Some of you are, no doubt, saying, "How on Earth did that happen?"
I’m sure a fair number of you are also wondering, "What on Earth were you doing playing football?"
Well, it happened when I got hit in the face with a football and I had to play because it was during Physical Education in the grim days of middle school.
Physical Education, in my personal opinion, is one of the stupidest damn classes they make people take in school. In theory, it is supposed to promote healthy exercise, but the only people who ever seem to enjoy it are those persons already possessed of a natural athleticism. Even the people teaching the coarse don’t seem to enjoy it.
However, getting back to my eye.
The injury was not severe. I had to have a cream rubbed into my eye and wear an eye-patch for a few days, but that was it. My vision was unaffected. After a few days, I was pretty much back to normal, although I was a bit reluctant to have anything thrown at me.
Every few years, though, the old injury acts up. The white of my right eye turns an unwholesome shade of red. An optometrist I consulted years ago, when I first went red-eye, couldn’t find any sign of permanent vision damage and suggested that the redness was caused by eyestrain. He prescribed resting the eye, gave me an eyepatch, and told me to wear it for a while.
I did and, within a day or two, the eye was back to normal.
Over the years, I’ve had other bouts of red-eye. During these flare-ups, I get to walk around for a few days wearing an eye-patch. People express their shock when they see the patch and want to know what happened. I trot out the football story, but that seems to leave most of them disappointed.
I can’t say that I blame them. It’s a bloody dull story and anything that makes a fellow walk around wearing an eye-patch shouldn’t be dull.
So, I get creative.
In other words, I tell those solicitous individuals an entertaining and highly improbably story that they may choose to believe or disbelieve, as they prefer.
One time, I told a fellow I was wearing the patch as part of my initiation into the Pirates, which was like the Freemasons only more secret and with much more gruesome initiation rituals.
"Really?" said the fellow.
"Oh yes," I said, solemnly. "I had to give up an eye, a hand or a leg to join and I chose my eye."
For a second, I think he actually believed me.
This year, I have given it some thought and have a fabulous story to tell. Utterly improbably, but highly entertaining.
I’m not going to give it away here, because that would be like spoiling Christmas. However, if you run into me on the street in the next day or so, and I’m wearing the patch, go ahead and ask. You won’t regret it.