The other day I had the great honor of taking the Queen mother (my mom) to the optometrist at Sears. Wow, it was quite an experience! I couldn’t believe the characters we ran into at that place. There must have been a week of a new moon, because the people we encountered there were out of the ordinary. My mother and I spent a good portion of our time just sitting there in the lobby taking it all in, sometimes laughing and snickering in Portuguese. (Knowing a second language comes in handy sometimes.)
My mother immediately pointed out one customer that looked like the cartoon character, Peter Griffin from Family Guy. I was surprised how quickly my mom made that connection. I was unaware she even watched Family Guy. My mom is just full of surprises! This guy WAS in fact a dead ringer for Peter Griffin! He had the hair, the clothes, the glasses, only difference is he was wearing Birkenstocks with blue turquoise socks. Okay, he was a Santa Cruz version of Peter Griffin. Of course, guess who got to sit across Peter Griffin in the lobby while my mom got her eyes tested? Yes, I did, and wow, I quickly learned that Peter was quite the conversationalist! Lucky me!
It wasn’t long until two other cartoon characters walked in. This time, it was Hank and Dale from King Of The Hill, personified. Both of them walked in wearing glasses and high rise wrangler jeans. They were wearing t-shirts, tucked into their jeans, both revealing a pair of swollen beer bellies. All that was missing was a can of beer in each hand, and a cigarette hanging out of Dale’s mouth. My mom and I exchanged glances at one another, and tried our best not to burst into laughter. It wasn’t as much as their appearance, but the way they approached the lobby. They slowly entered the lobby like deer caught in the headlights. It was very strange. They were apparently both on a mission.
We all got an ear full of their “mission” while I politely conversed with “Peter” while my mother was getting her eyes tested. We overheard, “Hank” complaining to the salesman, as he tried to bargain on a price for a new pair of transitional lens glasses for his brother, “Dale”. Apparently, he “bought his brother a pair with his Sears charge card three years ago, and the lenses aren’t turning into sunglasses when he goes outside no more…” Let’s just say Hank was not amused with the price to replace his brother’s glasses.
“He is actually bargaining with the sales clerk!” exclaimed Peter.
The atmosphere was getting a little heated before the salesman got on the phone to speak to the manager. Meanwhile another guy walked in to pick up a pair of glasses. This guy looked like Elmer Fud. He wasn’t wearing a hunting cap, but I wish he had been because he had this large dry scab on the top of his bald head. The sales girl couldn’t find his second pair of glasses, so Elmer sat there, waiting for the salesman to get off the phone. He went on to chat to the poor girl, telling her stories of how he had already out-lived his parents, and how he saved himself from drowning in a creek. He never said anything about his head injury, and I’m quite surprised he didn’t because it looked rather serious, and I would have thought he wanted to impress the girl with yet another story about how he had gotten it. May be it’s from when he “saved himself” from drowning in that creek. May he hit a rock?
Well, meanwhile, Hank and Dale finally got the negotiated price they hoped for the glasses, and Hank’s voice went down a few notches. Dale said nothing. I don’t think he even spoke once. What seemed to be eternity, my mom finally got out of the exam room, and Peter Griffin finally went inside with his turquoise socks.
My mother chose a nice pair of Sophia Loren glasses. After waiting 15 minutes for the sales clerk to finally find my mom’s prescription for the glasses that were right there at the register, he sat down with us and it wasn’t long before he was pitching to my mother the wonders of transitional lenses. By this time, we were tired of hearing about these glasses---Hank and Dale’s situation did not help the cause. I guess this sales clerk was a little disappointed when my mother said no to them. She had to tell him three times before he finally got a clue. This sales clerk had a very stuffy nose, that he was constantly clearing while he sat with us. It was not pleasant. Let's call him, Sneezy.
Sneezy explained that he had some kind of disease (he explained what it was, but I don't remember) that made his sinus’stuffy, and eyes water. Too much information. I think he was trying to impress me. He kept on asking for my name, telling me that I could pick the new glasses on Valentines Day. Wow. The waving of my left hand with my wedding ring, did not phase him. He did fix my mom’s old glasses though—I will give him that much. Apparently the reason why my mother has been feeling dizzy, and why her handwriting has been a little messy lately isn’t because her prescription was too old, it was because the person who put them in last put them upside down. Mystery solved!
After 3 hours at Sears, we finally left the building. The people we met that day unfortunately will be remembered for a long time. No, I did not go pick up the glasses on Valentines Day. The glasses are still there.
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