Vol. 3, Issue 10, April 5, 2005
The Blind Leading the Blind
While there are some gentlemen of advanced Years who only adopt eyeglasses in their uttermost Senescence, such is Not the case for me: I have worn Spectacles for so long that, indeed, I scarcely recognize myself Without them. They rest atop my nose virtually all Day, generally the Blued-steel spectacles with a knocked-on Crank bridge; though I keep a pair of Gold-rimmed spectacles as well, suitable for meetings with visiting Dignitaries and occasions featuring particularly rare bottles of Scotch.
Now it so Happens that even though I am nearly never Without them, they must at Times part company from my Face; when they are in need of Cleaning, perhaps, with a clean Handkerchief; or perhaps after a particularly vigorous Sneeze. And whenever this Happens, it can lead to a most vexing Conundrum. For unless they are placed back astride my Nose with Alacrity, they may easily be Misplaced; and then I must face the virtual Impossibility of Finding my spectacles, while not Wearing them.
By Saint Eustace's beard, that is Precisely the situation I find myself in this Morning. Somehow, sometime between my First and Second pipe, this most necessary bit of Glass and lacquered Wire managed to Abscond: leaving me rather high and Dry, so to speak, and with a Pile of unanswered correspondence to complete - not to mention a Very Important Cribbage game after Lunch. Bother and Confusticate it all!
One must be Systematic in all such endeavors: and fortunately I have a keen Memory for detail, and a Routine for places to check. Steady at the Helm, and I shall find them for sure. First, I check my Drink: a 15 year old Glen Garioch. Carefully I drain the glass, for this is a Most Common place for me to lose my spectacles. Alas, no luck. I pour and drink a Second glass, just to be sure. Alas! Success eludes me.
Thence to stop Two, the Hat-rack: at least I think it is the Hat-rack; it could, reasonably, be one of the Lads (Emmett, perhaps). But several prudent wallops with my Walking-stick confirm that it is most probably the Hat-rack, unless Emmett has had a particularly rough night. No matter: the spectacles are No-where to be found.
Thus to the Third point of my Inquiry: the Butter-dish. Ephram and the lads are telling me something about the top of my Head - but this is no time to comment on my Hair-style! I find the Butter-dish after some travails. I must admit that without the help of my Lenses, our Babbage difference-engines look rather like the Ice-box. But eventually I locate the Correct hiding-place of the butter. Zounds - still no Luck.
Again Ephram says something about "atop your Head," but I have no time for Riddles, lad! The Fourth place I always look is on a particular mahogany End-table at the Club. I must try several Doors to locate the correct one to Exit; they do look much Alike without my corrective Lenses. But I have no time to Waste - I must drive to the club Forthwith! What is Ephram going on about? - No time!
It is not until much later in the Day that I arrive back once more at my Desk, defeated and with many an interesting Adventure, might I add. It is most Unusual not to find my spectacles after a thorough Search; but I have been through all Thirty-eight of my usual Searching spots, and for the first time, come up Empty. Most unusual! However, all is not Lost; I shall fetch my spare pair in the Evening, and in the meanwhile, though I cannot read the Labels, I can certainly tell my Scotches apart by Taste.
What the deuce is that atop my Head?