1 or 2?

1 or 2 title image

If you wear glasses, you have endured hardships that spare naturally 20/20 people.  You were called “four eyes” as a child.  You have been rendered blind by the fogging of your glasses countless times by abrupt temperature changes.  But perhaps one of the greatest hardships of all when it comes to glasses is visiting the eye doctor for a new prescription.  The eye doctor demands you make decision after decision, proclamation after proclamation, on whether you see best with option “1 or 2.”  You don’t get much time to ruminate with your face pressed up against the clown-sized glasses machine on whether 1 or 2 is the better option.  Sometimes the pace of selecting 1 or 2 makes the situation feel quite hostile.

1 or 2?

The man sits in a chair with a phoropter* pressed against his face.

*The massive instrument which contains all kinds of lenses to create any eye prescription imaginable.  It also might allow you to shoot lasers out of your eyes.


The eye doctor paces frantically in front of the man.  He draws a revolver out of the holster on his hip.

“You think this is a game?!”

The eye doctor fires 3 rounds into the ceiling.  A tile falls to the ground and crumbles.  One of the two fluorescent ceiling lights starts to flicker.


“1 or 2 then?”

“Can I see 1 again?”

The eye doctor adjusts one of the 147 dials on the phoropter.

“And then 2.”

The eye doctor turns the dial back.

“Back to 1.”

The eye doctor turns the dial forward again.

“2 once more for old time’s sake.”

“Quit stalling.  I need an answer.”

“Uhhh they both seem so similar.  Gosh this is hard.”

“I didn’t ask if this was hard.  I asked which one is it going to be!”

The eye doctor cocks the hammer of the revolver.




“No 2.”

The eye doctor laughs and scratches his temple with the barrel of the revolver.

“Ahh, you’re really gonna need to make up your mind soon.”

“Okay, okay, okay. It’s 1.  I’m going with 1.”

“Good.  Now, cover your right eye.”

“I can’t.”

“What do you mean you can’t?”

The eye doctor looks at the man.  The man has rope around his torso and both wrists.

“Oh, I totally forgot I tied you down to the chair.”

The eye doctor undoes the rope around the man’s wrists.

The man stretches his arms.


“Now, get that right eye covered.”

The man covers his left eye.

“I said your right eye.  Come on!”

“Oh jeez.  I always mix up right and left.”

The eye doctor shoots a round into the ceiling. The bullet hits a pipe. Water showers out of the ceiling.  One of the fluorescent light bulbs shorts out for a moment then explodes with sparks streaming down to the floor.

The man quickly and shakily covers his right eye.

“Read the letters on the bottom row.”

The man hesitates.

“I know you know how to read.”


There are still four more letters to go on the bottom row.  The eye doctor raises the revolver to shoot another warning round.  There’s a click.


“Next letter please.”

The eye doctor reaches into his pocket and pulls out 6 new rounds.  He opens the chamber of the revolver and dumps the 6 wasted shells on the ground.


The eye doctor inserts three of the rounds.

“No ‘D.'”

The eye doctor places the last three rounds.

“Wait ‘O.'”

The eye doctor closes the chamber.

“Final answer?”


“Looks like you live to read another letter.”

“Actually, this all has got me thinking.  I don’t know if I want a new glasses prescription anymore.  Can I just get LASIK instead?”

The eye doctor puts down the revolver.

“See I told you that you should just go ahead and get LASIK.  It’s way less stressful than getting a new prescription, right?”

“Absolutely. I mean I had no idea what the next letter was.”

“Wow.  If you thought that was bad, you would not have liked the dilated portion of the eye exam.”

the end


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