Friday, October 15, 2004
At ten past seven this morning there was an apologetic knock on the bedroom door. Methane Boy's head appeared. "Dad's dropped a contact lens." Donning my disguise as Super Lens Finder Woman (OK, pulling on my dressing gown) I came to the rescue. I've had contact lenses since I was 18, and I know that a dropped lens is bad news. Particularly with hard lenses, which will bounce and roll, so even if you know where it fell, the chances are that it's nowhere near there now.
The other problem with trying to find a lens is that, by definition, you can only have a maximum of one lens in. You therefore can't actually see to find it. In fact the having-one-eye-in-focus-and-the-other-all-blurry thing does weird things to your brain. So ideally, you need someone else to help. Preferably someone who knows how to look for a dropped lens - there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to do it. Of course, Tallboy spent ten minutes trying to find it himself before he called for help. This is a huge no-no, because if it dropped onto your clothes and you then start moving about, it could drop anywhere. If you freeze where you are and holler, the area of possible location is much smaller.
According to accepted best practice, these are the steps I took to locate the lost lens:
1. Spend three minutes trying to find the damn torch.
2. On my knees, carefully approach Tallboy, who is perched on the edge of the sofa.
3. Establish what happened, berate Tallboy for not noticing when the lens pinged out of his eye.
4. Establish that he has already looked and moved around. Berate for a substantially longer period.
5. Shine torch over the immediate area, looking for tell-tale glint of lens.
6. Fingertip search of carpet in immediate vicinity - you don't want to charge in and tread on it.
7. Carefully search the fleece he had on his knees at the time of the droppage.
8. Torch and fingertip search of Tallboy's clothing including soles of feet, trouser turnups etc.
9. Check that lens isn't still in his eye (I would have put money on this one).
10. Torch and fingertip search of sofa cushions.
11. Sit back with a sigh, knowing that the lens, as it's not in the obvious close-by places, is going to be difficult to spot.
12. Notice that as the torch beam played randomly over an as-yet unsearched area of floor as you sat back, there was a glint.
13. Investigate eagerly, raise hair- and crumb-encrusted contact lens triumphantly.
14. Accept praise and thanks modestly.
15. Have breakfast since there's no bloody point going back to bed.
16. Sit at PC and hammer out an early post while you still remember what happened.
I have several tales of contact lens mishaps of my own (including the time I ate one), but will save them for another day as I am off for a swim in a minute.