Savings scheme

I’m starting to see a crack in this savings plan

Here’s how my dad once explained the concept of a false economy: “This is the guy who takes giant steps to avoid wearing out his $ 20 shoes and ripping his $ 50 pants. “

I did a similar stunt a few days ago. Neither the pants nor the shoes were damaged, but my glasses did take a hit.

I have needed corrective vision since the fourth year. Specifications first, then contact lenses, then a combination of the two.

In the early sixties, bifocals entered the scene. This created a strange on-off pattern. Wearing contact lenses, I had to put on close-up glasses to read. But if I wore distant glasses, they had to be taken off before I could read. Sorta like juggling bowling balls and thimbles at the same time.

In early 2020, I went down with the Big C. Cataractes. The operation looked terrible.

“What ?! Are you going to sculpt my eyeballs? And I’ll be awake all the time? Aaak!”

Relax, said the doc. A piece of cake. It’s done with lasers and more in minutes. You won’t feel a thing and you will be amazed at the improvement.

Holy illumination! The results were exceptional!

Patients with cataracts have the option of getting implant lenses “near” or “far”. (Well, yeah; one of each is available, but I canceled that right off the bat. If I want awesome vision, I’ll drink a lot.)

I took the “far” route and now enjoy an ultra-sharp distant view. Since the surgery, the “worst” I have ever tested was 20/20. Once I even locked myself on 20/15.

The compromise, of course, comes in the close-up department. Unless the words are printed in block letters, I cannot tell them apart. Hence the need to invest deeply in inexpensive “pharmacy readers”. I keep them everywhere: bedroom, office, car, boat, etc. Often times, I wear a pair on a choker.

Just one problem: el-cheapos break easily, especially if they hang down from your neck when you lift a heavy object and reflexively pull it towards your chest. Crack-snap!

Even bought wholesale, the cost adds up. After many lifting accidents, I finally practiced swinging the strap on my back, putting the el-cheapos out of harm’s way.

A few days ago Mary Ann and I were shopping for groceries for our church pantry. At one stop, I proudly demonstrated the back swing technique before hoisting a heavy pack. She was impressed.

She was less than impressed moments later when I collapsed in the car seat, forgetting to put the glasses back forward. Crack-snap!

I shouted something about “sheets on sunny beaches!” Mary Ann sneered. And I bet in the Great Afterlife, Big Sam was laughing hard enough to crack his panties.

Sam Venable’s column appears weekly. Contact him at

This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: I’m starting to see a crack in this savings plan | Sam Venable

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