The Novelty Glasses

On a summer day, a group of youth went to an amusement center for a day of fun together. The center included an arcade where players could accumulate tickets when they won games. Then they could redeem their tickets at a prize counter.

A member of the group used his tickets to buy a pair of novelty glasses. When he wore the glasses, everything looked warped like in a funhouse mirror, and everything was a different color than when seen with the naked eye. He laughed out loud and had many of his friends try the glasses on. Soon, nearly all of them had gotten a pair of their own.

For some, the fun they could get out of the glasses soon wore off, and they stopped wearing them. Others wore them for a few days afterward and then tired of them. But a few made a habit of wearing them. Everything just looked so funny through those lenses.

They ignored the words imprinted on the inside of the temples: “Not for everyday or prolonged use.”

They started talking to each other and to others as if the way they saw things represented the way things really were. They made fun of people around them for their big heads and out-of-proportion bodies. They bought clothes in clashing color combinations. When they drove a car, they maneuvered as if on a twisty road—amid sharp braking, swerving, and honking. They struggled to read road signs or much of anything else.

Their parents and others tried to convince them that they needed to stop wearing those glasses, but they refused to. Their school had no rules against wearing these kinds of things, so the teachers and administrators couldn’t do much, though these particular students’ grades started to suffer.

Eventually, one of them caused a car accident that sent him to the hospital. His continued wearing of the glasses were clearly to blame, and one of the attending nurses threw them in the garbage can.

However, during his recovery, the youth found that he couldn’t focus and see clearly. This condition continued for multiple days, at which point an ophthalmologist examined his eyes. The ophthalmologist found that the shape of the youth’s corneas had permanently changed, and in order to see functionally, he would need corrective eyewear for the rest of his life.

Photo by cottonbro on

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