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#56 :: Prescription sunglasses

April 2, 2004

The world is full of mediocre, overpriced, cheap knockoff sunglasses that break the second a 2-year-old grabs them or they fall 5 feet to the floor. Since I’m sadly addicted to UV-blocking lenses, I have burned through two or three pairs of sunglasses a year for most of the past 20 years. I resolved a few years ago to get a permanent solution that handles the fact that I’m almost bat-blind – minus the sonar hearing – as well as hopelessly clumsy. For a while, I wore these hideous rose-tinted Lennon tea shades with spring temples – the only thing available at the Simi Valley optometrist across from my office at the time. I kicked the hell out of them, my eyes eventually got worse, and it was time for a change. I picked up these $350 Oakley frames for $60 at a factory sale (it pays to have friends whose ex-wives toil for groundbreaking industrial-grade fashion factories) and for about $20 bucks more than a standard prescription, I had Oakley grind the lenses for them – largely because no standard lens shop would touch ’em. The optics are hyper-real, focusing light not just from in front, but from the peripheral range of vision. Made of some miracle metal, the frames are heavy, but perfectly molded to my fat head. Sometimes when I drop them, the frame clips pop off and spit out the lenses in a horrific clatter. I put the whole thing back together again, and move on. I haven’t been able to damage them permanently yet, but I’m working on it.

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