They’re not a bad invention, overall. Sometimes I’m quite glad of the fact that I’m able to walk around without crashing into things, wearing no glasses and looking not at all like the Milkybar Kid.
I get excited, it’s like the whole world’s in HD and it’s just so detailed. I’m overcome by the thrill of being able to negotiate busy streets without risking my life in my desperate attempts to differentiate between a car, speeding towards me determined to end my days, and an empty packet of crisps, floating gently across the road with all the happiness of an object that has fulfilled its purpose in life, and done it well.
But then I remember all the trouble and strife that these little jellied spectacles have caused me, and I know that we can never be friends.
The problems of contact lenses come in two categories: Putting Them In and Taking Them Out.
Putting Them In
Given that this is an ordeal which usually must be undergone painfully early in the morning whilst peering into a steamed up bathroom mirror you’d think they could’ve made it a little easier. But no, there are perils to be faced at every turn.
First you must extract two invisible objects from a puddle of liquid, which I think is actual fluid taken from other peoples’ eyes. Then you must delicately, with all the care and precision of a NASA scientist, balance the first of these infinitesimal things on your fingertip. And you had better not bloody drop it.
It’s not all about the balancing, though. You must also ensure that not a spec of dust or grit goes anywhere near it, unless you want to feel the rage of a thousand tiny needles punctuating your eyeball for the entire day.
If you have managed to balance the lens and it remains clear of microscopic particles of grit you will be ready for the next stage. Time to blindly thrust this invisible plate of vision into your eyeball, in a frenzied attempt to end the madness and start another day in the hamster-wheel of futility that is the real world.
Don’t get too excited if you do succeed, though. Within hours you’ll be called upon to complete the next optical obstacle course… Taking Them Out.
Taking Them Out
Although less thwart with danger than the Putting Them In stage, Taking Them Out offers its own selection of pitfalls, all of which end with you snivelling on the bathroom floor, your eyes a bloody mess, your confidence a shattered shell.
You must begin with levels of bravery which border on complete psychosis. They actually expect you to just shove your hands right into your eyeballs and pull the contact lenses off your sticky wet eyes.
You probably won’t manage this first time, unless you’re some sort of medal-toting war hero, so you’ll be on to stage two: the dismemberment. This is the point at which the contact lens decides its had enough of your fiddling about and flicks itself into an unnatural shape, probably a crescent moon or a tiny star. You’ll then face minutes of agony as you scrapple at your eye in a last-ditch attempt to remove the treasonous object before it causes you irreversible damage.
If you succeed here you’re lucky indeed, because stage three is the bit where the damned thing goes right behind your eye and just fucking stays there, like a malignant toad, waiting for you to give up on life entirely.
Bet the Milkybar Kid never had these problems.