in my humble opinion

If my friends could see me now

By JONATHAN CHARLES FOX
Posted 3/16/21

For something completely different, I’m having issues. This time, it’s my eyes, which is “serious, and nothing to fool around with” according to my ophthalmologist, as if I …

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in my humble opinion

If my friends could see me now

Posted

For something completely different, I’m having issues. This time, it’s my eyes, which is “serious, and nothing to fool around with” according to my ophthalmologist, as if I would take the news lightheartedly. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that I have two kinds of drops, two kinds of eye patches and two different problems (one for each eye), and trust me—it ain’t pretty.

That said, I took a week off. I was warned to stay away from reading, writing, watching TV, texting on my phone, or even looking at the computer. “No social media,” the good doctor advised, wagging a finger (not sure which one) in my general direction. “If it were up to me, I’d have you flat on your back wearing an eye mask for a few weeks. Of course, Dharma would go hungry,” he said, chortling at his own weak attempt at humor, “so I guess that wouldn’t work out so well. Just do everything you can to avoid straining your eyes. Try books on tape. Or podcasts—isn’t that a thing now?” he asked, writing out a script.

Naturally, everyone and their mother (as Barbara Fox would say) had suggestions. “Can’t you dictate your column into the computer and avoid typing altogether?” a pal asked. “I suppose,” I responded sullenly, “but who’s gonna proofread it before I send it to [managing editor] Veronica for honest-to-goodness professional editing? As it is,” I elaborated, “she has to fix all of my normal mistakes; trust me, there are plenty—even when my eyes are working.”

“Can’t you just take pictures with your other eye?” another naively (I mean infuriatingly) inquired. “I’m just going suck it up, sit at my desk and put my big boy pants on,” I replied, always the martyr. “What’s the worst that could happen?” I asked. And here we are.

To add insult to injury, I have the annual Hortonville Talent Show coming up this weekend. Because of COVID-19, the show was canceled last year, but the enterprising young folks from the Youth Economic Group (YEG) of Rural and Migrant Ministry have it all figured out this time. The event will be viewed online and the kids will be able to reach a wider audience, providing an opportunity to raise more awareness and much-needed funds, but I won’t be able to see much, so my usual judging duties have been put on hold.

In their infinite wisdom, the planning committee decided that I should co-host the show with comedian Tommy Tom. He and I have never met and have had virtually no communication to date, so I’m pretty sure that our chemistry will be electrifying and I’ll be as charming as ever—even with just the one rheumy eye. Among other things, stand-up comic Tom’s biography indicates that he is also a “showcase creator” and a “podcast [there’s that word again] producer,” so it’s possible that, unlike me, Tommy Tom (that’s his name, folks—it’s not a typo) will know what he’s doing. Either way, I would encourage you all to join us on Friday, March 19 at 7 p.m. (see below for details) to support the cause and watch the show.

Traditionally, the cavalcade of talent is presented at the Hortonville Presbyterian Church and the pews are filled to capacity with parishioners and friends, many of whom I’ve come to consider family after so many years. I won’t be photographing it this time around for obvious reasons, but I grabbed the opportunity to snap a pic of the committee’s group chat a few days ago.

 Knowing that people would be looking at me on the Zoom, I decided to shave and shower, which was challenging given my blurred vision, but I’m pretty sure I looked OK. Clearly, I’ll need to look presentable online for the 34th annual talent show, so I’m glad I practiced shaving. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it might be after all.

Dharma is highly trained, but not as a seeing-eye dog, which would come in handy right about now. At the moment, sunlight is blinding, as is glare from the snow; cloudy days are on my wish list along with a restaurant willing to deliver to Camp Fox, replete with someone to cut my steak. I don’t see either of those things occurring, but there’s an upside (IMHO) to my vision being impaired.

As I gaze in the mirror, I’m amazed at how youthful I appear, and the house doesn’t have a speck of dust from what I can see. My clothes aren’t wrinkled, the dishes are clean and the bed might, or might not, be made. As a bonus, I’ve developed a new skill and mastered shaving with one working eye in no time at all. I’m sure I’ll look great for the talent show as well, but don’t watch it for me; do it for the entertainment, and most importantly, do it for the kids. I’ll see you there. Wait... what?

For more information regarding the Hortonville Talent Show, visit www.bit.ly/RMMTalentShow or call 845/665-1425.

Fun Fact: “If My Friends Could See Me Now,” with music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Dorothy Fields, is a song from the 1966 Broadway musical “Sweet Charity.”

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