The Eyes Have (Had) It

It is plain for all to see that my short-sightedness is now so appalling that it has seriously inhibited my ability to play pool. In that regard, this weekend proved a real eye-opener.

It is plain for all to see that my short sightedness is now so appalling that it has seriously inhibited my ability to play pool.

In that regard, this weekend proved a real eye-opener. I haven’t played pool in years and it was driven home to embarrassing effect when I naively agreed to a game of doubles – feeling chuffed to even be asked.

Wearing distance glasses, I could see the pocket down the table. Yet when I lined up to take the shot, the white ball was too blurry which meant I hit it wrongly.

I didn’t down a single ball – apart from the white.

Typically, we were trounced by a pair of over confident young lads, who insisted on recording all of their stunning flukes on their bloody phones and yakking away to people not even in the room.

Judging by the crestfallen expression of my fellow partner who had to do all the work – I expect to be blackballed in future.

There will be no ‘cue’ of players wanting me to make up a four. So as one social door opens, the bugger swings shut in my face.

Ever since, I have been embarrassed by my performance and as my wrist again fizzes with pain from RSI, it rather feels like important bits are starting to fail.

I had recently been telling myself I should start playing snooker and pool again, maybe even join a league as something new to do in the summer.

Time can pass slowly in the Butchelor Pad. Especially when the mind invariably turns to what my daughters might be doing with my replacement now that the light nights and blue skies are back.

I’ve recently had to retire the traditional typewriter. The jolt of hitting the keys is unbearable on the wrist. So that’s no more letter writing for the foreseeable either.

Writing a letter on a device just isn’t the same. As I look at my typewriter in its case I wonder whether it will end up in the corner of a second hand shop unsold.

Now, as I sit here sipping cold Earl Grey tea from my chipped It Is What It Is Mug, perhaps the solution to my eyesight is to confront the fact that I might now need to upgrade to bifocals.

I know that when I wear them, I will end up looking perpetually surprised and down my nose at everyone, which isn’t a good look to be taking into the over-50s singles market.

At least the gods have a comic sense of timing. I received a £65 rebate from the tax office this week which was a real sight for sore eyes.

In the same delivery, a letter from my doctors informed me that my blood pressure is such that I statistically have a 20 per cent chance of a heart attack.

I plan to cash the cheque before I cash my cheque, so to speak.

To cheer myself up, I have been watching gentle, harmless sitcoms that the BBC used to churn out when I was a little boy.

It has been like sitting in front of a real fire instead of a cold radiator.

I can almost see mum sewing and dad reading his newspaper, while the big sister pulls the head off her Tiny Tears, whose face I drew on with a felt tip pen as revenge for some sleight.

Quite by accident, I started watching The Bounder (1982) starring Peter Bowles, who I had forgotten about. Spookily, two days later I read that his death had been announced.

A part of me wishes it was 1982 again and not 2022. Not as much as Peter Bowles, mind.

Just to go back 40 years. When shows like Pot Black were free on TV, and the lyrical nonsense of Duran Duran’s Hungry Like The Wolf sent me running off to school thinking of being all grown-up and going off to exotic places and chasing glamorous women.

Either that or playing snooker at The Crucible one day.

Back then, all this ageing and reality was far off in the future on a horizon I could never see – not even with the most powerful pair of distance glasses.

Hey ho, onwards and downwards, as I’m inclined to say.

It’s off to the opticians for me – if I can find the bugger and get there without having a heart attack, that is.

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