I’m not perfect. Like all of us, I can be better. Sometimes I’ll fall asleep with my glasses on, and maybe every once in a while I’ll adjust my contacts after giving my wiener a nice, firm stretch-n-pull to get them all loosey-goosey on a hot day.
But never, under any circumstances, have I ever had an emergency contact lens situation in which my contacts needed to be cleaned, in which they needed some form of moisture, and I turned to beer, baby oil, Coke, petroleum jelly, lemonade, fruit juice, or butter, to provide said moisture.
Now, for many of you contact lens users out there, you may hear a list like that and assume that no one would be dumb enough to replace sterilized contact lens solution with any of those substances, even in an emergency situation.
Well, apparently, you’ve never met a contact lens user from the U.K. If you’re having trouble remember if you have, ask yourself this: have I ever met a person with a silly, kind of jaunty accent whose eyes appeared to be Kool-Aid stained like the mouths of so many trailer park babies?
In August of this year (2011, for those reading this in the FUTURE-Future-future!), contact lens solution manufacturer Bosch and Lomb conducted a survey on contact lens cleaning habits. Surveys are usually fun but generally untrustworthy, depending on the sample size. The larger the sample size, the easier it is to take the results seriously, and vice versa. I say all that because the survey Bosch and Lomb conducted was of only 400 contact lens users, and all 400 were within the U.K. So it wasn’t a massive sampling with tons of diverse opinions. Again, It was only 400 people. Yet, somehow, even with a small sampling of only 400 people, Bosch and Lomb was given that wide an array of disgusting substances people smear, soak, and cram in to their heads as a means of moistening their contacts.
Imagine the substances we would have hear about if the sample size had been doubled to 800 people? Or tripled to 1,200?
Marmite? Haggis? Urine?
This brings up another matter – how many of the people surveyed were from England? Because we Americans have become so used to stereotyping the English as all having bad teeth that I don’t think we can handle the English having another facial feature being horribly mangled by awful maintenance practices.
We’re only now getting used to the idea that not all Arabs are made of anthrax and explosions, so clearly it takes a while for us to change our perception of various groups.
But the English, or anyone from the U.K., being known as the people whose contact lenses look like petri dishes from news cast B-roll footage of scientists working in labs – that’s too much for us to feel superior to.