moe pokes curley's eyesAt some point late Friday night or early Saturday morning, I must have channeled my inner Moe and poked my own eye. How else to explain the fact that I woke up with the outer corner of my right eye completely red. It didn’t particularly hurt, my vision was fine and I had no recollection of doing anything that would have caused such an injury. I chalked it up to a minor burst blood vessel and forgot about it. That’s where friends come in. They’re always there to scare the bejesus out of you if you are taking things too casually.

“You could be about to have a heart attack”, my friend Rob said helpfully.

“It might be pink-eye”, said Bobby as he clutched his child closer to him and away from my loathsome red-eyed presence.

My friend Susi just kept firing out emails telling me I needed to rush to a specialist immediately. By this time, people were drawing away in horror when they saw the whites reds of my eye. Since I was overdue to see the optometrist, I went ahead and booked an appointment. But first I decided to document the eye for posterity.

my injured eye

For the record, it is nearly impossible to photograph your own eye. And the results did not show the true red horror.

When I remember — which apparently I haven’t done since 2006 — I go to a really excellent optometrist, the fantastic Dr. Bruce Stamper. He’s like the friendly small town doctor, the third generation of his family to run his practice (Est. 1913) in San Francisco’s Mission District. Yes, just like a Norman Rockwell doctor –except that his practice has all the latest, high-tech scanning and diagnosing equipment. A simple eye exam starts to feel like they are prepping you for a Space Shuttle mission. I love it. He did a couple of tests with a green light scanner thingy. Then he had me put my eye next to the machine that blows a shot of air on your eyeball to test your eye pressure. By this time, I was hoping I’d be diagnosed with something exotic — after all, I had recently been in England — and fitted with a Steve Austin bionic eyeball. Or at the very least, an eye patch and a parrot.

Sadly, the diagnosis was disappointingly mundane.

Dr. Stamper: “Well, this is just a routine burst blood vessel. Sometimes it happens when people come up too quickly from an inverted yoga position.”

Me: “Uh, I’m still struggling to master the Corpse Position in Yoga. I don’t think that could have caused it.”

Dr. Stamper: “Have you been lifting anything heavy?”

Me: “Talk to me during harvest season when I’m hefting my way through several tons of grapes a bin at a time.”

Dr. Stamper: “Well, your blood pressure is great. And your distance vision is still better than 20/20 — excellent for someone YOUR age.”

Me: “Uh, gee thanks Doc.”

illustration of pirate with parrot

I was hoping for a colorful solution like an eye patch and a parrot.

eye drops

I got eye drops.

So there you have it my concerned friends. I’m a-okay even if I look frightening. No impending massive stroke. No need for emergency removal of the optic nerve. No need to rush your children from my presence. And please stop sourcing very scary diagnoses for me on the Internet.

But I’m still left wondering what could have caused the injury. There’s always that earlier theory about my Inner Moe. But, as I’ve learned from countless hours of watching Law & Order, ask who had a motive.

Hmmm. Well, we have been going through some terrier re-education since the dogs have decided that 3AM is a good time to get up and have breakfast. I’ve been trying to roll over and pretend to be asleep until at least the more civilized hour of 5AM. Sometimes, despite the best whining and pawing of terriers, I even manage it. But have they retaliated?

dogs in bed, smooth fox terriers

Here they are acting nonchalant. But could these be the New Stooges?