Pine Nuts: How I fixed my own glasses


I’ve gotten myself into some jams before, but nothing like this one. It all started when a temple screw fell out of my reading glasses, and being the son of an optometrist, I determined to fix those glasses myself. Bad judgement. I have never been handy in that way.

Not happening to own a screw that small, I slipped a paperclip into the vacant hole and voila! It worked, and the paperclip only obscured my vision every now and again. But then the unpredictable happened. As I pulled my sweatshirt up over my head at the end of the day, my new paper-clipped glasses hung-up on the zipper. So there I was, with my arms up over my head, trapped like a rat. I couldn’t see a thing as it was dark as the inside of a cow in there, so I roamed around the room, moaning, while trying to figure my way out of that infernal straightjacket without breaking my glasses in two.

Finally I got my teeth on the paperclip and moved my lower jaw back and forth to no avail. I was starting to think about dialing 911 when I took to chewing on the paperclip, and then it happened! I set myself free …

I was elated to be emancipated and I shared the news with a friend about my self-incarceration and she confessed to me that my failing optometry was nothing next to her failing gardening. She went and planted 100 daffodil bulbs upside down. Well, I had to lean up against something to laugh. But she assured me that the residents of the village of Guangxi were enjoying her daffodils.

I, in turn, confessed to her that I had thrown a sweat sock at a spider web up in a corner of the bedroom ceiling, and hit that spider web right on dead-center, but the sweat sock stuck. So I threw another sweat sock to get the first one down, and it stuck too. I took a picture of the two sweat socks stuck up there in the corner of the ceiling and sent it in to Good Housekeeping Magazine, hoping they might send me a Good Housekeeping Award, and so now I’m waiting …

The one time I tackled a dangerously loose toilet seat, well, I got it back on there nice and tight and secure, but the flat side was down and the horseshoe side was up. That’s when I called Christian, who is a certified handyman, and now everything is ship-shape around Layne Haven.

My paper-clipped glasses, however, do tend to become an object of conversation just when I want to talk baseball. So I guess I might have to give up my stubborn pride in being the son of an optometrist, and seek some professional help.

I know one thing, I will never take a sweatshirt off again without first checking to see that my glasses are not hanging around my neck where they could arrest me with my hands up over my head. No, I’m done with handyman work …

Learn more about McAvoy Layne at

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