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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Uncle Eyeball Revisited

I decided to kick off this year with a repost --from 4 years back-- because it's late at night here and I was perusing old posts about hopes and progress --but found this and thought it came close. Please enjoy, and do your best to make this year wonderful too.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Ask Uncle Eyeball


Having received today this artful creation of eyemuscle muttonchops from Daughter in Chicago, I decided to test a format I have not attempted since writing for the Kerr Courier in 1964, an advice column. It is New Year's Eve and I am not entirely in possession of myself, so I don't know where these questions are coming from, but I shall in all my best respond.

Dear Uncle Eyeball,
I don't usually consider myself old but lately I have seen my grandfather's face in the mirror --if you know what I mean. What should I do? --Boomer

Dear Boomer,
No, I don't know what the hell you mean but my grampa was born in 1872 and I had the same problem. I kicked the old boy out of the bathroom and told him not to monopolize the mirror. If, however, you are speaking figuratively and your mirror makes you feel old, just move it farther away until it conforms to your youthful self-image. I have done this repeatedly and successfully. My bathroom mirror is now located somewhere in Japan.

Dear Uncle Eyeball,
We are thinking of buying our first home. Please advise!--Normal Guy

Dear Normal,
If you really are normal, you should watch out for things realtors never tell you --like hardly anybody in any neighborhood they move you into is anything close to normal. In fact, current sociological studies show that every fourth house on Earth is full of creeps. In densely populated tracts you'll have neighbors borrowing  tools to permanently remove mufflers from their cars and motorcycles. This initiates tingo*, an Easter Island word defined as borrowing things until nothing is left. You may wish to save up until you can buy two properties on either side of you, or move out of town. Even in the peaceful panorama of the bucolic countryside, the statistic holds, there's just more room. I opted for the latter and you can see how happy I am.

Dear Uncle Eyeball,
What is New Year's really? --Janus
Dear Janus,
I thought you had this settled long ago. New Year's is an heroic annual attempt made by the Cosmos to bridge the awful gap between you, me and fabulous wealth. Each year brings promise and hope, hope for peace, prosperity, tolerance and understanding --but mainly for compassion and love. These may sound like magical qualities with little chance of success and proliferation, but I assure you it is at least more than what every fourth person in the world wants. Perhaps you could get with the other gods and narrow that down.

And so to business. Let's all treat each other decently and have a Happy New Year!
Best wishes,
              Uncle Eyeball


* I don't usually do footnotes but must give credit to my copy of  Adam Jacot de Boinod's excellent book, The Meaning Of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words From Around The World (Penguin Press, New York, 2006) for this Pascuense word.



30 comments:

  1. Four years have not aged this advice at all. My niece calls my husband Uncle Eyebrow - the title made me double take - because her Daddy shaves his legs for cycling but Uncle is like eyebrow all over. She says My-mow, which is not the correct pinyin spelling but bear with me, I'm learning Mandarin from a toddler :-)
    Happy New Year!

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    1. Ah, you have a decidedly challenging study ahead --as do I amid the --literally-- growing Asian population in my family. Chinese phonetic spelling has always baffled me --much as English spelling has. But I can't imagine a better teacher than a toddler. I am an old man, Lisa, but still a young student of languages.

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  2. This is how I try to live my life:
    Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
    Man never is, but always to be blessed:
    The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
    Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

    Then I heard his tweets. 2018 will be a day by day situation.

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    Replies
    1. My dear Arleen, I too would choose Alexander Pope over Donald Trump any day. We can't abandon hope; it is a force that reaches back to us from the future. I am in favor of the future.

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  3. HAPPY NEW YEAR, dude! Yes, indeed, let's all pull together to make this a wonderful year. You sure started it with a wonderful post. :)

    As per Boomer's letter, I sympathize. I don't even look into the lying mirror when I'm brushing my teeth...

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    1. Thanks, Susan. You've got teeth? When I signed up for this senior citizen thing, I had to choose between a great personality or teeth. I chose teeth. Don't know how you ended up with both. Glad you did.

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  4. Replies
    1. ...And so do you, Delores. I'm working on it. Your good mind has been of great assistance.

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  5. Smiling broadly. A lovely start to my day. And your wishes for the year are as relevant today as they ever were.

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    1. Most kind, EC. I try to be a little relevant every year. Have always been glad elephant does not start with an "r" or I would be further from my goal.

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  6. Uncle Eyeball, I appreciate your sentiments. Peace, health, and joy to you in the coming year.

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    1. On behalf of Uncle Eyeball and myself, thank you Emma. May you enjoy the same boons this year.

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  7. Cheers to Uncle Eyeball! A delightful and wise columnist he is, with an eye for wit.
    I particularly like his placement of the mirror. May have to something similar down here.
    The best of the new year to all on the Trainride.

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    1. Thanks Tom! My Uncle Eyeball is a joint psychic construct of Daughter and me, who advises us through our lives. All his advice is both valuable and dispensable, as advice should be. Trainride extends best wishes to you too. All Aboard!

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  8. Happy New Year, Uncle Eyeball. I mean Geo. Both of you. I love daughter's picture.

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    1. Thanks Chicken, Sentiment returned in kind. Daughter's picture is a favorite of mine too.

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  9. Dear Uncle Eyeball, I keep buying lottery tickets but have yet to reach the Powerball or MegaMillions dreamscape. All I really need is $10K. If you achieve great wealth in the coming year, please send that amount. I'll be eternally grateful. At least for awhile.

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    1. I don't count on great wealth this year. Used up all my luck trimming trees without falling out --well, only a few times-- over my gardening years. I like "eternally grateful...for awhile"!

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  10. Just as good and funny as it was in 2014! How many things can we say that about?

    Although, perhaps Uncle Eyeball should have made a resolution to get more sleep and less booze . . . it helps with the bloodshot-ed-ness!

    Please consider more advice column writing :)

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    1. O_Jenny, thank you. I recall upgrading Uncle Eyeball with rockets to get him mobile in outer space. Haven't seen him for a while. Maybe it's time to call him back.

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  11. And if all your neighbors seem normal, that means yours is the House of Creeps!

    ­čśť

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    1. Yikes! That makes a frightening sort of sense, Squid. I'll have Uncle Eyeball recheck his calculations.

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    2. I rather enjoy the prospect of being the weird neighbors.

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  12. Dear Uncle Eyeball.
    My eyeballs have been under a lot of stress lately, as has the brain they're attached to, so perhaps I have misinterpreted what you replied to Janus. Are you sure that only one in every four people wants peace, prosperity, tolerance, understanding, and especially compassion and love? Perhaps you're right and that explains the current state of America and our world. I had been taking comfort in thinking that three out of every four hoped for these things and that was what was keeping us from self-destruction.

    Since my Boomer Brain is more challenged these days, maybe we can ask Janus to get with the other gods and goddesses and narrow those qualities down to one and encourage all humans to exemplify it. I suggest compassion. I know that Clementia is not the most popular goddess up on Mount Olympus, but I would suggest that Janus and the others have her concentrate on our president as her special project.

    Since having one eyeball cleared of its yellowing film, I can now put mascara on with a regular mirror. This was awesome until I looked at the rest of my face and saw my grandmother. It spooked me so badly that I jumped and ended up with mascara on my eyebrow.

    I can still see myself if I cover up my good eyeball and look in the mirror with my bad eyeball, but then I can't put mascara on without my small magnifying mirror. This process would require more hands than I have. Using a large standup magnifying mirror might result in a fatal shock. So I'm facing a major conundrum as I start the year: mascara or no mascara. My proper Baptist grandmother would never have worn mascara, although she told me numerous times that any woman over twenty-five shouldn't leave the house without red lipstick on. We all need one vanity.

    The conundrum will become more urgent when I have my bad eye fixed, because all my mirrors will have to be stashed on Akimiski Island in James Bay (which is extremely difficult to get to). Then, if I choose mascara, I'll have to decide if I can afford a live-in makeup artist. The problems this year poses! At least I have hope in abundance!

    Happy New Year, Uncle Eyeball! Wishing you a year of decent and compassionate treatment.
    GoodEye/BadEye



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  13. Dear Louise, your closing wish epitomizes Clementia --from which we get the word "clemency"--who was the imagined embodiment of kindness, forgiveness...virtues Julius Caesar wanted to be known for. I have seen a statue of her; she is lovely.

    As for Uncle Eyeball, he does not exist beyond beautiful, intelligent Daughter's doodle and our imagination. I am not responsible for his statistical calculations. However, I will say, to his commentitious credit, that he never deviates from his wealth of solid imaginary facts.

    Glad you're able to get your "bad eye" fixed. Someone close to me has found photography therapeutic in that regard. Keep taking those excellent photos!

    As to mascara, and vanity --meet the public with the incomparable glow that I sense inside you. It is not a vanity, it is a gift to others. You are exceptional.

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  14. Aah, Uncle Eyeball...my hero...I remember him well!! *smiles*

    And...I love the photo!!! :))

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    1. Most kind, Ygraine. Daughter's artwork has a lasting impression

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    2. Geo, sorry this is so late in posting, but I (due to cowardly trolls) decided to stop blogging. It just caused too much stress.

      But I missed my blogging friends, and felt guilty for not leaving a comment or two.

      So here we are.

      I've already thanked you, Helga, Jon for all the support and friendship you have offered me.

      We are all connected. But I must confess that your great intelligence often leaves me with the feeling that I cannot possibly reply to your posts in any intelligent fashion.

      So I try to get to the heart of the matter, and I think that is where we both connect.

      You are so gifted to have both. I only have one.

      I remain as honest and open as I can: Your words dazzle me.

      Keep on telling your truth. The world is a much better place because of it.

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    3. Dylan, When I started blogging it was because I wanted to retire among good minds --yours definitely included. I sincerely hope you'll not be put off by trolls. I hope you'll reconsider leaving off blogging --we all need to take a break from it sometimes, but please don't rule out returning. I'll look forward to the pleasure of your renewed online company.

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