Before we begin, I want to take this opportunity to thank all the bullies I faced as a kid. I just read that dirt is actually good for you, as the Mycobacterium vaccae we accidently ingest can increase serotonin levels, reduce depression, increase learning and help slow myopia progression. So thanks, bullies, for all that dirt you made me eat.

Bullies don’t go away just because you grow up. In fact, even optometrists can bully one another. The worst bullies are CE presenters. Ohhh, don’t play dumb. You tell us stuff that we never heard of before, and we are so frightened of your obviously superior intellect we can’t even think of a good question to ask, except “How much do you charge for your contact lenses?” You think we are all losers!

That’s right. You bully us. We need to defend ourselves and quit letting you optometry bullies make us look dumb. Here’s my approach to toughen up my image:

(1) I plan to become a world expert in something—anything. If you can do it, why not me? After listening to one lecture on myopia control, that field kinda spoke to me. After all, to be a world expert in myopia control, all you have to do is answer every question with, “We really are not sure.” Seems doable to me. Feel free to call if you need to know the facts on how myopia control works because, as a world-class myopia expert, I am really not sure.

(2) To increase my fame, I’ll write a best-selling book Tom Hanks casually picks up at LaGuardia while waiting for a late flight back to LAX. He reads it all the way home, then calls me and gives me tons of money for the rights to make a movie. When the movie wins a stack of Oscars, I go to the after parties where I meet Sir Paul McCartney, who asks if I know anything about rock ’n’ roll. I answer, “I am not really sure” and, since that’s how his career started, he recognizes me as a world expert on rock and roll and hires me to join his new band, which I expertly name the “Odeatles.” There’s no reason this won’t work. Tom, Paul: call me.

(3) I’ll only attend CE meetings in states that allow open carry of firearms. Since I don’t actually own a gun, I’ll wear an NRA hat and stick a retinoscope in my holster. Young doctors have never seen one, so they’ll assume I’m packing and let me sit wherever I want—near the free breakfast banana muffins. Man, it feels good to intimidate…

I’ve Already Joined ’Em

Writing Chairside all these years has already given me some street cred I don’t deserve. That’s why I never got that teardrop tattoo below my eye. Don’t need it. My colleagues somehow presume I know something important when all I really know is that I have no clue. But, in today’s touchy-feely world, having no clue is a sign of strength. Maybe that’s the secret. Consider myopia control world experts, for example.

Finally, to firmly establish myself as a force to be reckoned with, I want everyone to know I can answer that age-old question: “How much are your contact lenses?” Bully CE presenters just can’t answer that. They are too busy studying bearded gnat eyes to determine why they never get macular degeneration. (It’s because they get resveratrol from sucking the blood of winos.)

So how much are my contact lenses? Free. The sales rep hooks me up. Why, do you have to buy yours? What losers…