Someone thinks I am in search of knowledge. Perhaps this is related to my education at two of the finest institutions between the planets of Mercury and Pluto: Washington and Lee University and Pennsylvania College of Optometry. (Before you get up on your state university-supplied high horse, I do know that Pluto is no longer considered a planet. This is a humor column, remember? And, while were on the subject, Pluto still is, at least until further scientific study proves otherwise, also a cartoon dog. See what a liberal arts education can do?)

Anyway, I am, apparently, in search of knowledge. How else can I explain the four-foot tall stack of professional journals I see on my desk. My desk, made famous in previous columns and in the accompanying photo of the bottoms of my shoes, is sagging under the weight of these journals. And my brain is sagging under the weight of the information inside these magazines designed to keep me informed.

How could I ever find the time to read and (gulp!) remember this stuff anyway? And, where do these magazines come from? I only subscribe to two that I know of. One of them is Review of Optometry, the lovely magazine in your hands right now. I like to read my own column, for one thing. Yes, I laugh (or cringe) at my own stories. Also, sometimes my overeager editor stealthily adds some horribly inadequate line improvements. Youll know it when you read it. I only write the really good stuff.

I also subscribe to Review of Ophthalmology. This keeps me abreast of many new ophthalmologic surgical and medical innovations, and various evil plans to take over the world.

So, if I subscribe to two magazines, why are there 30 on my desk? One of the new trends is to include, with one magazine, several slightly thinner magazines all stuffed inside a plastic bag. This contributes to my stack and also to my reading load. However, I must note that the minimags are, to sum it up, great. I love them. I would have their child they are so good. Sometimes, I would rather they send ONLY the minimags.

For instance, Review of Optometry once enclosed a compilation of The Best of Chairside as a minimag along with the real issue. My understanding is that this had a limited distribution, so not all of my readers got one (thus increasing the items value on eBay no doubt). If you did not get one of these, I mourn for your loss. Perhaps you should write to my editor so that hell have something to do other than fuss over my column.

And, the information these journals carry inside! What do I do with it? I know that writing these articles keeps our optometric educators off the street, but, please, doctors! You are filling up my desk with your info overload! Go teach a student something, will you? You shouldnt have time to turn out six pages on every funky eye in the universe. And, are you trying to tell me that you actually see eyes like THAT? Wheres your optometry school? The Amazon jungle?

For 27 years, I have seen every contact lens-related eye problem there is, and every single one was because the patient was too cheap to throw the darn thing away when he should have. I have NEVER seen a contact lens problem related to some extraterrestrial hydrogel-eating worm that escaped from a NASA lab and you have 22 pictures of one? Does your school have a clinic on the planet PLUTO?

OK, I know, I know ... Plutos not a planet! Just dont write an article about it!

Vol. No: 143:11Issue: 11/15/2006