What is the worst invention in my lifetime? My initial answer was “computers.” Computers were invented by Satan.

Now, I’ve decided the correct answer is texting. The only purpose of texting is to be able to ignore whatever you should be paying attention to. A student in class? Ignore the teacher and communicate with a friend. You’re driving? Ignore the road. Brilliant.

My crack team of researchers has uncovered the worst ideas in our “optometric world” in the past 100 years. I think you’ll agree that these items truly have no value:

• Ketchup-infused combination contact lens solution and barbecue marinade. (Patients say, “Burned like hell—but mighty tasty!”)
• Barbed wire temple tips. (However, these did keep the glasses from sliding.)
• Foreign body removal tool attachment for your vacuum cleaner. (Obviously, it sucked.)
• Saturday hours.
• Laser markings to prevent inversion on bifocal contact lenses. (Think about it…)
• Methadone-infused contact lenses. (Patients loved to wear them, but refused to throw them away!)
• Facial tissues made from ragweed (although the allergists thought this idea was pretty good).
• The fudge-filled oral hypoglycemic delivery system. (At least they took their medicine at regular intervals.)
• Switching from the traditional “number one or number two?” to “Which is better, number one or number 93,345,782.001?”
• Tattooed eyeliner. (Tattooed anything, really.)
• Facebook. (I ain’t your “friend.” Leave me alone.)
• Pharmaceutical and contact lens direct-to-consumer advertising.
• Glasses in an hour.
• Pre-appointing unemployed people. (Seems like they’d be able to find the time to come in every year—but no.)
• Free trial contact lens coupons.
• 140mm temples on children’s frames.
• Drill mounts. (Oh, why do my patients love them so?)
• Yellow Page ads.
• Selling anything less than a year’s supply of contacts.
• BOGO anything.
• Breakfast business meetings.
• CE on Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning.
• CE in Antarctica in January.
• CE sponsored by a pizza joint. (Yes, this exists.)
• State association meetings held in a different state. (Yes, this exists.)
• Having 8 zillion different ocular antihistamines.
• Having 8 zillion different PAL designs.
• Having 8 zillion different Medicare reimbursement cuts and 8 zillion tax increases on small businesses and on “the rich.”
• Calling me “the rich.” (Where’s my jet?)
• Glasses with standard 24mm bridges.
• Examination chairs with buttons that patients can reach.
• Undilated examinations by machines.
• Glass spectacle lenses now that any other material is available.
• Switching patients from executive bifocals to PALs.
• Fitting any family member in their first bifocal.

OK, these did not come from my crack team of investigators. They are the rantings of a middle-aged optometrist in a small West Virginia town who shall remain nameless. This person’s son recently commented that this O.D. was beginning to sound like that guy who always says, “I’m calling the homeowner’s association. We gotta do something about all these damn dogs!”

Wonder who that might be?