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I know I left those glasses somewhere...


People of a certain age will identify with this sad story. The rest of you, well, you will understand it soon enough. And while I say it’s sad, the good news is that it is redeemed by a happy ending.

The theme is that while we can be stupid, we can also be brilliant. Or, something like it, anyway.

Recently I was scrounging some free firewood from a tree sawed up and left on the curb on West Garden Street. It was conveniently cut into firewood length, so all I had to do was load it into my truck.

In doing so, my reading glasses kept falling out of my shirt pocket. Fearing that I would lose or step on them, I finally stuck the glasses on the roof of the truck. Yes, I know, a bad move. I told myself exactly that as I was doing it. But there was only one log left, and I put the glasses directly above the driver side door.  Surely, I thought, there was no way, in that short time, that I would forget they were there. And if I did forget, well, surely I would see them as I was opening the door to leave.

You, of course, know what comes next.

After delivering the firewood to the house we are building downtown, I was in the parking lot of the Publix on Cervantes Street when I realized I did not have my glasses. After looking for awhile, I had an oh no moment … and I knew.

My first thought was to let them go. But I paid six bucks for those glasses, they were almost new and my favorite pair, and having to give in to my own stupidity would be both galling and embarrassing.

So, I decided to try to find them.

First, I looked in the bed of the pickup, hoping they had been blown off the roof while I was driving.  But, no.

Most likely, I thought, they would be lying where I parked next to the pile of firewood. So I drove back, and scoured the surrounding area. Again, no.

So I decided to follow my route back downtown along Garden Street, watching the pavement for a pair of smashed reading glasses. Fortunately it was a Sunday morning, so traffic was light.

In mentally retracing my path, the next likeliest landing spot had to be D Street, where I remembered taking a hard right turn. If somehow the glasses had clung to the roof that long, a right turn would cause them to slide off to the left.

As I pulled up to the light at Barrancas, I thought I saw the twinkle of sunlight reflecting off glass on D Street. Turning through the intersection, I watched the pavement … and there they were. And not only were they there, they had fallen with the lenses up, so there were no scratches on the glass.

I pulled over, hopped out and grabbed the glasses off the road, none the worse for wear.

To say I felt brilliant is an understatement. If nothing else, it was the easiest six bucks I ever made.

Carl Wernicke is a native of Pensacola. He graduated from the University of Florida in 1975 with a degree in journalism. After 33 years as a reporter and editor, he retired from the Pensacola News Journal in April 2012; he spent the last 15 years at the PNJ as editor of the editorial page. He joined the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition in 2012 as Senior Writer and Communications Manager, and retired from IHMC in 2015.His hobbies include reading, traveling, gardening, hiking, enjoying nature around his home in Downtown Pensacola, as well as watching baseball and college football, especially the Florida Gators and New York Yankees. His wife, Patti, retired as a senior vice president at Gulf Winds Federal Credit Union and is a Master Gardener. Carl is a regular contributor to WUWF. His commentaries focus on life in and around the Pensacola area and range in subject matter from birding to downtown redevelopment and from preserving our natural heritage to life in local neighborhoods.