Had to renew my driver's license, another big worrisome hurdle for me, as it's been 7 years (I got an extra extension because of my perfect driving record - ha!), and this time I would have to take a vision test.
I put it off as long as I could. I was pretty sure you can still drive with only one eye - Peter Falk drove that old beat-up station wagon around, didn't he? - but I was just so worried that they'd yank my license, I procrastinated like a coward. I drive all day in my job. No driver's license, no job. Worry, worry, worry.
I went to the little DMV office near my home, and the wait time really wasn't that bad. I gave the nice man behind the counter my old license.
"Any changes?" he asked as he typed entries into his computer. "No, everything's the same" I told him. "Still at the same address?" he asked. "Yup, still there" I said. "Okay fine, now I just need you to look in here and tell me what letters you see" he said, pushing a big plastic box across the counter to me. "Just read me the top four rows all the way across, left to right." I read out the letters: two columns, four rows. There was a third column, but it was blank. To me it was blank. A blank white column. Empty. No letters in it. Not hazy, not indistinct - completely empty. Weird.
The nice man frowned slightly. "All the letters, please." he said. I read them again, loudly and firmly. I could see them nice and clear. "Please read the letters in the right hand column" the nice man said. "I don't see any letters in the right hand column" I told him. He looked surprised. "Are you having trouble with your right eye?" he asked. "Yes, I have a tumor on my optic nerve" I said, very matter-of-fact. "Oh!" he said. Pause. A beat. My stomach got very nervous. "Oh, well, okay, I'm going to issue you a license, but there'll be some restrictions on it" he said. Restrictions? Who gives a flying fart about restrictions? I get to keep my license!!!! WOO HOO!!!
"You must always wear your glasses or contact lenses" he said (no problem - I don't think I could find my way out of the house without them!), "and your car must be equipped with side rear-view mirrors. On both sides!" he said sternly. "Oh, my car has those!" I assured him. Oh, gracious. Is that all?!? Piece o' you bet yer sweet bippy CAKE, man!!!! Yippeee!!!
Didn't I say he was a nice man?
So there we go.
I get to shoot the rifle.
I get to drive a car (or truck).
I get to keep my job.
What a relief.