The funny glasses that even a governor cannot resist
One late December, I was driving around with my friend, Genevieve, running errands. The Houston traffic is frantic anyway (Fridays especially) but during Christmas, it feels like you’re in a herd of rabid animals. Not fun.
This particular year, the herd moved like white water rapids. Relief seemed in order.
While my little Toyota rested at a red light, it was the perfect time to reach down in my door pocket and pull out my trusty “See Thru Funny Glasses” purchased at Frankel’s Costume years before. I put them on and turned to face Genevieve, who instantly burst into laughter. I turned to the neighboring car and stared at a stranger. “Are we having fun yet?” I asked him and suddenly, all of us were.
I promise you people — you put these glasses on and it’ll cure whatever ails you and everyone else in your vicinity.
I’ve carried them around for years — in my purse, suitcase, camera bag. I’ve given them as birthday gifts, put them in Christmas stockings, whipped them out in writing class, hospital rooms, the dentist office and at various gatherings. The result is always the same. Down home, bellyaching laughter. Who couldn’t use more of that?
The greatest thing about these glasses (aside from the fact that you CAN see through them) is they are SUCH a surprise. Meaning, you think there going to look the same way on the next person but they don’t even come close. They change in appearance and for a little while, they change people. Inside and out.
One time I was wearing the glasses while eating lunch with friends. As the glasses were being passed around the table for everyone to try on — our laughter went from loud to slightly hysterical. About the time they came back to me, Governor Ann Richards walked into the room. She heard our raucousness, saw me wearing the goofy glasses and walked straight over to our table. Respectfully, I offered her the glasses and to everyone’s delight by God, the Governor was game!
She slipped the glasses on and, smiling that winning smile of hers — brought the house down. What a sport.
For some reason, they look particularly funny on children, that is to say, little faces. One summer I met some 4-year-olds on a beach I call “heaven” and snapped a photograph of each of them wearing the glasses. Between the kids, the parents and the photographer, I don’t know who was rolling more in what ... sand or laughter. We had a big time. Total strangers.
Once, to a birthday dinner, I brought them as party favors. At the end of the evening everyone donned their glasses and gathered for a group shot. Unfortunately, I managed to lose the photograph but I can see it in my mind and it still cracks me up. Especially, the honoree, who held one hand to her face as if resting her fingers on the fingerboard of a violin. This slight gesture gave the glasses maximum strength. It was hilarious.
There’s only one time when the “Funny Glasses” weren’t so funny. I decided to give them to a woman who seemed to have everything and whom I mistakenly thought could use a little laughter. In fact, I thought, I’d never heard her laugh. Thinking this was the perfect gift; I gleefully wrapped up the glasses and took them to her house before Christmas.
I never heard a word from her about the gift and as it turned out, hardly another word period. No harm done though. No humor either.
One of my favorite moments was when an elegant, rather serious proprietor of an antique store handed me an invoice. I took it and stepped away for a second to “get my glasses” I explained. When I returned wearing “Funny Glasses” and holding the invoice in mid air, a bright broad grin crossed his face. His assistant broke into one of those down home, bellyaching laughs and ran for her camera. Just before I drove away (still wearing the glasses) they took a snapshot of me.
Maybe it’s the combination of short hair, smile, and tilt of the head, but the person in that convertible looked to be the daughter of Carol Channing and Groucho Marx. Now, (see old woman in blue) I just look like Groucho Marx.
There’s no telling how many pairs I’ve purchased over the years. Several times, I’ve noticed, the name of the glasses has changed slightly, but not the glasses or their effect.
As currently packaged, the label reads…
REAL TYPE GLASSES.
FOR CLOWNS. FOR COMEDIANS.
FOR A DISGUISE….
THEY ARE GREAT!
It could also go something like the old Coca-Cola jingle. “Things go better with … Funny Glasses.” They sure made driving in a herd of rabid animals more fun.
I like how writer/photographer Christopher Woods put it: “The world would be a better place if everyone had these special glasses.”
For $2.98 – you can’t beat em’. A dog-gone good deal.