Article Date: 10/1/2009

Buffalos, Beer And A Little Dog
lessons learned

Buffalos, Beer And A Little Dog

What could be stranger than soaking contact lenses in beer bottle caps?


If I recall correctly (my “re-caller” ain't what it used to be), in a previous column I discussed Irish Bulls, defined as statements that are made ludicrous by their incongruous logic. I heard another good example recently on a “Cheers” TV episode, where someone explained to Norm:

“A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones who are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members.”

Brain too

“In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells,” he continued. “Now, as we know, excessive intake of alcohol kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine.

“And that, Norm, is why you always feel smarter after a few beers.”

I seem to always be reminded of such Irish Bull incongruities as I continue to receive e-mails from OM readers about the strange things that happen in their offices. For example:

Powerful RGP cleaner?

“Your article reminded me of a patient who called me 12 years ago,” reports Mark Horwitz, O.D, Passaic, N.J. “She told me that her RGP contact lenses never felt clean enough, until she had recently found a great RGP cleaner, and wanted my opinion as to whether it was okay to use it. The great cleaner she was using turned out to be gasoline.”


Similarly, Carol VanScyoc, O.D., Fayetteville, Ark., tells of a college student who reported that the containers he used for soaking his lenses were beer bottle caps.

“We got an odd request from a patient,” also said Dr. VanScyoc. “The lady said that their apartment complex had made a no pets rule, and how much she hated having to get rid of their little dog. Further, one of our doctors had suggested that eye tracking exercises would help her child's eyes, and how the little toddler loved to watch the dog dance about.

“She requested that we therefore write an Rx prescribing the dog as a source of eye tracking exercises, so that they could keep the dog as a medical necessity.”


It must be a hoot practicing in Dr. VanScyoc's practice — she told me yet another humorous episode that happened there. She ordered a carotid artery study on a patient. The written lab report stated, “Pollen Horse Plaque, Left Eye.”

“It took me a minute,” she said, “to get the image of a horse running through a field of goldenrod out of my mind. Perhaps the rider was Dr. 'Hollenhorst'?”

“A patient of mine requested Bipolar glasses,” is another example of misunderstood terms, which came from Dr. Arnold Bierman, Lansdale, Pa. And:

“I have 'Transaction' lenses,” a patient told John Muellerleile, O.D., Owatonna, Min. “I wonder if they darken every time she nears a cash register?” wonders John.

All of which reminds me of another Irish Bull:

“There were 15 kids in our family,” said Dennis O'Rourke. “And we kept our mother on a pedestal. We had to, to try to keep her away from me father.” OM


Optometric Management, Issue: October 2009