I recently attended Review of Optometry's Bermuda meeting. Yes, THAT Bermuda--600 miles off the East Coast and one of the loveliest places anywhere. Tough decision. Anyway, the CE is world class. I guess it's probably not that hard to get the superstars of optometry to be speakers in a place like Bermuda.

Despite this, they asked me to participate in a Q&A about random optometric subjects. Sort of a small town doc's perspective. The questions were asked by one of the finest O.D.s I know, Dr. Paul Karpecki. Turns out, he is not only a brilliant doctor and natural born moderator, Paul is the perfect George Burns to my Gracie Allen. (Young O.D.s, Google that.)

Q. Is there anything that you do, as an optometrist, that is different than every other optometrist in the nation?

A. Yes, I get a yearly eye exam.

Q. What do you do when a patient doesn't show up for several appointments?

A. I make them an appointment on a Friday.

Q. Is that when you see "problem" patients?

A. No, that's when we're closed.

Q. What are the most common contact lens problems you see day-to-day in your practice?

A. Wal-Mart and 1-800 Contacts.

Q. How do you answer this question: How much are your contact lenses?

A. My contact lenses are free. Of course, my examination and fitting services are $500.

Q. Do any of your patients wear daily disposables?

A. Yes, weekly and monthly.

Q. Is there a specific solution you recommend?

A. Yes, gin and tonic.

Q. What is your preferred vision plan?

A. The one where the patient saves his money all year and then pays me cash.

Q. Where in the country would you advise a young optometrist to open cold?

A. Hawaii. I'd rather be broke and hungry in Waikiki than in Cleveland come December.

Q. What do you think of the trend toward casual Fridays?

A. My Fridays are so casual I don't even open the office.

Q. What is the biggest difference between private practice and corporate optometry?

A. In private practice, if you run screaming down the hallway, they open the door and let you out.

Q. Of all the optometrists who have ever lived, who do you love and respect the most?

A. Whichever one buys my practice someday.

Q. Do you believe in universal health care?

A. I believe that every person, no matter how poor, how downtrodden, how uninsured, how stinky, how syphilitic, infected, infested, oozing from open sores--all of these lowly, worthless, wretched individuals deserve fast and competent eye care and should immediately be referred to an ophthalmologist.

Q. But, thats terrible! Were all going to need eye care some day.

A. Thats why I have this new health idea.

Q. You mean to eat better, exercise, and take better care of yourself?

A. No, I mean to start smoking, eat like a pig, gain 100 pounds, and drink 10 or 15 margaritas every day.

Q. You'll die of a heart attack by the time you're 60!

A. I think of it as a macular degeneration prevention plan.

See how much fun it is in Bermuda? Now, go fill your bathtub with tropical fish and blue Kool-Aid, put on your Speedo, and turn up the heat. Don't forget a shot of Black Seal Rum. It's just like Bermuda! I'll be there soon!