Sunday night I noticed how bloodshot Madison’s eyes were and, because we’ve all been passing around colds like notes in a boring history class, my first thought was: Oh, crap. Pink eye.
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how contagious pink eye is or what a pain in the butt it is trying to make sure no one else gets it. Because the moment you tell yourself not to touch your eyes under any circumstances that is when they become itchy and watery and you get an eyelash in them. Then you reflexively rub them and spend the next few days freaking out, worrying you’re going to get pink eye too.
The eye doctor’s prognosis the following afternoon was a relief: an infection/irritation from contacts. The treatment? Eye drops, twice a day for five days. Unfortunately, she’d said, they didn’t have any samples so she’d have to write me a prescription, which I promptly went to fill at my usual pharmacy and was told they didn’t have it. The second pharmacy did have it (yay!) and they told me it would cost $186 (boo!). That was with a discount, by the way, or it would have been $239. Somehow that didn’t make me feel grateful to “only” be paying one hundred eighty-six dollars(!). For eye drops. To be used twice a day for five days. Does the math jump out at you too? That’s ten drops at $18.60 each.
Lucas took the calculations further. The 5 mL bottle we got constitutes only 8% active ingredients. Let’s make it easy and round up to an even 10%. That means we bought 0.5 mL of active ingredients for $186. There are 3,785.41 mL to a gallon. (Thank goodness for free online weights and measurement converters.) Divide 3,785.41 by 0.5 and you get 7,570.82. Multiply that by $186 and you get a whopping $1.4 million. So, what did we learn today, class? One gallon of the active ingredients in the eye drops is worth $1.4 million. Think about that the next time you think buying a gallon of milk for $3.29 is expensive.
I’m wondering if drug dealers know about this. Instead of risking decades in prison and thousands of dollars in fines to peddle heroin in the streets for a couple hundred bucks a gram, they could be millionaires selling eye drops on the black market. I’ll bet they’d feel pretty silly if you explained this to them.
Anyway, since Madison can’t wear contacts for five days she has to wear her glasses to school. They’re an old pair with one badly scratched lens from the time she slept over at a friend’s house and the dog chewed them. I’ll give you ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY-SIX reasons why I don’t feel that sorry for her, starting with the fact this is largely her fault for not taking proper care of her contacts.
Tuesday night I got an email from her high school. They’re usually just to remind parents about upcoming half-days or school concerts and the like. In other words, I usually send them to Trash unread. But this message was to inform me that Madison was “marked absent from one or more classes” and I should contact the attendance office. Instead of accusing her of ditching, which is what I naturally assumed, I asked her if there was anything interesting about her day she wanted to tell me. No, there wasn’t. I played her the message and she still didn’t confess. We logged on to her school website and found she’d been marked absent from English. That’s her 4th period class right before her 5th hour lunch. Highly suspicious.
Madison insisted she’d been present and would talk to her teacher about it. When she did so on Wednesday her English teacher admitted she made a mistake. The reason? She hadn’t recognized Madison in her glasses. I think that’s incredibly HILARIOUS. I mean, didn’t you think it was ridiculous no one recognized Clark Kent and Superman were identical except one wore glasses and the other had a curlicue of hair in the front? Well, apparently glasses are indeed enough to fool everyone in Metropolis and English teachers.
You can keep that disguise in mind if you’re ever on the run from the law for selling heroin. You’re welcome.