Monday, December 30, 2013

The Broken Lens

by Specs4ever

From the time he was a child Fred was the closest thing to a scam artist I had ever seen. He could con another classmate out of his lunch, he could horse trade better than anyone I had ever seen, and he could actually convince a teacher that his dog had eaten his homework. It helped that Fred was an angelic looking boy, and as he grew older he was almost considered beautiful. This was not what most guys wanted for themselves, but when Fred was selling things at over inflated prices to little old ladies that probably couldn't really afford the items, being a beautiful looking boy certainly helped.
Fred was often just a short step ahead of the law. But even when the law did catch up with Fred, nothing seemed to happen. He always walked that very fine line that bordered on the illegal. Even when his driveway sealant washed off in the first rainstorm, all the customers could do was complain to the better business bureau.

Fred’s grandfather had been an immigrant from one of the countries in the old Soviet Bloc. When he had arrived in the USA, the officer in charge had butchered his name, and Fred’s Grandfather Pavolich had left with papers showing that he was named Paul Xterranovich. I suppose that the name Xterranovich sounded like their real name, but after Paul became a US citizen he shortened the name to Xterra. This was a strange name, but it gave Fred one advantage. He was the only person in the telephone directory under X.

One day Fred had a brilliant idea. He was going to start a small package delivery service. He was going to name it after himself. So Fred incorporated his new company, and FredX was born. Fred really had no intention of servicing customers. His main idea was to sell his company name to the other company with a similar name. Of course, once Fred started to advertise his package delivery services under the name FredX, the lawyers for the other firm had Fred served with a cease and desist order. Fred had anticipated that, so he fought this. And to the other company’s surprise, Fred won. In conversing with their lawyers after the decision, Fred let it be known that he might be willing to sell his company for a reasonable sum of money. But, no offer was forthcoming.

So, since he had a sizeable sum invested, Fred really had no other choice than to build his parcel delivery service into a profitable company. Funny thing, but Fred did pretty well at it. Fred came to the notice of the other company’s largest rival, and they decided to purchase FredX, and franchise the small package delivery service out, with Fred retaining his existing franchise. This worked surprisingly well. I believe the original company really kicked themselves for not buying Fred out when they had the chance.

Fred had a bit of a quirk. He had a fascination for eyeglasses. To Fred, a woman was not really beautiful unless she wore glasses. And, as Fred searched for women who wore glasses, he realized that his most desired ladies had to wear very strong minus lenses in their glasses. One day Fred saw a very attractive looking lady who wore myodisc lenses in her glasses, and from that day on, Fred was enamored with ladies who wore myodiscs. But, these ladies were few and far between.

So, Fred went to the largest optical lab in his city, and offered them a great deal on shipping their finished glasses. For almost 2 years not a package left the supplier without Fred personally opening the package, and inspecting all the finished glasses. Fred found a number of ladies who wore strong minus lensed glasses, but he had not found anyone who wore myodiscs. And Fred became so adept at repackaging the parcels that the customers never knew that the parcel had been opened.

One day in the large shipment from the optical lab there was a single parcel. This parcel was marked fragile, and rush. When Fred picked up the parcel and shook it before he opened it he thought he heard glass rattling around. He carefully opened the parcel. There inside was the most beautiful pair of myodisc lensed glasses Fred had ever seen – except for the fact that one lens was shattered, and in pieces. Fred was very upset with the employee who had picked up the parcel. However, as he looked at the packaging Fred realized that these glasses could not possibly have broken in transit. These glasses were packaged broken. To confirm his suspicions Fred carefully took all the broken pieces of glass, and created a jigsaw puzzle. There was one fairly large shard missing.

Fred was extremely angry, and was ready to phone the optical lab to give them a piece of his mind. But then he thought about it carefully. Of course the shipper would deny packaging a broken lens. If only the owner of these glasses was a lovely young lady, it would be worth it to Fred to keep his mouth shut, and offer to replace the lens. The name of the optician was on the package, and most of the opticians put the patient’s name and sometimes the address on the paperwork. But, this store only put a tray number on the paperwork. Fred was going to have to get into his scam artist mode to find out the owner’s name.

“Hi, this is Fred Xterra from FredX parcel delivery. Could I please speak with the manager.” Fred said, with honey dripping from his voice.
“Yes, this is Don Sloan. How may I help you?” Don replied.
“I am sorry to advise you that we have discovered that a special rush shipment of a pair of glasses has been damaged in transit. I can tell that the owner of these glasses needs them quite badly, and I would like to offer to compensate them for their discomfort. However, the only identification I have is Tray #534. Would it be possible either to give me your clients name and phone number, or if that is against your policy, could you please ask your customer to call me immediately.” Fred informed the manager.

“When can I tell my customer that she can have her glasses?” Don asked Fred.
“I am sending them right back to the lab with instructions to rush the rush, and I will pay all costs involved. I don’t really know how quickly they can make a new lens though.” Fred informed him.
“Well, I have just tried the owner’s phone to see if she could give me permission to release her name and phone number, but she is not home. Can I have your number, and I will try to have her call you.” Don said.

Fred thanked him for his assistance, and again apologized for the unfortunate accident. Then Fred waited anxiously for his phone to ring. An hour slipped by. Then another one passed, and Fred was getting antsy. As he was about to call it a night and go home the ringing of the phone jarred him to life.

“FredX, Fred speaking, how may I help you?” Fred said.
“Hi, I believe you are the man I was asked to call about my glasses?” the voice said. The caller had a voice to die for. She sounded like the sexiest lady in the world.
“Yes, we have unfortunately had a bit of a mishap with the shipment containing your new glasses, and one lens has shattered. I have rushed them back to the lab, and I have asked them to do whatever they can to get a replacement lens to us. I am paying all expenses to do this as fast as we can.” Fred said.
“Well, I realize that accidents can happen. Thank you for letting me know. This way I won’t blame Don at the opticians for the delay.” The voice at the other end of the phone was driving Fred wild with desire.
“Since this is going to inconvenience you, I was wondering if I could send you a check for $250.00.” Fred said.
“Oh, you don’t have to do that. It was just an accident. These things happen.” The voice replied.
“I know I don’t have to do that, but we take our customers seriously. Please, I want to do something for you, to help defray your costs.” Fred replied.
“Oh, all right, if you insist. My name is Brandy Carter, and I live at 3045 Palisades Ave, here in the city. I am in apartment 412, and the zip code is 234567.” Brandy said.
“That is near where I am going in a few minutes.” Fred responded “Could I drop by with the check, if it is convenient?”
“Well, I have nothing planned this evening, so if you can be here within an hour I will still be awake.” Brandy replied.

Of course Fred had no idea where the address was located. He quickly searched a city map, and found that he was fortunate indeed. The address Fred was looking for was less than a 10-minute drive from his office. Fred quickly washed his face, applied under arm deodorant, shaved, and put on some cologne. From the voice on the phone Fred was beginning to get his hopes up but then he remembered the only other voice he had ever heard that sounded this great was the voice of a 65 year old lady. When he met her in person Fred was rather disappointed, but Fred had to admit that she was a heck of an attractive 65 year old. However at age 35, Fred really wasn't interested in a 65-year-old lady.

Fred parked his car, and went into the lobby. He pushed the apartment buzzer, and identified himself into the 2-way speaker. Brandy buzzed him through the inner lock, and he took the elevator to the 4th floor. He rang the doorbell, his heart pounding.

The door opened to reveal a stunning looking young lady. She was tall, almost as tall as Fred’s 5’10. Her bust was impressive, and her rear end was filled her tight jeans. Her dark, shoulder length hair framed a face that was even more beautiful than Fred’s own. She was simply gorgeous. Fred quickly imagined the gold wire framed myodiscs tight to this fabulous face, and Fred was in heaven.

“Hi, you must be Mrs. Carter. I am Fred Xterra, from FredX.” Fred said, almost stammering as he spoke.
“There is no Mr. Carter, so I am only Miss Carter. But you can call me Brandy, Mr. Xterra.” Brandy told Fred.
“Please, I am just plain old Fred. And why is it that a young lady as beautiful as you are is sitting at home on a Friday night?” Fred boldly asked.
“My boyfriend and I broke up last weekend.” Brandy replied.

Fred couldn't believe his good fortune. Brandy asked him in for a coffee, and they sat at the kitchen table and talked. As Fred had surmised, Brandy was a model. However, Brandy had been over wearing her contact lenses for the past few years, and her Ophthalmologist had suggested that she had better start cutting back on her lens wear, and get herself a decent pair of glasses to wear most of the time. Brandy had been wearing her old myodiscs around the apartment for the last couple of weeks, and the past weekend her boyfriend of over 2 years had told her that he absolutely couldn't stand the sight of her wearing glasses. So, they had split up, because Brandy knew that she could not risk wearing contact lenses forever just to please him
Fred would have moved in with Brandy right then and there, but he figured that he had better wait until they got to know each other better. And, the more they dated, the better Fred liked Brandy. He was very careful not to mention her glasses whenever she happened to be wearing them, but instead expressed a casual indifference as to whether Brandy wore glasses or contacts. And, when her new glasses were finally ready, Fred picked Brandy up, and delivered her, and her new glasses to the optician for the fitting. Of course, Fred had paid for the balance of the purchase price, and when Brandy protested, Fred told her that since she had ripped his check up, then that was the least he could do.

Both Fred and Don, the optician, told Brandy how gorgeous she looked wearing her new glasses. It had cost Fred almost $600.00 to replace the one lens, but that included the shipping costs to the optical lab in Switzerland that made the lens, and the costs of the lab in the USA that fitted the lens to the frame. But, Fred would have paid 10 times that much to be in the position he was now in.

Fred and Brandy dated for almost a year. During this time Brandy had become so comfortable wearing her myodisc lensed glasses around Fred that she hardly ever wore her contact lenses except when modeling. When Fred asked Brandy to marry her, she accepted. However, when they were discussing the various wedding plans, Brandy refused to consider Fred’s request that she wear glasses during the wedding ceremonies.

But, she did agree to remove her contacts and change to glasses as soon as the pictures were finished, so Fred accepted this compromise.

The wedding was a flawless production. Everything that could go wrong had gone wrong at the rehearsal. That evening as Fred and Brandy drove off after the wedding dance Fred gazed into the strong myodisc lenses that he loved on Brandy so much, and reflected on his good fortune. But, then the scam artist in Fred surfaced.

“Brandy Xterra, Brandy X, BrandX.” Fred thought. “There must be a way to make money with BrandX somewhere.”

April 2005

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