Bizarro is brought to you today by Stiff People.
Like most modern people in industrialized nations, I wear glasses and take the eyesight they afford me for granted. I didn't need them until I was 38 and my ophthalmologist told me that almost no one makes it past 40 without needing glasses. Apparently, that's just how long human eyes typically last before warping.
Up until relatively recently, however, glasses were not available to most people. So, the vast majority of our ancestors who lived beyond 40, lost their ability to read or do tiny detailed work and walked around in a blurry, ill-defined world. What a fuzzy drag.
I, for instance, occasionally lose the microscopic screw that holds the arm of my glasses to the frame and have to replace it. I can't wear my glasses while doing this, of course, and it is nearly impossible to line up the holes, get the screw in and tighten it without being able to see it clearly. And though I don't need my glasses for driving or getting around the house, I cannot read or draw without them, so if I did not have access to them, my career (and also my favorite pastimes) would be down the toilet.
Part of the story is that most people didn't live much beyond 40 until recently, and, once dead, weren't using their eyes anyway. But those who did live longer were just out of luck. Michelangelo, for instance, lived to be in his 90s and one can track the deterioration of his eyesight through his work. He did this in his twenties, and this in his eighties.
If humans last on this planet, and that's a formidable "if," I wonder what sort of current hardships that we take for granted will amaze our descendants.
Blog of the future: "Up until relatively recently, if people wanted to reproduce, they actually had to squeeze babies out of their bodies. I, for instance, don't have a uterus or vagina, so I would have had to find a woman who was willing to..."