The other day a customer asked me if I remembered those ads, that used to be in the comic books, for “X-Ray Glasses”.
Not only did I remember them but I actually bought a pair.
For the uninitiated (or those who couldn’t figure it out from the reprinted advertisements above) X-Ray Glasses (also marketed as X-Ray Spex, X-Ray Goggles, X-Ray Gogs, X-Ray Vision, and other names I’m sure) were marketed to people who dreamed of being doctors (“see skeletons”), Spys (“see through walls”), TSA workers (“see through clothing”( and luggage), Superheroes (“X-Ray Vision”) but pretty much they were marketed to future voyeurs. The idea that a person was able to send a paltry sum of money away for a miraculous pair of glasses that would allow said person to see through clothing of beautiful ladies and gaze upon, not only their intimate apparel, but, dare we hope, their most secret private areas was more than one could hope or dream. So, Of course I had to save up my allowance until I had enough to send away for a pair of these miraculous devices (had I been old enough to drive I would have know one could go to any novelty store and buy a pair). The waiting, once the money was sent, was pure torture with every day seeming like a month, nay a year. finally 8 weeks and 3 days (or maybe 59 months (4 years 11months) a small package arrived. Oh, bliss!!! Oh ecstasy!!! I starred at the envelope relishing the moment then slowly opened it and removed the contents.
I starred in awe at this plastic wrapped miracle…The “Scientific Marvel Of The Century”!!! It said so right on the cardboard header. Now truth to be told I pondered whether such an important device should not have been packaged in something a bit more sturdy than cardboard and plastic. Perhaps a large lead container (to keep the x-rays from leaking out and causing damage). Come to think if it shouldn’t it have come with one of those heavy lead lined aprons the dentist always wore when he took x-rays? Perhaps they were sold separately.
I very carefully removed the staples that attached the header card to the plastic bag. I did this knowing full well that between uses the glasses would have to be returned to this, obviously, protective container for my and everyone around me’s safety.
I carefully opened the the temples (that’s the parts that go over the ears) and slowly pulled them onto my face. As I did this I saw printing on the inside of each lens. On the left it said “GOGS” under which it said “MADE IN HONG KONG”! WOW!!! These babies were imported!!!! You know it is quality merchandise when it comes from another country!!! On the right lens it said “HOLD YOUR HAND TOWARDS THE LIGHT” under which it said “SPREAD FINGERS AND SEE BONES”!!!
Uhhh…OK…So there was the instructions for seeing bones but what about for seeing through walls AND, more importantly, seeing through clothing. I searched but found no other instructions. Was it possible that there are different glasses for different abilities and they sent me the crummy “See Bones” pair? Should I have stipulated the type of material Through which I wanted to see? Alas I was stuck with the”see Bones” ones. Oh well, I might as well try them. I put on the glasses and followed the instructions. Holding my hand toward the light and spreading my fingers. What TH?!?!?! Great its a crappy optical illusion!!! Some Scientific Marvel. Will I never learn??? It turns out I never did…Obviously…I own a comic book store full of stuff just like this!!!!