No, it's not a low budget homage to The Two Ronnies*. It's two pairs of specs, neither of which is mine.
Not that remarkable you might think. But, in the last working week of December, both pairs were mistaken for mine. And now I'm in possession of two strangers' glasses, while they're walking around Manchester bumping into things.
You see I did my final day of Comic Art Masterclasses at Manchester Academy on December 22nd, then we stayed overnight with Hev's parents in Bodelwyddan. As part of my classes I had to carry the kids artwork the length of the school and up two flights of stairs to get to the photocopier and back, right in the closing moments of the working day. And it was only on getting to my car ready to leave that I realised my specs were no longer in my breast pocket.
I went back and retraced my steps, knowing I'd used them to put finishing touches to the artwork seconds before making that final journey to the copier and back. And it was most likely around the photocopier, in the corner of the staff room, that I'd lost them, because I'd been obliged to put art on the floor as I went along, and the bending-over to do that would almost inevitably be the opportunity for my glasses to slide from my breast pocket unseen.
So, after scouring the corridors and staircases Sherlock-like, I got to the staff room and asked if anyone had found a pair of specs. "What, like these?" said a kind teacher, handing me a pair that were lying unattended on a table. They're the ones you see at the top of the picture. Yes! They're mine, I thought. They have the rectangular rimless frames and the burgundy stems, they're my glasses.
I put them straight in their glasses case, safely in my inside pocket, and head home. It was only that evening in Bodelwyddan when I tried to read the computer screen that I discovered my glasses weren't working properly. To whit, they didn't focus my eyesight so I could read. If anything they made things more blurry. They were, of course, someone else's specs.
Mortified and covered with shame I emailed and tweeted the school the next day, trying to find the person who'd lost these specs so I could send them back directly. Meanwhile, I was delighted to hear, they've found mine and were going to post them off straight away.
Given that we were now into Christmas Eve and the extended mail-less holiday period, I thought nothing more of it for a week, until a package arrived. Hooray, my glasses.
Only, as I think you're also ahead of me on, they weren't my glasses. These are black-rimmed larger-lensed glasses, with a prescription made up for short sight. Someone needs these buggers to see where they're going, quite possibly to drive with. And I've been and gone and got the teachers in a staff room in Manchester to steal this unwitting soul's bins, when they're put them down for a moment, and mail them to me, leaving them virtually blind throughout the Christmas period.
As soon as the Post Offices are back open after New Year, both pairs of glasses will be returning to Manchester Academy with my most profound apologies. In the meantime, I'll be back up the road to Vision Express to get myself a third pair.
And now, for some reason, I'm hearing the theme from Charley Farley & Piggy Malone and I can't think why.
Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres - email for details, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. View the promo video here.
*That's the Socks you're thinking of