The parking attendant was keying my car details into his handheld money-making machine just as I got there and steadfastly refused to let me off with a warning.
But it wasn’t really him I was cross with. I was grinding my teeth and wondering how on earth it can take an hour and twenty minutes to have an eye test.
I’m not very good at taking up the reminders to have my eyes re-tested. As long as I can see well enough to focus my camera and avoid crashing the car, then I really don’t see the point.
But it had been four years since I was tested, but my real reason for making the appointment was that the glasses I’ve worn since then have developed an irritating mark on the bottom of the right eye lens and I decided I needed a new pair.
I suppose the time it took was partly my fault for arriving ten minutes early so I could take a look at the frames they had to offer, but I was then whisked upstairs to check in for my test.
Then it was the usual pre-test rigmarole of having photos taken of the back of my eyeballs and shots of air blasted at them.
When I finally got to see the optician (or is it optometrist?) there was a repeat of previous interrogations – was there any glaucoma in my families medical history? (The answers were already on my file.)
Then the test itself, a review of the eyeball snapshots and the upshot was that my eyesight has got a little worse.
It was at this point that time began to slip away. Clutching my new prescription, I went back downstairs to choose some frames. That was when the clock started ticking because I’d made the mistake of thinking that all I wanted was a pair of glasses. Hah!
Did I want the buy one pair, get another free offer? Would the other pair be sunglasses, for reading or driving, or perhaps for the computer?
And for my main pair of varifocals, did I want them just ultraclear, anti-reflection and scratch-resistant? Or extra thin, super thin or ultimate thin and light?
Did I want reactions lenses for 100% UV protection, or Polaroid to eliminate 99.9% of horizontal glare? Or perhaps Drivewear that combines the two to give clearer vision in both bright and overcast conditions?
Or how about UltrDriveDay that blocks UV light and up to 95% of blue light to make colours appear sharper?
At that rate, I could see me having to order half a dozen pairs to swap around depending on what I was doing and where I was doing it so I ended up ordering none while I went away to consider all the options.
But the one option I would have liked would be a pair of specs like the ones Cyclops wears in X-Men, the sort which I could twiddle a knob on the side and incinerate parking attendants and spectacle salesmen.