There was an eclipse of the sun in our area today. But I missed it.
I couldn’t look at it directly and risk eye damage, of course. My eyesight is bad enough as it is. And I wasn’t going to go online and pay $1,000 for officially certified viewing glasses. I am too cheap for that. I know, I could have made a pin prick in a piece of paper and held it up so that the sun shone through the pin prick onto a black piece of paper. But looking at a miniature shadow of a shadow seemed a little divorced from the reality. Pointless even. So, I stayed inside and looked out a north-facing window. It looked as if evening had come early. Or as if I was wearing a really good pair of sunglasses if I could afford a really good pair of sunglasses. Or both.
Besides, I had witnessed the previous solar eclipse thirty-eight years ago. That was when I was in university and still had hopes of learning something. Back then, they told us to look at the eclipse through a piece of exposed camera film. Camera film is…well, you can’t explain that concept in the modern world.
Instead of staring at inanimate objects, I decided to do something constructive with my time. Specifically, I decided to shampoo our living room rug. Well, okay, technically my wife decided I was going to shampoo our living room rug. It was a good idea. By the time I had finished, about the time the solar eclipse was at its peak (it only reached 87 percent in our area), all of the stains on the rug were gone. However, I did observe that later in the day some of the stains had reappeared. Probably some weird side-effect of the eclipse. Perhaps an astrophysicist could explain it. Or at least someone smarter than I am.