Zero-Tolerance Watch

22 May 2006 /

My son informs me that we have to buy one of those old-fashioned telescoping pointers because he needs it for a presentation at school.

“Can you use a laser pointer?” I ask. “Because we actually have one of those.”

“They’re not allowed at school,” he says.

“Why not?”

“You could put someone’s eye out.”

Now how do you put someone’s eye out with a laser pointer? Can someone explain that to me? Because I’d love to do it the next time I give a presentation. The first guy that asks a stupid question gets his eye lasered out. “Now, does anyone else have a question? No? Good. Next slide, please.”

There’s some kind of irrational technophobia at work here. Doctors blast lasers into people’s eyeballs all the time and it actually improves their vision.

Clearly, if you were tasked with putting a kid’s eye out, your weapon of choice would be the telescoping pointer — a 35-inch, flexible metal rod with a pointy tip — not the laser pointer. I could put a hundred kids’ eyes out while the laser guy was still dicking around . . .


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