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by Brick Walters, 12/03/99

DC: People who wear glasses are now going to their doctors in large numbers to have a new treatment which is touted as the quickest way to change many kinds of vision problems. But might there be more potential damage than the doctors are letting on?
Brick Walters reports.

(sfx: waiting room / clinic)

Brick: Jennifer Hardy has been dissatisfied with her eyesight for most of her life. But she didn't think she could do anything about it until recently.

Jennifer: I hear it's a miracle. The change is instant. Everybody's having it done. I want to do it too.

Brick: Is there anything that makes you think ...perhaps ... this is NOT the right choice?

Jennifer: It's too good to be true?

Brick: Jennifer is about to undergo Malletology. Dr. Byron Dooley is a Cosmetic Surgeon who recently started offering Malletology to his patients.

Dooley: It's working wonders. I've got a waiting list.

Brick: But you're not even an eye specialist.

Dooley: No, but people have this procedure done so they can get rid of their glasses. And that's a cosmetic issue, so it falls into my area that way.

Brick: But what about training?

Dooley: That's the beauty of this. The equipment is so sophisticated ... the machine does almost all the work. And most of the time, the vast majority of the time, darn near every time with a few exceptions, it does it's work perfectly. All I do is push some buttons.

Brick: And if there's a problem?

Dooley: Problem? If there's a problem, we can always try again and maybe get it right the second or third time.

Brick: I asked Hank Harold, one of Dr. Dooley's patients, how he liked Malletology.

Hank: Oh, yeah. Just great.

Brick: Your vision has improved.

Hank: Oh yeah. I think it has.

Brick: You THINK it has?

Hank: Pretty sure.

Brick: Don't you know?

Hank: I'm still waiting for it to clear up. But I'm pretty sure it's better than it was before I had the procedure. Kinda.

Brick: (annc) Dr. Dooley permitted me to watch as he performed Malletology on Jennifer Hardy.

(sfx: lab?)

Dooley: We've given Jennifer a bit of sedative ... to keep her from moving too much. It's really important that the patient remain still. Then we set all the equipment in place ... there's a head brace ... a spring loaded component here ... a timing device, a force regulator ... How you doin', Jennifer?

Jennifer: (groggy) Fine.

Dooley: You ready to have your vision corrected?

Jennifer: Yah.

Brick: She seems groggy.

Dooley: That's good. She almost won't feel a thing.

(sfx: winding up spring)

Now we set the strength ...

Brick: It's so rudimentary. An ordinary looking mallet on a spring loaded frame.

Dooley: It's not the mallet that's most important. It's the location and force of the blow.

Brick: I thought lasers were involved.

Dooley: Oh yeah. They guide the instrument to it's proper location. The brain map is exacting. The area that we treat is targeted down to the millionth of an inch. See how the lasters make an "X" on her skull?

Brick: Oh, yes! I do see it!

Dooley: Ok. We're ready to perform the operation.

Brick: And just think ... we're able to sit here and talk to Jennifer as the work is being done. Years ago ...

Dooley: ... this would be unthinkable.

Brick: What has changed?

Dooley: People today have a much stronger desire ... to let technology solve their problems quickly! And a willingness ... to do anything, no matter how ludicrous, if they think it will make them look better.
Right, Jennifer?

Jennifer: Can I take my glasses off now?

Dooley: Not yet! But I'll throw the switch on your say so.

Jennifer: Yes. Go.

Dooley: I'm throwing the switch ... now!

(sfx: spronging sound ... mallet hits with a "thunk")

Jennifer: OW!

Brick: Ow?

Dooley: Yes, OW! There's a little pain. That's good. That means it's working. You OK, Jennifer?

Jennifer: Is it done?

Dooley: Yes, open your eyes! What do you see?

Jennifer: I see ... stars.

Dooley: Good. Now let's take off your glasses. What do you see now?

Jennifer: Stars. The same stars.

Dooley: See? Already your eyesight is the same with your glasses, and without. That's a big improvement!

Jennifer: But the stars ...

Dooley: They'll go away. Eventually.

Jennifer: (woozy) Wow! Incredible.

Brick: (annc) Dr. Dooley says Malletology is often misunderstood.
People who have had the procedure may still have to wear their glasses for reading and driving.

Dooley: But it's a special prescription to compensate for the blurring and doubling. So ... at any rate ... the glasses you're wearing now, you can throw them away! As long as you're not going out!

Jennifer: All I can say is ... I love the new me! I feel more confident, whether I'm at home, or at work, or out walking. Wow! Ooops!

(sfx: stumble and crash)

It's OK. I'm all right. How do I look?

Brick: One blow of a mallet on a strategic spot of the skull, and you can throw away your glasses. It's an attractive proposition for hundreds of thousands who have chosen new medical techniques of altering their vision, so they can see the world in a whole new way, and the world can see them anew, too.

Jennifer: If I'm the blurry figure on the right ... I'm looking pretty good!

Brick: Out in the field, I'm Brick Walters.

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