James Bond, Skyfall and…lenses

Skyfall smashed British box office history and set the tills ringing.

We were there. We popcorned in for bombs and bashings; for smouldering moods; for shriek-screetching music; for back-stabbing; for ‘British is best’; and for villains who should have been locked away for life.

In short – we swallowed, in minutes, more advertising and heart-stoppers than our recommended millennium allowance, and we did not spare our friends who did not love Skyfall.

But this isn’t really about that. This is about what happened next in our little lives after this 23rd James Bond juggernaut was gone…or at least we thought it was gone. Turned out, however, that it lingered in strange places.

Here’s the example: we were in an opticians, bent over the blank saucer-eye of a spectacle lens when Skyfall stepped out of the shadows. The messenger brought shocking news: 007’s team was flawed.


“Not so,” the pale-faced young man told us. “The evidence is undeniable.”

He showed us a photograph. The awful truth stared straight back at us – the young genius ‘Q’ did not have anti-reflection coating on his glasses.

“Imagine,” continued the young man in quiet, persuasive tones, “…imagine what might have been avoided.”

We shuddered. We knew. We had seen it for ourselves – a tube train crashing through layers of London tunnels; parliament in peril; M’s piggy-bank subjected to unmentionable unpleasantness.

Silence settled slowly as the information and the consequences soaked in.

We looked at each other anxiously. Gone was our innocent, soggy Tuesday afternoon. We knew without saying a word that now was the time to stand tall, to raise an eyebrow, to shift our focus beyond looks and wallet. It was up to us to do our part and to secure the very best of coatings. Who knew what the future might be without it?

We studied the lens, the options, and the cost, and we studied the young messenger before us. Upright in his optician’s tie, pale and earnest, he was a new, distinct version of excellence – not Bond, but British, and we would stand beside him.

In a matter of minutes the deal was done. We shook hands, exited the premises and, proudly anti-reflective, strode purposefully home. We were ready.

“One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2018

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