Doth My Eyes Deceive You? A Letter.

Dear DMV agent,

I apologize for my remark about carrots. It seems that it was an unsubstantiated claim.

You were right–I did have a corrective lenses restriction on my Georgia license, and also on my South Carolina license when I lived in our fair state previously. The confusion is understandable. Because, really, how could someone’s eyes get better? It was uncanny the way I removed my glasses and passed the vision test on the first try. And the second, when you watched me put my glasses on the desk. And that third time, right after I opened my eyes really wide and said, “No contacts, ma’am. Just eyeballs.”

When I said, “Maybe it’s all those carrots!” I really should have bit my tongue. I’ve done some research, and according to, the carrot-eye-myth dates back to World War II. The British wanted to keep their new radar technology secret from the Nazis, so the government spread a rumor that attributed the UK fighter pilots’ improving accuracy to a high-vegetable diet that promoted better eyesight.

So I do not know exactly why my eyes got better. Carrots do contain carotenoids, which help our eyes out some. Unfortunately, your glasses are very thick trifocals, so I am not sure that daucus carota sativus is the answer for you.


J. Austin Floyd

PS: Judging from your souvenir magnets and pins, you seem to like flamingos. It is the various carotenoids in shrimp and other crustaceans that cause flamingos to be pink. Otherwise, they would probably just look like weird storks.


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