The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

March 6, 2014

Mike Pound: Monocle becomes the latest spectacle

No matter how hard I try, there are just some days when I feel like a tired, grumpy old guy.

Sometimes — as happened Thursday — my feelings of tiredness, grumpiness and oldness are brought on by losing a battle with technology. Early Thursday afternoon, I ran across something on the Internet I thought was interesting so I tried to print the item. I hit the print symbol on the Internet page and then hit print on my computer and … nothing happened.

Then I did what I always do when that happens: I hit print again and … nothing happened.

I hit print three more times before I noticed that my printer was out of paper, so I put paper in and hit print once again.


I was starting to get mad, so I hit print several times in a row while yelling, “Print you worthless (string of bad words)!”


Then I noticed a message on my computer screen telling me that the printer was out of paper and asking me if I wanted to be notified about the error. The message didn’t tell me who was going to notify me, so I clicked the box that said “No” and … the printer began working.

“Yea!” I said when the printer was finished printing what I wanted.

Then the printer printed what I wanted 15 more times.

By the time I finally got to read The New York Times story, of which I now had 16 copies, I was already feeling like a tired, grumpy old man. The story just sort of pushed me over the edge.

The headline is what first caught my eye, “One Part Mr. Peanut, One Part Hipster Chic.”

According to the story, the monocle is making a comeback of sorts. Where exactly the monocle is coming back from and where it’s going was never fully explained. What was explained was that among certain men the monocle was all the rage.

I guess I can see that.

Wait, no I can’t see that. Why would any guy in the world wear a monocle?

“I got it to have my own style, bring something new to the table,” Jose Vega was quoted as saying in the story about why he purchased a monocle. By the way, the story said Jose was an aspiring Miami rap musician.

Here’s some advice Jose: If you want to have your own style, quit saying things such as “bring something new to the table.”

In the story, Martin Raymond, who was described as a “British trend forecaster,” said the rise in popularity of the monocle can be attributed to “the new gents” and he described seeing a group of these “new gents” carrying “monocles along with tiny brass telescopes kept in satchels.”

All I can say is if those “new gents” showed up at St. Xavier’s Junior High School in Junction City, Kan., with monocles and tiny brass telescopes when I was in school, they would have been called the “new gents with bruises all over them.”

I’m just saying.

Raymond, the “British trend forecaster,” says that the return of the monocle is more than just a few guys wanting to look like dorks.

“All of this is a sense of irony and a way of discovering and displaying old artisanal and craft-based technology,” he said.

When I read that I had two questions:

No. 1: What?

No. 2: Seriously. What?

As proof that the monocle is sweeping the country one eye at a time, the newspaper pointed out that Nearsights, an online retailer that specializes in monocles, saw its sales nearly triple last year from $26,000 in 2012 to $66,000 in 2013.

Wow, that’s really … well it’s really nothing.

According to the story, some guys in their 40s and 50s are buying monocles because they don’t want to look like dorks by wearing “drugstore reading glasses.”

So, instead, they would rather look like dorks wearing a monocle.

All of this got me wondering who started the monocle craze, where he started it and what he used to get it started.

Turns out it was Col. Mustard, in the parlor with a candlestick.

Do you have an idea for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.

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