The unstoppable machine of progress. And the idiot that’s driving.

Lately I’ve been considering Lasik surgery. For those unfamiliar with the procedure, let me fill you in.

First, the surgeon creates a thin, circular flap in your eyeball’s cornea. He then folds back the hinged flap to access the underlying cornea and shaves corneal tissue using an Excimer Laser, which uses an ultraviolet light beam to reshape your cornea for improved vision.

Now, despite the fact that the words ‘eyeballs’ and ‘flaps’ should never go together, that’s pretty bloody incredible, right? Old John Q Lasik was a legend, no doubt about it.

But I can’t help but feel that the true hero isn’t getting the credit they deserve.

What about the guy that went first?

The guy that listened to Mr Lasik explain his device – basically the same thing that almost castrates James Bond in Goldfinger, but aimed at your face – and still said “sign me up!”


He’s the real hero. An absolute idiot, but a hero nonetheless.

And he’s not alone. Look through the history books and you’ll see that people with more balls than brains have been quietly working behind the scenes of innovation for millennia: using their eyeballs, internal organs and genitals to break new ground since man walked upright. 

Surprised? Not as surprised as Jeff Rollercoaster, David Parachute and Sebastian von Penis-Enlargement were when, after presenting their idea, amidst the horrified silence, someone put their hand up and said, “ooh pick me!”

And so I submit to you that this UnIlluminati aren’t just important to progress – they’re the driving force.

Not just because they’re the only ones that will road-test the things no sane person would, but because they’ll push them to their very limits. They’ll beta-test the shit out of them.

Need proof? Grab your nearest household appliance and read the safety instructions.

Amidst all the regular warnings, there will be one that stands out; one I believe is the sole manifestation of the dumbass that first tested it.

My chainsaw says, “Do not hold bladed end while in use.”

My iron says, “Do not iron clothes while wearing them.”

These are the quiet homages to those unsung morons.


It all leads to a single question. What’s the difference between a pioneering spirit and dumb shit stupidity?

What made Neil Armstrong so awesome and the first person in line for anal bleaching so phenomenally idiotic?

It’s a tricky one, my friends. Tricky indeed. But one that can be determined with a simple test I’ve devised. 

Close your eyes and imagine your funeral. Grim, I know, but bear with me. 

Now, are the pews filled with attractive mourners who have their chins raised in memory of your heroism? Are their tears one part sorrow and two parts pride? Does a choir of Ugandan orphans sing Ave Maria before Buzz Aldrin releases one hundred white doves?

Or is there a lot of uncomfortable fidgeting? A few too many awkward coughs. Does the minister end the eulogy with ‘We may never know what possessed him to do it, but at least the Manscaper 6000 with 300horsepower spinning razors and microwave hot wax technology will never be unleashed on the world’. 

If you imagined the latter, don’t stress.

In fact, I want to thank you. Because you are a pivotal cog in the progress machine. 

Without you, ours would be a world without jetpacks, shark diving, industrial-grade fireworks and, most importantly, Lasik surgery. 

My eyeball flaps are in your debt. 

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