By Ed Odeven

When I was 12 years old, I had eye muscle surgery. I was put to sleep while the eye specialist, Dr. Edward Saradarian, worked on my right eye.

Part of his mission was to help me straighten out my area of focus while I was looking at something. You see, I am near-sighted in my right eye and far-sighted in my left eye and my two eyes mostly worked independently of one another, rather than focusing together.

Dr. Saradarian worked to straighten out the muscles in my eye, including behind the eye ball. All of this was tricky and complicated and required great experience. By all accounts, he was a brilliant surgeon. He was also a very good eye doctor, one whom I went to for regular checkups as a kid in New Jersey.

With Dr. Saradarian’s wisdom and plan, my eyesight improved, including a big reduction in being crosseyed in my right eye.

Well, after surgery, my right eye hurt. There were a number of stitches. Things were cut and sliced and needed time to heal. I also had about two weeks off school before returning.

But on the day — I think the day after surgery — that I returned home, I had plenty of free time, and that involved watching movies, including a few video shop rentals (remember them?)

The first movie I saw after having eye surgery was “Airplane!” The hilarious 1980 motion picture was great, of course, and it was a treat to see it for the first time. But there was a recurring problem throughout the movie: I kept laughing.

Laughing was painful. It made the area around and inside my right eye hurt. Plus, it was covered with a patch, so any additional movement of my face caused it to sting a bit.

The moral of the story? It would’ve been better to watch a very serious movie instead of this film of nonstop laughs only hours after having eye surgery.

And that’s no joke.