I wear my sunglasses at night from pop to practical

I Wear My Sunglasses at Night: From Pop to Practical

Side pony tails, parachute pants and acid wash jeans. Rubik’s cubes, hair bands, and Pretty in Pink. The 80’s were my golden years and the inspiration for my greatest invention. It was a warm June evening in this wonderful decade when an idea struck me. Barreling down the highway in my 83’ Firebird—windows down, music up, cigarette hanging from my pursed lips—revving my engine; the odometer’s needle fluctuating recorded my pounding pulse. As I rocked out to Corey Hart’s “Sunglasses at Night,” I started to ponder, “What if they made sunglasses for cars?” Maybe then the next time I get into my car on a hot summer day I won’t wince in pain when I shift my scorching metallic skull shift knob into first. That is when I came to the realization that my car’s interior does not need to be hotter than Hades. I slammed on my brakes, my tires painting two black lines across the asphalt, and raced home to begin designing my “car sunglasses.” Now before I proceed with the story, keep in mind that the year is 1984; we were not the most tech-savvy decade.

Step One: Bringing the concept to life. I had this great idea, but how would I actually build it? Well, I was seventeen, living in my parents basement, working at the local watering hole; my resources were limited. With the $4.75 an hour I was making, minus money for gas, beer, and Def Leppard tickets, I could only spare money for a bunch of cardboard, markers, and some tape. My first design was modeled after a pair of Bob Dylanesque shades. The car wore the glasses with the lenses on the outside of the windshield and the sides wrapped around the side view mirrors. The prototype didn’t come out amazing, but it had a cool style. I even started planning on making different styles—circular hippie frames for VW buses, nerdy square shapes, even some frames covered with bands’ logos.

Step Two: A diamond in the ruff. Even though I had some great ideas, the cardboard constructions usually fell apart pretty quickly. In addition, the shades did not sit flush on the windshield, so a lot of sunlight was still penetrating the window, ultimately defeating the purpose of the invention. I loved the design, but it just wasn’t working so I swallowed my pride and went back to the drawing board. It was at this point when I was standing in my garage and lost it. I reached for the nearest shade and chucked it at my car; then kept throwing every design I could get my hands on. When I regained composure I realized that my oval “ski goggle” model had made it through my open window and was sitting on my dash. Why didn’t I think of that? If I put the shade on the inside, I don’t have to worry about the effects of weather and it can fit much better.

Step Three: Put my feet up and wait for the dollar dollar bills. Ok, well not really. I actually tried pursue a career as a musician, but if I had continued designing the sun shade I bet I would have made millions. Eh, different strokes for different folks.

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