Optometrist Begins Using Secret Lair Cards as Eye Exams

Jon Ruggiero • December 11, 2023

Normal, IL - A local eye doctor has taken a new approach to his favorite hobby by incorporating hard-to-read Magic: The Gathering cards in his eye exams.

Dr. Howard Contance, OD, MD, the town's most popular and most licensed eye doctor, has started using various Secret Lair Magic cards he acquired to test the sight of his patients.

"I'm a big Commander player and like to spice up my decks with cool art," Dr. Contance remarked while working on a new Amalia Benavides Aguirre deck. "My practice is as important to me as my decks, so I wanted to use something other than a boring-old Snellen chart for my exams. Recently I noticed that Wizards not only prints cards with more and more rules text, but they're making cards with difficult-to-parse fonts.

"I thought things were going to be as bad as they could get with the Amonkhet Invocation cards but now we've got things like the psychedelic-art Tom Bombadil being near-impossible to read, even for someone like me. So now I've purchased a few concert poster Secret Lairs to act as my exam charts. My elderly customers are a little confused by them, but that's only because they're used to reading Revised cards."

Word of the unusual eye exams has gotten back to the cards' creator, Wizards of the Coast, who approve of their use.

"We at Wizards were impressed when we heard about Dr. Contance using our Secret lair cards in his practice," explained WOTC spokesperson Damon Fieldy while putting on a new pair of Cartier Pantere sunglasses. "We knew when making these products that some of the art would be divisive, but we never thought someone would use them in such a positive way. Yes, we have received readability complaints for some of them, but maybe those complainers should get their eyes checked. Best of all, now we can charge even more money for the cards since we can classify them as medical instruments."

As of press time Dr. Contance began working with the local DMV to set up eye exams using his old copies of Dance of the Dead.

Escape room designer, comedy show host, satire writer; Jon Ruggiero never misses an opportunity to do weird things for money. He's written for Cracked, Hard Times and Hard Drive, and hopes you enjoy what he writes here.