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Did Riggs Just Turn His back On The Lazy Eye Community?

I’ve had this lazy eye since birth. I didn’t even acknowledge it well into my early 20’s. It was an instant fight situation for a very long time. I was extremely sensitive about it for most of my life before starting standup. Even after starting stand up it took me till about the third year before I actually started talking about it on stage. Then as I grew older and starting making fun of myself on stage, it made life much easier.

I gradually become 100% confident with it. My opening bit is about my lazy eye. I like to set the tone, let folks know I don’t take myself that seriously and I just come to make some folks laugh and enjoy life for my time up there.

Stand up is hard enough. Making fun of the very thing you’ve been teased about daily for years didn’t make it easier. Or so I thought… Turns out people enjoy knowing you’re at peace with personal insecurities.

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Since I’ve done a couple of jokes on Comedy Central about the eye, I’ve wondered if getting it fixed would be a sellout move? I mean this eye helped me become very comfortable in my own skin, would I just turn my back on it the moment things got good enough to have health insurance and actually fix it? Having the option to fix it was right up there with having the option of space travel.  Just wasn’t a thing. So outside of the occasional, what-if scenario, It was nothing more than a pipe dream at best.

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As I continued to tour fans and comedy club-goers would come up to me after the show and thank me for talking about it and bringing it to light. We would talk on social media after shows and #TeamLazyEye was born.  Nothing felt better than making a younger kid struggling with self-confidence form having a lazy eye, feel good. It was simple if I can do it so can you.

Enter Barstool Sports. July 2017. I start posting 20 Dollar Chef episodes and I start to get chirped about being another lazy eye hire. That’s how I was introduced to my man Riggs. The OG lazy eye guy at the New York office. I wondered if someday we would form a lazy eye team and take on the crazy eye day to day as one, The lazy eye Avengers if you will. One of us Hawkeye, the other Cyclops. I mean it was a no brainer. 2 good eyes are better than 1, right?!

( The first time our lazy eyes came together. )

One thing that always threw me off with Riggs was we both had right lazy eyes. That means to make proper eye contact I would have to cross the nose. My good eye ( my left eye) would have to look over at his left eye on the other side of the nose. Nobody really does that. Normal folks make eye contact with the eye on the same side of the nose. Never really need to cross the nose. Unless you physically can’t look at each other in that same side-eye. Anytime I meet another person with a lazy eye it’s MUCH easier when we have the opposite lazy eye, so we can look at each other in our good eyes, not needing to cross the nose and everything is as visually as smooth as possible.

Here is a diagram I whipped up:

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We just dealt with it and keep it moving. It’s been like that until this afternoon. After radio, I read some wild shit about Riggs fixing his eye. He what???!! He actually went through with it? What about all those lazy eye folks out there who looked up to Riggs for never letting that special eye mess with his confidence enough to not chase his dreams?! How would they feel? One of their leaders looked at his lazy eye in the mirror thins morning for the final time, walked into an eye surgery office and let magical lasers do what they do… Leaving the rest of us one power player short??

As another lazy eye guy, I am vexed. Deep down I’m envious. The joy he will get to feel once that eye heals up and he gets to meet a person for the first time and not see their scramble to figure out which eye was the one actually looking back… He will never again see anyone look over their own shoulder wondering who he’s talking to only to figure out it’s them he’s talking to.  (Regular occurrence.)

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I mean he gets to be normal! No more questions about the eye, “Can you see out of it?”, “Does it work like a normal eye?”, “Is it glass? etc..

I wonder if this is how the obese community feels when a 400 lb dude drops 200 lbs?

As I write this I am slowly figuring out that my original thought of anyone who fixes it is a sellout, was off. He’s not a sellout. He’s just a good dude who wanted to fix an eye that hung out in right field.

People keep asking if I would fix mine now that I actually have insurance and the ability to really do something about it. I think the biggest difference between Riggs and me is I spent years leaning on my eye form a comedy standpoint. Although I only have about 5 mins of my stand up hour dedicated to the eye, I’ve still said material on it almost every set I can think of for quite some time… I just don’t think I’m ready to make a call. I feel such a connection to the lazy eye community as it’s all I’ve known for 40 years.

One thing I do know is I’m happy for my guy Riggs. He’s a very intelligent gentleman, it’s his eye and I congratulate him on having the balls to let someone take a shot at fixing it. I will now continue the battle short a soldier. knowing deep down that no matter what the magical eye laser does, Riggs will ALWAYS be one of us. #TeamLazyEye. Good luck on your new journey my freind.

You will be missed.

Signed,

Your lazy eye brothers and sisters.