CARBONDALE, IL. — Americans got a rare look at a total eclipse on Monday, an event that had not occurred in the continental United States since 1979. From large cities to rural towns, residents gathered outdoors for a chance to view the moon blocking out sun.
Leading up to the event, viewers were encouraged to purchase special viewing glasses to protect their eyes from the sun’s light. The special shaded glasses were sold at authorized retailers, including 7-Eleven, Best Buy, and Walmart. While the special lenses made it possible for interested parties to view the eclipse without damaging their vision, many people are left wondering how to put the glasses to use now that the historic event has ended.
“I waited until the last minute to buy these things,” said Craig Wilkens of McDonough County. “The gas station really jacked up the price two hours before the whole sun thing happened.”
Wilkens said he spent upwards of $5 on the cardboard shades and was disappointed that there wasn’t much opportunity for long-term use. “Then we had an idea,” he recalls.
“We realized that it might be fun to look at the sun even if nothing cool was happening with it,” said Derek Nordell, a friend of Wilkens who also felt there was more to be gained from his purchase. “We got a game going to see who can do it the longest”.
Many were impressed with how determined these young men were to get their ROI on the glasses.
“We’re happy to see people using our product in new and unique ways” said Dennis Robet, a representative from VizCo, the company that manufactured the glasses cheaply in bulk. “Oh no, we’re not liable for any injuries. Let’s be clear about that.”
Dan Muller is currently selling his eclipse shades ($5 or best offer).