A New Invention

Charles grinned as he stumbled out of his laboratory. “Esther? Esther?   Where are you?” he yelled.

Esther looked up from her book. She was sitting a few feet away. “I’m right here, Charles,” she said.

Charles turned and nearly tripped over the ottoman. “I’ve done it! My newest invention is complete,” he said, facing the grandfather clock.

Esther laughed.   “I’m over here, Charles. I don’t think your new glasses are working at all.”

He pushed the glasses up on top of his head and squinted a little as he looked around.   “There you are,” he said. “I just need to calm down a bit and then they’ll work fine.”

“What are you talking about?” Esther put a bookmark in her book and set it aside.

“The mood glasses I created. They are red when I’m angry, and blue when I’m sad, and yellow when I’m happy, and of course there are combinations of the colors for all sorts of other feelings.   I just finished assembling a guide,” Charles said.

“What good are they if you can’t see through them?” Esther asked. “Why not just wear a mood ring?”

“The color gets darker when the feeling is stronger,” Charles said. “I’m just very happy to finally have them working.”

“But why glasses?   It’s not safe,” Esther said.   “What if you’d been driving?”

“Strong emotions impair judgment. It would warn people in advance that their thinking skills aren’t at their best,” Charles said.

“But can’t people tell how they’re feeling? I know I can tell when I’m happy or angry without wearing special glasses,” Esther said.

“Sometimes emotions are confusing. You might think you are angry, but really you’re feeling scared.   Or you only realize you were feeling happy when something bad happens and you aren’t feeling happy any longer.   Then you wish you’d enjoyed the happy feelings while they lasted,” Charles said. “Besides, sometimes it’s handy to be able to share how you’re feeling with others without having to say anything.”

“That’s true,” Esther said. She squinted. “What’s green?”

“It depends on the shade. Here, check the guide.” Charles handed her a thick manual.

“Are the colors arranged alphabetically?” Esther asked.

“No, they’re in order depending on their position in the color wheel. It starts with red,” Charles said.

Esther flipped through a large section of the book. “I’m not sure. Is it a dark forest green or a light olive green? Charles, I didn’t know there were this many shades of colors.   What in the world is chartreuse?” Esther frowned. “I think you need to add color samples beside the entries to make this easier to use.”

“I considered it, but it would make the manual thicker and increase the publishing costs by a ridiculous amount.” Charles said. His eyes crossed a moment. “Hmmm. That is difficult to judge. I think it’s light olive. Maybe.   Oh wait, the color is changing.   I think it is starting to look orange.   What does it say for marigold?”


“Yellow-orange,” Charles said. “Oh look, they’re changing again.”

“Wait, I haven’t found marigold yet.” Esther flipped through several pages. “Confused, but happy.” She looked up. “What is that now? Teal? Aqua?”

Charles sighed. “This isn’t as helpful as I thought.”

“They’re pretty though. Oh, did they just get a little bluer? Are you sad Charles?” Esther asked.

“I thought I’d made something really useful.” He took the glasses off. The glass went clear as his shoulders slumped.

Esther patted his shoulder. “I’m sure you’ll think of something. It’s a good start. And now that I know you’re feeling down, I’m going to share my chocolate with you.”

“Really?” Charles asked. He held out his empty hand. Esther laughed took a bar of chocolate out of a drawer and set it on his hand. “Maybe these glasses are more useful than I thought,” he said.