I never understood why Annie Gross set up her practice in town. There was an optometry school at Osborn University just a few miles down the road, so the county was always overrun with eye doctors looking to set up shop. Usually they stuck around because of spouses or children or love of the area–all reasons which, as far as I knew, didn’t apply to Dr. Gross.

Then there was the indelicate subject of her name. I knew, of course, that it was a German name and didn’t mean anything particularly bad when her ancestors had borne it across the pond, but that didn’t make it any less of an issue. Heck, Wanker is a semi-common German surname too, but that doesn’t keep people from discreetly spelling it Vanker when they emigrate. She could at least have spelled it Grosz or something.

Despite that business always seems to be good; I never saw a waiting room that wasn’t full of teens and adults. That may have had something to do with Dr. Gross herself, of course. Me, I was always too shy to make eye contact with her–ironic, I know–and would bury my nose in the waiting room books until called.

That could be a little dangerous, though, because more often than not they were Dr. Gross’s old textbooks, full of lurid color photos of diseased eyeballs leaking pus or escaping their sockets. In that respect, at least, her name was apt.