The Four Eyes Story (or So It’s Been Told)

Share Article

Laughter Motivates, Encourages, and Delivers results. The Four Eyes Story, so it has been told!

The Four Eyes Story ...(or so it’s been told!) It began one night on a long, long flight. Val was taking the red-eye home after an arduous week of high-level executive convention meetings. Although she was seated in the last row of First Class, Val couldn’t get comfortable. It wasn’t the tailored Joseph Banks suit constricting her. It wasn’t the Manolo Blahniks pinching her feet. It was something ... well, she didn’t quite know what it was.

What she did know was that in the Coach section, something seemed to be going on. She heard people laughing and talking excitedly about the convention they had just attended. Hmm! Val thought. What convention had they attended? Certainly not the one Val had been at all week. At her meetings no one laughed one bit.

Val peered through the velvet curtain that separated First Class from the other passengers. She saw three passengers and a flight attendant being thoroughly entertained by a sleight of hand magic trick. People in the surrounding rows seemed mesmerized, too, by this person’s magic performance.

Val craned her neck and saw another woman using an extending fork to grab food from the plate of a child seated across the aisle. The little boy howled and laughed as each piece of processed cheese was whisked from his tray.

Val left her enviable seat in First Class and ventured into Coach. She wanted to join in the fun. She wanted to laugh freely. Something she hadn’t done in a long time. Before the flight was over, Val learned how to palm a quarter and she was given a shock pen as a souvenir.

The next day, Val shared her experience with husband, Al, and their kids, Kat and Alex. “It felt good. It felt good to laugh. But it felt even better watching other people having so much fun,” Val told her family.

Within a few months Val and her family started Four Eyes Joke Shop, selling gags, practical joke items, and magic tricks from their home’s garage. Val felt happy again. With each product the Four Eyes family sold, Val knew she was bringing laughter to the lives of her customers. It filled her life, too.

One night after dinner, Val sat down with her family and said, “We should do this full time.” The family looked around the area towns for a location. In July of 2003, they moved from their garage-based store to a commercial garage on Route 20 in Brimfield. The family worked together cleaning the grease-laden floor, painting the walls, and making proper an old garage once used by the Town of Brimfield Fire House.

Now, less than three years since Val’s fateful flight, Four Eyes Joke Shop has become New England’s largest joke shop.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Valerie Pontbriand or Rita Schiano
Visit website