Brain, brain, go away


By Marla Boone

Contributing columnist

Computers are good for many things and one of them is the constant reminder of our unrequited desire to be equipped with a delete button for our brains. On the computer, with just a push of a key, we can undo nonsense and remove unwanted files and generally declutter the ol’ hard drive. Occasionally this even happens on purpose. If I had a nickel for every time I said to myself, “Now where did that (choose one: story/file/photo/six hours’ worth of work) go?” I could afford to do away with my computer altogether and have an in-house scribe to pen my immortal words on papyrus.

Unlike that woman who is a transient Jeopardy host, I am neither a neuroscientist nor do I play one on TV. So I don’t know if the brain has a finite storage space for remembering things. What I do know is that my own, personal, pre-packaged brain is so clogged up with unnecessary gunk, I fear I will be unable to cram any more crucial info in there. Or even more unnecessary gunk.

Here are some things that it is difficult for me to remember:

1. I frequently forget where I have parked my car. My phone will help me to recall the car’s location but I think depending on your phone to find your car is an absolute sign of the apocalypse. Plus, I often forget and leave my phone in my car so, essentially, lose/lose.

2. I frequently forget to add one or two ingredients to a recipe I’m making. After the food is assembled, I’ll taste it and think, “Yuck.” The “yuck” prompts me to re-read how the food was supposed to be made at which point I will discover that I neglected, for instance, to put lemons in the lemonade.

3. I frequently forget to get my mail. This is a bad one because having your mail heisted is the number one avenue for identity theft. I’m getting better about picking up my mail. Now I have to remember to open it.

4. I frequently forget the nuances of pickleball. Pickleball has become primary in many facets of my life. It is the primary reason my bicycling miles have gone from 200 a week to less than 200 a month. It is the primary reason my back and knees hurt. It is the primary reason I am going broke by buying ever-more high-tech paddles thinking that will help me win. It is the primary reason I am consumed with frustration. Pickleball consists of hitting a wiffle ball over a net, usually faster than a speeding bullet. I forget to run up to the line after I hit. I forget to hit softly to dampen my opponents’ blistering returns. And then I forget to duck when my opponents try to kill me with those returns when I forget to hit softly.

To balance the annoying items I have a tough time grasping, here are some things that seem permanently glued to my gray matter:

1. I cannot NOT remember commercials and sit-com theme songs. I have to look at my passport to remember my birthday but I can sing the whole “Beverly Hillbillies” theme song. Listening to a story ‘bout a man named Jed is not as restful as you would think. I would not like to buy the world a Coke but my brain insists on retaining the data that perhaps I would. And I CAN believe it’s not butter, believe me.

2. In what must be the world’s most useless knowledge and least marketable skill, I can sing many songs in Latin. I went to a public school in which Catholic nuns taught. Explains a lot, doesn’t it? One of those nuns was the venerable Sister Mary Seraphia and she was a Latin wizard. I’m not sure of her teaching method but I can assure you that it was effective. If you are interested in the four masculine nouns that have the feminine ending, I can tell you. If you would like to hear “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” or “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” in Latin, I can accommodate that. And if you ever have Julius Caesar over for dinner and he needs someone to recite to him his Commentaries on the Gallic Wars, I’m your girl.

Unfortunately, I can’t remember the deadline for this column.

Marla Boone resides in Covington and writes for Miami Valley Today

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