Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Mental Remnants

It’s odd the remnants from youth that will forever be stuck in your brain. For instance, last night, after I got out of the shower, I realized that I needed to file my nails. Immediately, the first thing that popped into my head was, “Well, I’ll have to wait about twenty minutes until they are dry, because you can’t file wet nails.” Hmmmmm…where did that come from? I thought. Oh yes. From an old Encyclopedia Brown story, in which Encyclopedia solves a mystery by determining that a girl’s alibi is a fib because she stands by the door, filing her nails, insisting that she just got out of the shower. “Impossible!” says Encyclopedia, “You cannot file wet nails!” The girl admits defeat and returns the bike, or whatever object that she had stolen.

Also, I always check my toilet for large pythons, waiting to bite my tushie. Why? An old “Highway to Heaven” episode where Michael Landon posed as a plumber and pulled a snake from a toilet. I remember my sister and I turning to look at each other in horror. Ten bucks Karen still peers into the toilet as well.

Punky Brewster taught me to never climb into an old refrigerator and shut the door. "Different Strokes" taught me that strangers in your home can secretly put tape on the front door latch and then sneak in later to rob you of your Christmas presents. Slim Goodbody taught me that a hummingbird’s heart makes the sound “lubdublubdublubdublubdub,” whereas a whale’s heart goes “LUUUUUUUUB DUUUUUUUB.”

I always walk out to my car with my keys in my fist, with the tips sticking through my fingers. You can punch an attacker in the face and do more damage that way. Also, before getting in my car at night, I look underneath it because an attacker might be under there, waiting to slash the tendons in my ankles. I seem to remember learning these tidbits from a former babysitter.

My question is, will these useless items be stuck in my head forever? My friend Melissa has a theory. You know when you are standing there, minding your own business, and a random memory pops into your head? You think, “Band camp? Why the hell am I thinking about band camp?” Melissa thinks that your brain is ridding itself of that memory to make room for new ones. However, just to be nice, your brain is letting you remember that item one last time before it is erased. Maybe the completely stupid “stuck” memories are ones that your brain has deemed indispensable at some point in time. Maybe it is really important, for my brain at least, that I always check for toilet snakes.


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