Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The One About... Something Or Other...

Something really funny happened last week that I’m dying to tell you about. It involved someone famous who had the misfortune to endure some kind of mishap with a piece of household fruit or a gardening tool. Come to think of it, perhaps it was a household pet. Or a one-armed vet. Or a misshapen courgette. Or a monk in Tibet. Thing is, my memory isn’t as reliable as it used to be so the entire amusing incident is now just a blur of colours and sounds that might well have been induced instead by the consumption of excess Belgian beer.

That’s the trouble with getting older – you tend to forget important things. Like how old you are. Often, during family gatherings, my mother will hone in on some so-called rogue aspect of my behaviour or point to my Burberry baseball cap and say, “For goodness sake Neil. What age are you?” To which I’ll reply, quite sincerely, “17?”

So after the shock of checking my birth certificate and discovering that I am, in fact, 42, I’ve decided it’s time to face up to the reality of these memory lapses. For a while there I was starting to wonder whether I might be coming down with Whatshisname’s Disease but it seems the diagnosis is much more straightforward. My. Brain. Is. Full. Or to be more accurate, my brain is packed with useless crap left over from 42 years of watching Saturday morning television and absorbing obscure sporting statistics.

To this day I can recite the entire theme song from “Casey Jones” (steamin’ and a-rollin’) or list the European Cup-winning Ajax side from 1973. But ask me if I remembered to put underwear on this morning and I’d have to check and see. (Note to self: Checking for underwear during annual appraisal meeting does not go down well with boss.)

If you think you might be approaching an age where these memory issues are becoming problematic, then I recommend trying American comedian Steve Martin’s suggestion as to how the middle-aged can easily kill a good half hour.

1. Place your car keys in your right hand.
2. With your left hand, call a friend and confirm a lunch or dinner date.
3. Hang up the phone.
4. Now look for your car keys.

But two weeks ago I stumbled across the perfect place to utilise a brain packed with 42 years worth of useless crap. It’s a centre of excellence for the gifted and afflicted – a bit like that school run by Patrick Stewart in the X-Men movies – where like-minded souls come together to share their wisdom and search for answers. You may have heard of it. It’s called The Pub Quiz.

At the Pub Quiz, no-one looks down on you when your memory manages to list all the Ingalls children in “Little House on the Prairie”. No-one judges you when you come up with the collective noun for caterpillars (an ‘army’) and you’ll receive respectful nods of approval when you remember the Spanish vocal duo responsible for 1977’s “Yes Sir, I Can Boogie”. (Baccara)

But a word of warning. The Pub Quiz can also stretch your powers of recall to the limit. At these stressful times you may find the conversation going a little something like this.

Neil (to friend 1): “Right, what can I get you to drink?”
Friend 1: “Pint of lager.”
Neil (to friend 2): “And you?”
Friend 2: “The same.”
Neil (whispers to friend 2): “What did thingmy want again?”

So anyway, back to that story of the one-armed Tibetan and his… em… wait, it’s right on the tip of my tongue… nope, sorry it’s gone.

More newspaper stuff here.


At 13/6/06 8:07 am, Blogger Lesley said...

Laura, Mary, Carrie and ........Neil?

At 15/6/06 3:00 pm, Blogger The Other Half said...


At 26/6/06 12:28 am, Blogger Green Glass Beads said...

hee hee hee....like those lads from fame, ay?


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