Off Campus

28 January 2006

Dumb Me

Why is it that I can't remember my checking account number or my father's birthday, but still can recall with quartz precision my Columbia Record Club membership number (8K444915), which I haven't been a member of in 15 years?

I can recite, at the drop of a vittle, the complete opening and closing themes to "The Beverly Hillbillies", but cannot for the life of me come up with the phone numbers of my best pals, who I call every week?

Is this early old-timer's disease? Were the nay-sayers right about water fluoridation? Is it the brain drain? Is my brain draining?

Sometimes this bothers me. Sometimes I wonder if I'm getting dumber in my early pre-middle age (or late post-adolescence). Did comic books and monster movies truly rot my brain? I've always been substance-free (unless you consider grape Bubble Yum a "substance", and if you do then I'm a bubble junkie, baby), so it can't be that. I never banged my head when it was fashionable to do so in some circles, so metal health didn't drive me mad.

I'm starting to wonder if my brain is simply full, and unable to judge which information is worthy of purging and which is important enough to retain. In a pinch, is it better to recall the correct running order of the PLANET OF THE APES series (PLANET, BENEATH, ESCAPE, CONQUEST, BATTLE, repeat) or the right terminal to attach a jumper cable?

I mean, I don't really want to un-learn anything, like the best way to get ketchup to flow out of a glass bottle or how to make really boss farting noises with my inner elbow, but I'd easily sacrifice my instant recall of the 800 number for the "Ghostbusters Hotline" from 22 years ago (1-800-654-1984) in exchange for remembering how many days there are in March.