The trouble with remembering things as you get older
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My father was a wise man who realised part of his fatherly duty was to prepare us kids for the rigours and confusion of old age.
“Take my word for it, Roger," he said (Roger is my brother, but he often called Roger David, so it wasn’t a major issue). “Take my word for it, old age is not for sissies.”
As the years have passed I’ve realised the old man was being perfectly serious. I don’t particularly miss the physical stuff — sky-diving, mountaineering and wrestling crocodiles in swamps (just kidding).
I do miss pieces of my mind, though. I forget the way to places and tend to forget who was Mary’s daughter from her second husband. Or was that Jane’s adopted niece? Whatever.
This memory thing became so bad that I asked my doctor about it and he assured me it was quite normal. He told me to cheer up and prescribed a course of memory pills, which seem to be working quite well, as long as I remember to take the pills every day.
The doctor said this was a common problem with those pills and suggested I tie I ribbon round my index finger before I go to bed at night. The theory behind this is that I’ll wake up in the morning and wonder why I have a ribbon tied round my finger, and then I’ll say: “Aha! That’s to remind me to take my memory pills.”
Unfortunately the memory pills don’t seem to cover reminding me to tie ribbons round my fingers. My neighbours seem to regard my finger ribbons as somewhat of a curiosity, but I’m not letting that bother me. Since tying those ribbons I have not gone a single day without remembering my memory pills.
I would never miss one of those pills now, if I could just remember where I put them.
In a little Karoo town the local police sergeant was also an excellent veterinarian. One day the phone rang and and his wife answered: “Can I speak to Jan de Bruin de Bruin please," said a worried voice.
“Is this in connection with crime or an animal problem?” She asked.
“Both, actually,” said the caller. “Our Rottweiler has caught a burglar and we can’t get him to open his mouth.”
* "Tavern of the Seas" is a column written in the Cape Argus by David Biggs. Biggs can be contacted at [email protected]
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.