Thursday, July 27, 2017

I'm not distracted, I just can't remember.

Our country has been clobbered with a pandemic and it's not caused by mosquitoes, terrorists, or a childish Asian communist with a Moe Howard hairdo. This insidious enigmatic parasite has somehow invaded our consciousness (and the rest of the planet apparently) and folks are blissfully unaware it has taken up shop inside their head. The ultimate goal of this demon is to distract or make us forget stuff. I say stuff because I can't remember what it is exactly.

Take our leadership as an example of the stuff I'm trying to write about. Evidence couldn't me more apparent even if Donald Trump held up a huge sign with the words "I dinna ken!" boldly displayed. Of course, the far left would claim he does indeed dinna ken and then the argument would escalate. John McCain would somehow throw a gavel into the spokes of the argument by possibly agreeing with the President or not and Nancy Pelosi would demand to find out exactly what George Bush dinna ken. I know, right?

It's confusing to half of us and the other three quarters of the population are too busy to take the time to stop doing whatever it is we might be doing in the next ten seconds. People are losing their ability to not only retain, but as Jethro Bodine so aptly put it, "Cipher it out.". Take this question a fellow recently posed as an example. "Two rather odd-looking women moved in next door 3 months ago. They are different to put it mildly and I've never seen a man enter their apartment. Do you think they are Lebanese?"

I was speechless in that I had accidentally swallowed a fly and bobbed my head fiercely trying to dislodge it and I heard him yell out, "I knew it!" before he stormed off. I was going to say maybe Sri Lanka? You see, I didn't have a chance to actually answer his question because he was off on a tangent and this is where people are these days;   Tangentville, Texas.  "Honey, I'll be home sometime in the future! I'm going to Tangentville whether I want to or not."

This mysterious place exists only in our heads and Baby boomers are not exempt from a visit or 2 at the worst possible time. In our self-righteousness, we blast away at the younger Millennials over their constant need to text or stare at their phones, but the truth is we don't need electronics to forget what we are doing or to be distracted. All we have to do is have a conversation and blam!  Tangentville, Texas suddenly blocks out what we were talking about. We take a side trip and can't remember our way back into the conversation.

It's embarrassing to say the least until whomever we were talking to can't remember what the subject was and we stare at each other like a pair of potheads and giggle.  "Oh yea!" we suddenly exclaim and rush to get it out before another side trip hits us. More giggling follows until all of a sudden you realize you can't remember again.
I think this pandemic is caused by sensory overload. Those two words, if you could weigh them, come in right at 20 pounds. Trust me. I have a scale. I bought it on... a web site. It's guaranteed to be calibrated and everything and if it breaks I can return it for a full refund - if I can remember which web site I bought it from. Remember when everything came from Sears, JC Penny's or one or 2 grocery stores? I can't either and that's the problem. I've slept since then.

Too much info.  I now spell "information" as info. Just like I've shortened "Yes, indeed" to "Yup". The truth is half the time I can't remember how to spell information and frankly, I have side trips to take and just don't have time for propriety. For one, I have to drive on our streets. Do you realize how long it takes to strap into my Jeep so when someone texting slams into the side it won't kill me? I simply cannot go to Tangentville when I am driving if I want to survive and I can't control those who couldn't care less (read: apparently a whole lot of people).

Military and police keep their head on a swivel and that is how we have to drive these days, but is that what we see around us? Nope. What we see are glazed over eyes staring at their electronic devices as they pretend to pay attention to the road or they are sunk down so low in the seat all they can see is the top of the steering wheel. When people walk into light poles texting, why do they think they can do it going 40 miles per hour?

So which is worse, a momentary lapse of memory or a major distraction such as operating a smartphone in public? The first one is probably inevitable, but the second is preventable, or is it? Maybe not. The intoxicating lure of Tangentville is simply too strong to resist. Wait a minute! What were we talking about?


Anonymous said...

SFM: That is a very good column!

Anonymous said...

I'm actually glad it's not just me. The distraction is killing me. Get my exercise by walking into the room to get something and can't remember what it was. Go back and repeat. ....Debi

Anonymous said...

Weldon Haltom I agree whole-heartedly, Bert. Everyone is much too distracted these days.

Melvin Roark I agree and don't see any improvement on either subject, if anything it will continue to get worse and become the norm, and how about .....oh you know the one we were just talking

Anonymous said...

Barbora Martin Cole: I read it. Those big, unfamiliar words at the beginning almost made me stop reading! Great article.

Note: Bert Marshall: Google is your friend Barb, remember? A couple big words are good. They keep us studying. I try to add a few in every column, but the truth is, this is how I talk. LOL

Harry Hamid said...

Someday, I'm going to figure out whether information and events don't "stick" the way they used to with me is due to old age or sensory overload. Sensory overload seems the better choice, because reversible, so I'll so with that theory.

Why was I typing that?

Anonymous said...

John Frock
An old couple are sitting in their recliners watching T.V. The
old man gets up and starts for the kitchen. His wife says,
“where you going?”. He says, I’m going to get something
to drink!” She says, “bring me some strawberry shortcake!”
He says “ok!” She says, “you better write it down or you’ll
forget it!” He says, “No I won’t, you said strawberry shortcake,
right?” She said, “yes and I want whipped cream on it!” He says
“Got it! Strawberry short cake with whipped cream!” She says
write it down, I know you, you’ll forget!” He says, “not a chance,
strawberry shortcake with whipped cream!” He goes off to the
kitchen and returns 15 to 20 minutes later and hands his wife
a fork, napkin and a plate of bacon and eggs. She looks up at
him and says ” I told you to write it down, I KNEW YOU’D

It can only happen while shopping!

As the big man is my witness, every word of this is unquestionable and void of hyperbolic incredibility. With that taken into consid...