Deborah Ross: Memory loss - the perfect way to kill time

If you ask me...

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The Independent Online

If you ask me, and as you get older, one of the biggest complaints is a diminishing memory, but this is just silliness. Such memory loss is, in fact, of great benefit and even means you can kill time in ways young people can only dream about. Any of the following activities, based around familiar objects and activities, can kill an entire morning even most of a week:


* Place car keys firmly and deliberately in hand

* Answer telephone

* End telephone call

* Now search for car keys.


* Drive to local shops

* Walk home

* See car is no longer parked outside

* Now call police.


* Put on reading glasses to read newspaper

* Push glasses to top of head while making cup of tea

* Return to newspaper

* Now search for glasses.


* Place an important document firmly and deliberately in hand

* Put in safe/memorable place

* Wait for sudden need to instantly produce important document

* Now search for safe/memorable place.


*Call your mother

* Forget who you've called and ask: "Who are you?" when she answers

* If she is even further down this road, she may say: "I don't know, who am I?"

* Hang up, then repeat.


* Sit at the table opposite your long-time spouse

* Attempt to remember his name

* Call out a few names at random. Jim? Mike? Peter? Chris? Tim? Lovelace? Gandalf? Captain Ahab? Pericles? Stringer Bell? Tintin?

* Hope he reacts to at least one, or offers a clue, as in: "My knees are killing me from endlessly travelling Middle Earth."


* Walk dog to local shops

* Tie up outside Boots

* Walk home then think: Dog!

* Jump in car and race back to retrieve dog

* Walk dog home

* See car is not outside house

* Now call police.


(Can I just say, if you are repeatedly having your car stolen, it would be advisable to keep your insurance documents in a safe and memorable place).