2018-07-25 / Editorials

Where did I put that?

Other Voices
Mitch Clarke

One of my elementary school teachers used to wear her glasses on a chain around her neck.

When she needed to read something to us, she put her glasses on. When she stood in front of the class, she took them off and let them hang there.

I didn’t understand, until I was older, why she needed to have her glasses on a chain. She did it so she didn’t have to spend half the school day searching for them.

I don’t lose my glasses. I wear them all the time. But I’d love to have my pen on a chain around my neck. And a chain for the TV remote, which I’ve found goes missing several times a week.

Just this week, I poured myself a cup of coffee in our breakroom, then I walked to a couple of other offices to talk to co-workers. A few minutes later, I realized I didn’t know where my coffee cup was. I don’t exactly work in the Chrysler Building, but it still took me nearly 15 minutes to find it.

We’re probably all forgetful at times. We misplace our cellphone. We can’t remember our email password. And there was somebody we were supposed to call about something, only we can’t remember who or what.

I suspect it’s partly due because we’re always on the go. We’re trying to do a dozen things at once.

Scientists in Glasgow, Scotland, call it “Busy Lifestyle Syndrome,” a result of the crazy, wired, connected world we live in. According to an article I read, they’ve developed a medicine that will help us with this rampant absentmindedness from which we all suffer.

This news brought two questions to my mind. First, a pill is going to make me remember where I left my car keys? And second, shouldn’t researchers spend their time developing medicines that will cure serious diseases such as Alzheimer’s or cancer?

And here’s another question: Is forgetting where I put a piece of paper five minutes ago really a disease that can be treated with drugs? The Scottish scientists obviously think so, but it seems like something out of a science-fiction movie to me.

Still, I’m intrigued by the idea. I’d like to get back the time I spent recently looking for a missing sock. Its mate came out of the dryer, right where I thought I put them both. But one was missing. I wanted to blame Milly, the liver and white springer spaniel who lives at my house. She has a sock fetish.

Turns out the sock was in the closet, next to where the dirty clothes hamper lives. It has never made it to the washing machine, much less the dryer.

I also have an awful time remembering names. I used to carry a reporter’s notebook with me everywhere I went. When someone told me their name, I wrote it down. Today, I don’t carry a notebook, and if you introduce yourself to me, chances are I will have forgotten your name by the time we’re done talking.

I know what some of you are saying. “Mitch,” you’re saying, “you’re no spring chicken anymore. Being forgetful is something that comes with age.”

Well, if my choices are to believe you that I’m getting older or the Scots that I have “Busy Lifetime Syndrome,” I’m going to side with the Scots. Pass the pills.

But with my luck, I’d forget to take it.

Mitch Clarke, a native of Blakely, is the editor of AccessWDUN. com in Gainesville. He can be contacted at mitch. clarke @gmail.com. Read previous columns at www.accesswdun.com/ blog/ mitch.

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