Wednesday, November 05, 2008

But Is It a Brick House?

"Hey, remember Romper Room?"

"Remember what? No," replied the agent. We were having this discussion over a delicious dinner at The Pasta Bowl. The agent had eaten a hole through the middle of his bread and then held it up to his eye and looked at me through it (we're both 5). Clearly (to me anyway) it was exactly like the magic mirror.

"Holy crap, how do you not remember Romper Room?" I asked, grabbing his bread hole to use in my demonstration. "It was this show. It was on when we were little kids, where there was a host lady and a bunch of kids and some puppets and they would do stuff." (I give excellent descriptions.) "Then at the end of the show the lady would hold up the magic mirror and say 'Romper bomper stomper boo. Tell me, tell me, tell me do...Did all my friends have fun at play?' and then the mirror would turn into a hole that she looked through and she would name all the children she saw." Here I used the bread prop and held it up to my own face. "OOO! I see Aaron and cook guy and waiter..."

"O.K., put the bread down," said the agent. (For some reason he finds me embarrassing.) "I don't remember that at all."

"How can you possibly NOT remember that? It was on, like, all the time!"

"Because my brain doesn't work like yours!" he answered. "I don't collect and remember every single thing that has ever happened to me. My brain cleans house. My brain gets rid of stuff it doesn't need. Your brain just keeps filling up with more and more things."

This is entirely true. My head is filled with things that make no difference and that will never be useful or have an effect on my overall life or anyone else's in any way. If you live in Chicago and have ever been in the store Uncle Fun's, that is about the closest experience you will ever have to being on the inside of my head. A random sampling, in no particular order of some of the crap stored up there:
  • An Orca Whale's coloring pattern is a form of camouflage. When you are looking down on it, the dark back blends in with the dark water below. When you're looking up at it, the white belly blends in with the lighter water closer to the surface.
  • M & Ms candy did not contain red m&ms when I was a kid (another thing the agent doesn't remember). They were eliminated when the FDA began to suspect that Red Dye No. 2 was a carcinogen.
  • Ty Cobb's lifetime batting average was .367. (Also he was kind of a dick.)
  • The name for the agent's having two colors in each iris (a brown ring inside of a green-grey/hazel ring) is central heterochromia.
I decided to go with the agent's "housekeeping style if a brain was a house" metaphor. "Yeah, you're right. My brain isn't like that at all. My brain is a pack rat. It never throws anything away. My brain is one of those houses where there's so much crap piled up on the floor that you can't even fully open the door. You have to climb in and out through the window."
"Yeah, your brain is much more cluttered than mine."
"My brain is like, 'Oh hey, come on in! Yeah just climb over that pile there. Would you like a cup of tea? I'll make you some if I can find it. And while we're waiting, let me tell you about the whole history of tea and why anti-oxidants are important.'"
Also, it has a lot of cats.

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