My brother likes to tell a story about his late mother-in-law. One day his family was sitting around a table talking about something, when clear out of deep blue left field, she blurts out, “I like toast.” Her blurt wasn’t remotely related to anything they were saying. Just a random thought that somehow made it past her lips.
My wife and I used to write down goofy random things that we would say. We kept the list for a few years but fortunately we lost it. One quote was many years ago when we had just bought a good sized ice chest/cooler. We got it home and directly from Randomville she said, “Ya know, we could fit a body in there.” No one in our family is missing.
Some of our favorite not so brilliant babblings were: “Is tapioca real?” “Why is fire so hot?” “I don’ think birds pee, they just poop.” “Call me with the final score and then call me when the game is over.” I’m pretty sure all my family members have normal range IQs. The stream of unconscious thought and speech all of us are capable of is funny and nothing to be too worried about. (Unless the conversation is with just you when you’re alone.) Another mental mystery that affects me is when I completely forget what I was just going to say, or forget why I went into the next room? It happens to me so often it amuses me more than bothers me. I should write myself notes to remind me why I’m going to the kitchen. When I get lost on the way I can usually go back to my starting point and retrace my steps and figure out what I was up to. I seem to be able to remember why I wind up in the bathroom. I once bought a book about memory loss, but I forgot where I put it.
Once upon a time, two elderly ladies who had know each other for many years, were sitting on a park bench chatting and enjoying each other’s company. At a point one woman said to the other, “Please don’t be angry with me dear, but I embarrassed. After all these years of knowing you… I’m trying so hard to remember but I just can’t… what is your name?” The other lady stares at her for a long time and then becoming distressed said, “When do you need to know?”
I think that someday I will be one of those white haired old guys sitting on the front porch of the house smiling and waving at passing cars. Just honk the horn at me when you go driving by.
John C. Bieber is an author and columnist based in Berks County. He can be contacted at facebook.com/john.c.bieber.