Originally created 01/24/02

My brain has been rode hard and put up wet



The other night I called for my wife to come into the kitchen.

She walked in and asked, "Why are all the cabinet doors open?"

"That's why I called you here," I said. "Every cabinet door is wide open. Something weird is happening."

"Gee, I wonder who could have done it?"

I sensed sarcasm in her voice. But I had more urgent things to think about.

"Good question," I said. "I think it's like in that movie about poltergeists, where stuff in the house moves around mysteriously. I think we have spirits."

"Maybe," my wife said. "Let's analyze this. Why did you come into the kitchen?"

"To get something," I said. "Microwave popcorn, I think, or a rubber band. I don't remember."

"And did you look through the cabinets for it?"

"I can't recall. Perhaps. But that's off the subject. We've got poltergeists."

"Yeah, right," she said, and called out as she left the room: "Be sure to close those doors."

I suspect she thinks I might have left all those cabinet doors open. If I did, I don't remember it. But then, I don't remember a lot.

A few weeks ago, I went to the garage to gather the materials needed for changing the oil in one of our cars. I couldn't find the new oil filter, which I had seen just days earlier. Where did it go?

I stood, lost in thought, for a long time before I realized I already had changed the oil.

Was I losing my mind? Maybe. But I like to think I was just having a bad brain day.

I have those quite often, but to be honest, my memory has never been normal. A co-worker recently asked me what I did a year ago to put together a certain news story. I stared at her blankly. A year ago? A year ago? Forget it. I don't even remember opening those cabinet doors.

I try all the tricks to keep my mind as sharp as it will ever be. I write notes on slips of paper - and promptly lose them. I take different routes when driving home at night to keep my mind from snoozing - and wind up at strangers' houses. I keep track of every tank of gas in my car and figure out the mileage in my head to hone my math skills - but did I really get 238.7 miles per gallon last week?

And I read a lot of word games and puzzles to test my skills of reasoning and logic.

For instance, here's one: A man stands looking through the window on the eighth floor of an office building. Suddenly, on impulse, he opens the window and leaps through it. It is a sheer drop outside the building. The man does not use a parachute or fall into water or onto any special soft surface. Still, he is unhurt when he lands. Why?

I'll tell you the answer below. You probably already have it figured out. If not, keep working on it. Sharpen your mind. Then, as you watch my brain burn out, deflate and collapse from week to week, you will have a front-row seat to the equivalent of a mental Hindenburg disaster.

The man who jumped? Well, he had been outside on the ledge, contemplating suicide, but then changed his mind and leapt back into his office instead, landing safely on the floor.

Did your brain work, or is it like mine?

Reach Glynn Moore at (706) 823-3419 or gmoore@augustachronicle.com.