Forget Your Photographic Memory

Forget Your Photographic Memory

It pays to have a photographic memory. For all those moments when you need to explain what happened in precise detail.

Like when you were little and the teacher bails up the class demanding answers. Like who piddled up the wall above the urinal in the boys’ toilets?

Or, which girl locked one the cubicles and climbed over the partition so nobody could get in? And how the rest of the students thought it was probably occupied by a seriously constipated kid. Stuck in there, for days on end. Girls all thought she was in there for the long haul. Very silent. Probably getting political, trying to start a movement...

You need a good memory to excuse yourself from that. Or, tell it all in gory detail.

White coated boffins tell us we’ve all got a photographic memory. That everything you’ve ever seen goes in your brain and gets stored somewhere. Probably around the back in old storage boxes, and in the corner where all the junk goes that nobody wants to throw out even though it’s useless.

That’s partly why they used to say we only use ten per cent of our brain. Not true!

we only use ten per cent of our brain. Not true!

The average brain is loaded to the gunnels with scraps, offcuts, and debris going way back. It’s like an organic office Compactus that keeps squishing in more junk – just in case. You never know when you’ll need it. Like recalling the plot of a B grade rerun. Or, how you got two spares in tenpin bowling when you were sixteen. It’s all in there. Your photographic memory.

I’d like to be proud of the fact I’ve got a photographic memory. Only, in my case, I keep leaving the lens cap on and the memory card is missing.

So, I struggle. It’s not easy trying to remember what you didn’t see and can’t recall. That’s why I like watching Total Recall, The Long Memory, and The Bourne  movies.

I reckon it helps. Luke suggested adding La La Land too. Thought it was more appropriate. Not sure what he means by that.

Googs, what day is it?

But that’s the thing. Having a photographic memory sounds perfect. But is it? You could remember stuff like: whose turn it is to take the trash out, when you’re due for that dental appointment (Hang on, it’s always 2.30), and who gave what to who and threw it at the wall five birthdays ago at that family gathering. That’s important stuff to know.

Then again, that’s what we’ve got phones for. All the help they give you with their online phone assistant’s. “Googs, what day is it?“When did I last shave?” And, if you’re a bit a Carmen Sandiego fan: “Where am I?” Very handy!

Also, it keeps your mind clear and mostly empty for those fantastic nights out on the town. You just don’t want to remember what you did and who you did it with. If that makes sense.

Sometimes, you want to forget. After all, that’s what the French Foreign Legion is all about. You come to forget. Bit like a nursing home for people with Alzheimers. Only the Legion has lots of nasty weapons and sand that gets in your mouth. Doesn’t bear thinking about (let alone remembering) does it?

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