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Tech Genie Thaws Brain Freeze
Had a brain freeze the other day. No, not the kind you get when you try to eat an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia in one bite. I mean the kind when your brain abruptly stops working and turns you into a mouth-breathing dunderhead.
Of course, this sudden attack of dunderheaditude always happens at the worst possible time – although, truth be told, any time it’s going to happen is going to be pretty bad. When do you ever hear someone say, “What we need right now is someone so dumb he can’t remember his own telephone number!”? OK, politics. But where else?
Actually, in my case it wasn’t my telephone number that went missing, although I have had those fly out of my ears just when I needed them. Pretty girls will do that to you.
No, this time it was my bank machine passcode. I was standing at the ATM, ready to do a little low (as opposed to high) finance. I inserted my bank card and up came the screen asking me to sign in.
At that moment, my brain went into something akin to a computer lockup. Everything stopped working. The only difference was, instead of having a monitor frozen onto a page you wouldn’t want your mom to see, I had a face frozen in a glassy-eyed grin.
Of course, it happened when there were about four other people in line behind me, sighing and clearing their throats in the universal language of Get On With It Already.
I tried several likely numbers – birthdays, phone numbers, house numbers, high school locker combinations – but nothing worked. The sighing and throat clearing increased.
And so I skulked, humiliated, to the back of the line. Where, of course, I remembered the number.
So what happened? Was this some sort of age-related brain blip? A hidden medical problem? A brief glimpse at the doofus self I keep hidden under a thin veneer of near-normalcy?
Nah. I think it was simply the manifestation of something I’ve been saying for a long time: We have reached the point in our existence when we have more technology than a human brain can reasonably handle.
Or maybe it’s just me.
I have at least three dozen passcodes I have to remember, covering everything from computer programs to my garage door opener. And since I know what it’s like to be on the losing end of identity theft (can you say “Nightmare?”) I mix them up as much as possible.
The result? I mix me up as much as possible, too. Three dozen passcodes is about two-and-a-half dozen over my limit. They’re all jostling around in my memory bank, and occasionally -- like when I am at the bank machine trying to bring one out of memory for practical use – they refuse to cooperate. Hence, the non-ice-cream style of brain freeze.
So what’s to be done? Not much. The tech genie is out of the bottle and getting bigger by the second. Younger, nimbler brains are perfectly fine with that since they’re running the show, but all I can do is try to keep up, acknowledge that freezes are going to occur from time to time, apologize to the people in line behind me, and then go get some ice cream. Cherry Garcia.
© 2011 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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