Learning through Laughter

Bob Owen, Humorist

I have friends who remember what they had for dinner two years ago on the Thursday night after their dog, Beatrice, had puppies for the fourth time.  “Oh that was the night we had shrimp risotto.”  That amazes me. “With spinach salad.”  Actually, I don’t know why you would want to remember that.  But, it’s a non-issue with me.  I couldn’t.  Fact is I’m not real sure what I had for dinner last night.  I remember liking it, though.  I think I cooked it.  I’ll have to check.

Those same remembering friends also seem to recall what they were doing on just about any given day.  (I do believe some of them are lying and making it all up.  No one would know.  I’m pretty sure no one would care, either.)

I remember important dates, but I can’t just pick a day and tell you what I was doing.  I remember when I got married.  August 21, 1968.  (No, wait a minute.  My brother once got married August 21.  I got married August 24.  I’m pretty sure about the year.)

I vividly remember situations, such as births and funerals and weddings and walking into a glass patio door at a neighbor’s party.  But, don’t ask me ordinary dates.

I credit this with me being more of a generalist.  My wife says it has more to do with the fact that I don’t pay attention.

But, now, as a gently aging Baby Boomer (I’m writing this, I’ll describe myself as “gently aging” if I want to), I’m finding I now mark my time according to scars and cuts all over my body.  As a young man, I healed – quickly and completely.  I could cut my finger deeply, and in a few weeks there would be no sign of it – no scar.  Now, I’m a visual calendar of accidents.

When did you get that scar on your nose?  “That was when I fell off Parker’s front porch two years ago this past October.”

What about that fresh cut on your ankle?  “Oh, that was four months ago when we watched the grand girls take horseback riding.  The ‘no-see-ums’ were unmerciful and bit me all over my legs.”

The cut on my upper arm was from falling into an oyster bed on the beach back in ’06.  The pale pink scar on my right wrist was an oven burn when I was baking cookies for a party.

It’s ridiculous to the point of being pitiful.  Why would I want to know all this stuff?  I don’t.  But, it’s etched in my memory forever.  

But, what did I have last night for supper?  That’s easy.  Pork barbecue!  No that was two nights ago.  Meatloaf!  No, that’s what we’re having tonight.  Vegetable soup!!  Yea, that’s it.  Maybe.

Date of Blog Story: 
December 11, 2008

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