There’s old whatshisface, acting like he remembers my name

by Ken Carpenter

Now that I am within three months of turning 63 I can probably address something that has been bothering me for years without sounding too much like a dolt. On second thought, that may be too much to ask, but I’m committed so here goes.
How is it that an otherwise normal, reasonably intelligent human can meet someone they have known for twenty years and not remember their name? Over and over again.
Don’t get me wrong, the name eventually comes to me, usually five minutes later after I rudely stammer out a less than hearty “Hi uhhh, how are ya?”
After mentioning this No-name Syndrome to several others, it almost appears to be universal in those who have the slightest meathead tendencies. The funny thing is, there is no age requirement for this affliction. You will get worse as you get older, but even the young can get a taste of it.
Government sponsored brainiacs can do little to help you remember names, but they can tell you what section of the brain is responsible for your dilemma. The main memory center of the brain is called the hippocampus.
The chances of you remembering this are slim, but if someone you know acts distressed when you have obviously forgotten their name you may be able to put it to use.
Just say “I haven’t been the same since I was sat on by a hippopotamus.” This will serve to stupefy them long enough for you to make your escape, and it will also dim any future expectations they may have otherwise carried around concerning your memory banks. Or any other banks, as far as that goes.
It is also interesting that the hippocampus is shaped like a small jelly roll. If a person frowns at you because you forgot their name, you could accurately spew forth a disgusted ‘That darn jelly roll!”.
Memory experts agree that there are things you can do to improve your name remembering skills. Repetition is one of them.
If you meet someone you are likely to meet again, use their name several times in the course of your conversation.
“Hi, Piehole, nice to meet you. So, where did you buy those keen loafers Piehole? Do you own any earless goats Piehole? Well, I hope meeting me was a memorable experience for you Piehole.”
I am sure it was. It is possible to overdo it with this method of memory banking.
The guilt by association clue may be useful. Remember where you meet them, such as K-Mart Kelly, Basketball John, or Funeral Frank.
Or, better yet, associate them with their most obvious physical attribute. Skinny Legs Larry, Hairy Ears Ernie, or Big Rump Bobbie are not likely to be forgotten.
At least part of the name won’t be forgotten, which is the pitfall with this method. Once you get tongue-tied and give an old acquaintance a warm and friendly “Hey Long Nose, its good to see you!” you probably won’t have to worry about your next greeting. They will be crossing the street to avoid you in the future.
Meeting somebody who has a name similar to a famous person can he helpful to your future chances of recalling it, but there are still hazards to be wary of. For instance, if you meet Harrison Chevvy you would think of Harrison Ford, which may make you think of Indiana Jones, which might remind you of Gary, Indiana, and then the next time you meet him you may think he is Gary Ford. Nothing is foolproof.
Sheesh, right now I am having trouble remembering my own name. Let’s see, everybody associates Ken with Barbie, and she is hard to think of without dwelling on her oversized bosoms, which can turn your thoughts to the big boob who knocked your milk out of your hand in the grocery store aisle.
That’s it! This is Boob Carpenter saying, good luck with that pesky hippocampus.

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