Nov 29, 2006

How About I Just Curl Up and Die Right Now?

It's that time again! At least twice a month (often more than that) my brain goes on an embarrassing memory rampage and I want to quickly disassociate myself from every human being I've ever had any contact with.

There's a classic Dave Barry column from the 80s that describes this phenomena quite well:

Your brain cherishes embarrassing memories. It likes to take them out and fondle them. This probably explains a lot of unexplained suicides. A successful man with a nice family and a good career will be out on his patio, cooking hamburgers, seemingly without a care in the world, when his brain, rummaging through its humiliating-incident collection, selects an old favorite, which it replays for a zillionth time, and the man is suddenly so overcome by feelings of shame that he stabs himself in the skull with his barbecue fork.

At the funeral, people say how shocking it was, a seemingly happy and well-adjusted person choosing to end it all. They assume he must have had a terrible dark secret involving drugs or organized crime or dressing members of the conch family in flimsy undergarments. Little do they know he was thinking about the time in Social Studies class in 1963 when he discovered a hard-to-reach pimple roughly halfway down his back, and he got to working on it, subtly at first, but with gradually increasing intensity, eventually losing track of where he was, until suddenly he realized the room had become silent, and he looked up, with is arm stuck halfway down the back of his shirt, and he saw that everybody in the class, including the teacher, was watching what he was doing, and he knew they'd give him a cruel nickname that would stick like epoxy cement for the rest of his life, such as when he went to his 45th reunion, even if he had been appointed Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, the instant his classmates saw him, they'd shriek: "Hey look! It's ZIT!"

And I'm far too much of a chicken to write the moments I'm trying not to think about right now in this venue. But just know: I'm a shame to the human race.

1 comment:

Rachael said...

Oh brother, do I know that feeling! It's contaigious as well, did you know? Just like yawns and the hiccups and the giggles...