The Befouled Weakly News

31 January 2010

Some of you will appreciate and understand that as one “matures” it seems that occasionally one’s memory can become a little bit less reliable than it once was. How many of us have entered a room and then paused, trying to recollect what mission had led us to that particular room at that particular time? How many of you, like me, find yourselves halfway up the stairs, completely unable to remember whether you were going up the stairs or down? Me? I regularly forget my name, the name of my wife and children as well as the name of our favourite canine companion.

There is the story of the elderly couple which had been experiencing declining memories, so they decided to take a power memory class where one is taught to remember things by association. A few days after the class, the old man was outside talking with his neighbour about how much the class helped him.

“What was the name of the instructor?” asked the neighbour.

“Oh, ummmm, let’s see,” the old man pondered. “You know that flower, you know, the one that smells really nice but has those prickly thorns, what’s that flower’s name?”

“A rose?” asked the neighbour.

“Yes, that’s it,” replied the old man. He then turned toward his house and shouted, “Hey, Rose, what’s the name of the instructor we took the memory class from?”

All that is a prelude to explain the acquisition of my latest toy – a digital voice recorder.

Now, these devices are not new nor particularly exciting and I used to have one that used mini-tapes which I found very helpful. When I am driving around I frequently have my most dynamic and incisive thoughts and ideas; since I can’t write them down I dictate them into the recorder and play them back when I get home or work (if I remember). The old recorder was becoming increasingly unreliable and so, after spotting a special offer just after Christmas, I recently became the proud owner of a new, compact and, so far, utterly reliable digital voice recorder which now serves the same purpose.

Allow me to share with you a complete and unexpurgated transcript of the very first message I recorded on the new device:

“Right. What did I just say I needed to do? I can’t remember! God damn it! It was something to do with the Learning Platform. It will come to me – wait for it! Bye.”

(I’m just glad I didn’t use the “F” word). Want to hear it for yourself?

Now, how bad is that? I purchase a device to assist me in remembering those random but useful thoughts and ideas which come to me from time to time. However, in the time between a thought flitting across my consciousness and my picking up the digital voice recorder and pressing Record, that original thought has vanished into the ether. So now what I seem to have is a device which records my frustration at not being able to remember what I just needed to remember. Just what I need.

More snow on Friday evening but fortunately, just a smattering. Interestingly, it had started snowing on Friday evening, just as Ms Playchute was about to deliver dinner to her parents at the other end of the village. It was quite wet snow (large flakes) and clearly was not going to amount to much of anything. In the time between arriving at her parents’ house, delivering the dinner and returning to the car, however, the temperature suddenly plunged below freezing so that the once wet snow was now fused to her windscreen. Apparently, it required an industrial jack hammer to clear a space sufficiently large to see through for the journey home.

The sudden drop in temperature reminded me of a similar incident when I was at Yale in New Haven. It was late afternoon during one of the winter months, probably February, and it was raining very slightly, a misty rain which was essentially just one step beyond thick fog. All of a sudden the temperature dropped to well below freezing and all the moisture (all over the ground, the sidewalk, the street, the parked cars, the trees, etc.) froze instantly creating a slippery sheath of ice everywhere. Within the space of about three seconds half a dozen cars slid off the road, a couple of old ladies did the splits and it took about forty-five minutes to crawl a couple of blocks home. Fascinating.

Much love to you all,


Pregnancy Q & A

Q: Should I have a baby after 35?
A: No, 35 children is enough for anyone.

Q: I'm two months pregnant now. When will my baby move?
A: With any luck, right after he finishes college.

Q: What is the most reliable method to determine a baby's sex?
A: Childbirth.

Q: My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes she's borderline irrational.
A: So what's your question?

Q: My childbirth instructor says it's not pain I'll feel during labor, but pressure. Is she right?
A: Yes, in the same way that a tornado might be called an air current.

Q: When is the best time to get an epidural?
A: Right after you find out you're pregnant.

Q: Is there any reason I have to be in the delivery room while my wife is in labor?
A: Not unless the word "alimony" means anything to you.

Q: Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth?
A: Yes, pregnancy.

Q: Do I have to have a baby shower?
A: Not if you change the baby's diaper very quickly.

Q: Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and act normal again?
A: When the kids are in college.

Last night, my kids and I were sitting in the living room and I said to them, 'I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from  a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug.'

They got up, unplugged the computer, and threw out my wine.

ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.

ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.

ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget.
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?

ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS: He said, "Where am I, Cathy?"
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
WITNESS: My name is Susan!

ATTORNEY: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo?
WITNESS: We both do.
WITNESS: Yes, voodoo.

ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?

ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the twenty-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: Uh, he's twenty-one.

ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Are you shittin' me?

ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS: Uh.... I was gettin' laid!

ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS : Are you shittin' me? Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?

ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death.
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Now whose death do you suppose terminated it?

ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard.
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?

ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.

ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All my autopsies are performed on dead people. Would you like to rephrase that?

ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?

ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 P.M.
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy on him!

ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS: Huh....are you qualified to ask that question?

And the best for last:

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law

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