I’m Okay, Sam


No, no, I’m okay, Sam. Quite sure, in fact I don’t have any of those Al’s Hammer problems, ones where the guy can’t remember what his wife tells him to wear before he goes to the grocery store. Course I generally forget where I’ve put the list when I get there. Not usually a problem though, I’ve most often found it by the time I get home. And, sometimes I do have to go back again if I want supper. But that’s okay with me cause it’s quiet. I can listen to MPBN and not have to put up with The Food Network if I’m in the house.

Yessir, I went to Dr. Julian last week, or thereabouts, and had a complete physical test including one of those “remember ten things” quizzes where they ask if you can remember more than seven items. Cause if you can, you are definitely not an Al’s Hammer candidate ….YET. Now I’ve had an ace up my sleeve for about ten years now. I took a Carnegie memory enhancer course, one where you do word association. You know, the one where the word you choose is supposed to remind you instantaneously of the real word you’re trying to remember. I’ve found it works real well on these tests but not so striking on people’s names. Dr. Julian’s I remember because he’s got one of those badges on and as long as I don’t forget to bring my computor glasses along (ones with the 3-4' focal length) I can read it okay. I scored nine out of ten. Only reason I didn’t get a perfect score is cause he interrupted me while I was repeating them under my breath to ask how old I was.

No, Sam, my memory problems are no worse than my friend Perry Winkle’s arthritis situation. Nothing I can’t live with ’cept the wife does take offense to it once in a while. Projects around the house and the workshop seem to take quite a little longer. Now, I can find my tools...most of the time....but it’s when I’m working along I have the holdups. Always have had two or three tape measures and hammers on a job, that was a given. Only now I’ve got to paint the hammers blaze orange or perhaps put some blinking lights on ’em. I set a tool down, like a tri-square, come back to use it again and some jeezless gremlin has moved it every time. Maybe someone needs to invent a gremlin trap. Feller could set out a few before he starts a job. Save all kinds of time.

Then there’s that other little thing, and I haven’t really had time to get a handle on this one. Only been going on since I retired in ’03. I’ll park or be parked somewhere, usually at the house. Get out to get somethin’ from the other side, and time I get round to this other side, I’ve forgotten why I made the journey. Even though it’s a bit frustrating, I’ve figured out what to do. Either go back and sit down on the driver’s side and study the situation for a bit, or go into the house where the wife will jump start the old memory asking, “Where’s such and stuff?” ’Course that kinda lets on I’d forgotten what I was doing and that opens up another can of wrigglies.

But, Sam, I gotta tell you. This lapsical memory thing does have it’s good points. Mainly, a feller can develop a little scheme on the side for “selective memory.” I’ve found this to be most helpful. When the good wife asks you to do somethin’ on the “Honey Do” list and she comes to you after the hairdresser’s and asks if it’s done, all you got to do is say, “Oh darlin’, you know I wanted to do that before you got home, but somehow it just slipped my mind. I’ll be sure and do that tomorrow for you.” Course tomorrow’s another adventure entirely. I’ll bet I’ve got about 50 of her “Honey” lists out in the workshop, all of them somehow forgotten.

Now Sam, I’m going to share some very important information with you, something that could make different men of us and prolong our active lives for many years. It’s a pill I read about on the Computah the other night that among other recuperative functions restores your memory to it’s younger brilliance. Just as soon as I can remember where I plugged the little magic machine in last and how to turn it on, I’m going to find that little pill. Shouldn’t be too hard to remember the name of it. I’ll call you. What was your number again.

• R E C I P E •

From my dear, late mother’s great collection of recipes:

Crabmeat Mousse
1 lb. cooked crabmeat
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1 ½ c. fish or chicken stock
Salt and pepper
1 envelope gelatin
¼ c. white wine
¾ c. mayonnaise
¾ c heavy cream, whipped

Use a 1 ½ qt. capacity soufflé dish, or seven-inch springform pan. Oil pan, make sauce, season and cool. Sprinkle gelatin over wine and dissolve over hot water then stir into sauce with the mayo.

Separate crabmeat flakes and stir into mixture with fork. Chill, stirring occasionally until mixture is on point of setting. Fold in whipped cream. Taste for seasoning (s&p) and pour into mould. Cover and chill for 2 hours plus. To remove, dip mould in water, tip and separate with knife to break seal. Turn onto plate and remove the mould.