We’ve all known friends and relatives who, as they age, can no longer remember things. My grandmother called it Old Age Disease and, of course that was before all the fancy-smanchy names came around like Dementia and Alzheimer’s. No matter what you call it, it takes a terrible toll on the victim and caregiver.
The amnesia I’m talking about, though, is the kind found on soap operas.
In yonder days, my mother and sister would watch Days of Our Lives every day at noon. After a while and after so many years watching it, those people got to be like a member of the family.
The shock that Doug or Julie had suddenly come down with amnesia and could not recognize their own family would be the talk of our neighborhood for weeks. Of course, after the storyline ran its course with the affected person having new lovers, adventures or career changes, they would suddenly get their memory back sparking divorces, moves and family reunions.
Now Ol' Dutch wasn’t born yesterday and I began to see a pattern here emerging as each of the stars on those shows would have their own bout of amnesia on a seemingly regular basis which always coincided with their getting to sleep around or be kidnapped.
Having ample time to think about such important things I began to wonder if maybe a few selective bouts of amnesia are being used by all of the old men to live out a better life.
Things like avoiding taking the trash out or forgetting anniversaries and birthdays elicits wry smiles on all the old women’s faces. One wife will say “Poor Old Bill just cannot remember like he used to.” And all the other women will nod knowingly.
This is understandable as we age and even Ol' Dutch has noticed a definite loss of razor sharpness to his otherwise keen mind.
I have watched Old Bill and his buddies, though, away from their home nest and they have no trouble remembering important items and dates like the beginning of elk season or what score they shot on hole number 4 in 2007.
Up until now most of the men out there joke and carry on about not being able to remember things but I think they are missing out on a golden opportunity to really reap some huge benefits by changing their diagnosis from forgetfulness to “amnesia.”
You see with forgetfulness, you get a pass but still are kept in check by a female taskmaster who expects such things as “work” out of a guy. Even a man with pretty severe work dodging abilities will get menial tasks handed to him with enough instructions to land a rover on Mars.
But you take even a mild case of amnesia and you got yourself some real time off.
A man with amnesia cannot be expected to change the toilet paper rolls, mow the lawn, take out the trash, visit his mother-in-law or a myriad other things that female partners dream up on a daily basis. After all, a man with amnesia on the way to the trash may meet the next door neighbor and run off to Aruba and be a doctor. He cannot be held responsible for his actions as he is just “not himself.”
Trixie says Ol' Dutch has not been himself for a long, long time and there is some truth in that. As far as I know the only cure for a case of this type of amnesia is fresh air and plenty of sunshine. Trixie has me hanging out the clothes as therapy but soon she will tire of me forgetting where I hung them and chase me off to do a little fishing and hunting for the cure.