Saturday, April 26, 2014

What Did You Forget?

I went to college once. I attended back in the dark ages, before internet and email, when personal computers were a fanciful dream for college students and laptops looked like small suitcases with screens as small as some of today’s smart phones.

One of the classes I took was called, “Learning and Memory.” It may have actually been called “Learning and Cognition”, but I normally try to stay away from words that are too long. One notable exception to that rule is “chocolate”. Therefore, I am insisting that the class was called “Learning and Memory”.

The class had a laboratory. We actually picked out a rat and taught it to negotiate a maze. We rewarded it with an edible reinforcer. It was an amazing look into the realm of classical conditioning and left me hungry for more knowledge.

That is, until my rat died in the middle of the semester.

That class came to mind last Saturday. I had just finished my ritual of personal cleansing (that would be a shower, completed with a shampoo!), when my wife asked me to bring the hair clippers down, so she could cut my hair. I am quite vain, and only allow my wife to cut and shape my glorious head of hair. Besides that, I am frugal, and we barter for the cost of the haircut. I usually repay her by taking out the garbage, or starting a load of laundry.

Laundry, by the way, seems to never stop at our house. The week prior to my haircut had been especially bad for laundry. This was due to the neglect of the teenagers in the house to follow through on putting laundry in the dryer when they were supposed to. They claimed that they “forgot". Noting my wife’s agitation at the laundry not being put into the wash in a timely fashion, I decided to lecture my daughters.

I cleared my throat, and with a deep and commanding voice I began, “There has been entirely too much ‘forgetting’ in this house this week.” I paused for dramatic effect.

Beloved, not being one to pause for anything, piped in, “Hon, did you bring the hair clippers down?”

“Oh Crud.” I replied wryly, “I forgot.”

End of lecture.


  1. Interesting to note your wifes 'agitation' at the laundry.
    I'll let that soak for a while.
    Unless you want to give it a spin.
    But then again, I'll come clean that I have an unbalanced load.
    Hope this leaves you un- deterred, gent ...

    1. I hope you noticed that I was amazed and hungry when referring to teaching the rat to run the maze.