King of States! presents: a cautionary tale.
When I got home from the gym this evening, there was a package waiting for me. I thought, “Ah! My new pair of yoga pants* and that orange shirt with the big number ‘5’ on it. Huzzah!” (I think “Huzzah!” a lot.)
As I rode up in the elevator, I wondered what compelled me to purchase an orange shirt with a big number ‘5’ on it; I passed my fifth birthday a few years back, and three is a better all-around number anyway. Then I remembered that when I was little, I had a blue sweatshirt with a big number ‘5’ on it; for the bulk of 1982, I wore nothing but that sweatshirt, a pair of corduroy pants, and cowboy boots. I was compelled, it would seem, by nostalgia.
But wait! While staring at the lit-up elevator buttons, I remembered that said blue sweatshirt did not, in fact, have a big number ‘5’ on it; it had a ‘4.’ “Ah,” I mused. “The fallibility of memory.”**
A few minutes ago, I opened the package. THE ORANGE SHIRT HAS A 9 ON IT. Which means:
- All my memories, long- and short-term, are suspect.
- I should never be allowed to provide eyewitness testimony for any matter of legal or ethical import.
- We should all start tattooing important facts that need to be remembered accurately on our persons, just to be safe.
* I’m down to fourteen or fifteen pairs (I work at home) so I was starting to get nervous. Crisis averted!
** I also start a lot of my thoughts with “Ah!” I’m basically on the cusp of surprise at all times.