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The most-dreaded question. August 7, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in pets, wit and wisdom.
Tags: , , , ,

Silence Dogood here. I’ve read that statistics show that the thing Americans fear most is having to speak in public. But that’s certainly not what I fear most. (Though I’m not a great public speaker; I tend to talk too fast.) Instead, it’s an innocent question: “Do you remember me?”

No, of course I don’t remember you. In the unlikely event that I manage to remember your face, I certainly won’t recall the context in which I knew it. Your name? Forget that. I seem only to be capable of remembering the names of dogs. So please, oh please, don’t ask me if I remember you.

The real hell of this is that everyone—apparently everyone I’ve ever known, or even met—remembers me. Never a week goes by that I’m not confronted by someone asking me if I remember them, and the answer is always no, an answer that is completely inappropriate. (And mind you, I really don’t get out much.)

People seem not just to be able to recognize me at any age, but to recall every word I’ve ever spoken. I’ve had people quote verbatim and at length things I’ve said in high school and college, things I couldn’t even begin to remember. I’ve literally had people come up to me in my native Nashville and say “Hey Silence! Do you remember me? We went to Mrs. Grisham’s nursery school together!”

Why no, I don’t remember you. I can’t imagine why you remember me, how you’re still able to recognize me, why anything I ever said or did left an impression on you. Maybe I’m the perfect candidate for a brain transplant, so I could keep all this data filed in total-recall storage banks. But since my brain is my only fully functional organ, I’d hate to trade it in just so I could remember what I said or who I knew when I was in 6th grade. I think I’ll try to hang on to it a little longer. But hey, I know your dog’s name! And of course your dog remembers me, and that’s okay.

What’s your most-dreaded question?

             ‘Til next time,




1. William S. Scudder - August 7, 2012

Easy, “Have you been drinking tonight, sir?”

Ha! Been in cars twice when that lovely question was asked the driver. NOT fun!!!

2. William S. Scudder - August 7, 2012

On reflection, it might soon be, “Do you know what year this is?”

I know what you mean!

3. h.ibrahim - August 7, 2012

It is simply selective—-you in your grandmother’s words “try to forget the bad things”—its perfectly understandable and not at all alarming—after all animals don’t do really bad things so you don’t have to forget their names. My mother does crossword puzzles and often remembers more than I do.

My father still remembers more French than I do!

4. Diana of Elephant's Eye - August 7, 2012

you are quoted verbatim from high school? I would say that is a HUGE tribute to your gift with words and writing!

This is so kind, Diana, but way more credit that I deserve! After all, if I merited anything, it would be for remembering them and what they said, rather than the other way ’round.

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