Memory Can’t Be Trusted

A few days ago I was taking a meal out with my best girl when the unmistakeable odor of smoke wafted from the kitchen. We made some joke about food burning, and it reminded me of a story from my youth. My parents didn’t have a huge record collection when we were kids, just one metal rack with maybe twenty or thirty records in it. There was a song I recall as being on a Percy Sledge record called “Something’s Burning,” that me and my two sisters used to sing while my mom was cooking dinner. The refrain was “Something’s burning, something’s burning, something’s burning . . . and I think it’s love….” only we would close it out as, “And I think it’s the foooooood….”

Here’s where the whims of memory tripped me up. Yes, my folks had a couple Percy Sledge records. There was some Gary Puckett and the Union Gap as well. Glen Campbell. I think they even had that Herb Alpert record with the famous cover. I don’t recall any Kenny Rogers, but when I went digging online for the song, this is what I found:

The more I listen to it, the more convinced I am that this is the very song. And the more I dig, the less convinced I am that my folks even owned any Percy Sledge records. If not, where the hell does that “memory” come from?

This is one of those things that makes me take a lot of memoir writing with a grain of salt. I consider myself to have a pretty good memory, yet here is proof that the brain makes stuff up, or confuses things, or whatever. How much of our adult identities are built on falsehoods that our minds have manipulated, or even conjured entirely, for us? I think it’s fascinating. So when some person puts out some book writing about events that happened ten, twenty, thirty or more years earlier (like, *cough* the bible *cough*), one must take it with a grain of salt. If it starts to smell like smoke, it’s likely that things aren’t all squared away in the kitchen. Hell, it may not even be intentional.

Finally, I don’t know how people even managed to cook in the days before smoke alarms. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the more I learn of history, the more I realize it’s a miracle anyone ever survived anything.


Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

I’ve been traveling a lot for work; I’m in the midst of a stretch of 7 trips in 8 weeks, with a couple more pending. Thankfully, modern communication technology does not keep Julia and I from blasting sweet nothings over the cyberways, even as I toil away at the front lines. She’s so sweet. . . .

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In Which I Make My Wife Scream In Bed: A Post-Thanksgiving Tale of Joy

Just came from the store. Julia is already downstairs, settled in, TCBing on her laptop from between the sheets (And a blanket. And a down throw. And a down comforter). I know the last couple days of Thanksgiving debauchery have left her in a guilt-ridden state, full of woe, post-pecan pie. But that stuff isn’t going to eat itself, you know, and I’m really no help when it comes to pie.

So I was at the grocery store, and as I passed the ice cream cooler my feet automatically turned me into the aisle. See, since hearing of this new, limited edition run of ice cream, Julia has been on the prowl for it . . . and we’ve never seen it. I even checked out a couple places when I was in Portland a couple weeks ago, to no avail. Actually seeing it is like wanting to see the Loch Ness Monster, or the mighty Bigfoot or Yeti. It’s been going on for months. Kind of an obsession, really. Apparently, as this article states, its availability has been challenged, for typical bullshit, panties-in-a-bunge, concerned American what-about-the-children reasons:

Prepare to cry tears of joy, sorrow, or indifference because at some grocers, Ben & Jerry’s “Schweddy Balls” ice cream is no more.

The popular limited edition ice cream flavor that took its name from the Saturday Night Live sketch starring Alec Baldwin as a baker named Pete Schweddy is being pulled from some grocery store shelves, thanks in large part to groups like One Million Moms who were worried that the “vulgar name” was too offensive for the tiny impressionable ears of children.

Very, very concerned parents: 1
Ben & Jerry’s: 0

We’d given up hope of ever actually seeing it.

Until now:


I felt like I had just encountered the elusive gulo gulo in the parking lot, gnoshing on a passenger pigeon. I had only a moment’s pause, because I knew Julia was already overcome with sugar. But I couldn’t not buy it, could I? If I’d taken a picture and not bought it, I’d probably be sleeping in my truck tonight.

So I bought it, and when I got home, I took a bowl and spoon and descended the staircase. Told her to close her eyes. Held it before her, and said, “Okay, you can open them.”

She squealed with delight.

Don’t ever let it be said I don’t know how to give a lady what she wants in the sack, people.



Want a Wife That’s Never Been Married?

Saw (ahem, stole) this gem of a business card that was shoved into the corner of one of those advertisement sign things at a restroom I stopped in yesterday:

I thought it was equal parts amusing and equal parts disturbing. Clearly the euphemism here is “a wife that’s never been married” = “a wife that’s never had sex with another man.”

I wonder what this dude’s angle is; probably gets money for ads on this website. I don’t know, I didn’t look at the link. I thought about blocking out some of the details before I posted it, but figured screw it since it was in a public place in the first place.