I had a brain-kluge moment this last week. I had just been issued a new medical card from work (they just changed insurance providers.) I carefully thought to myself "I need this—don't lose it." The next day I took my new card into the pharmacy to fill a prescription and explained that they needed to enter the new information, etc. They took my card to do whatever they need to do to put it into their system. When I returned, and they handed me my Rx, I distinctly remember the pharmacist saying "your card is in the bag." On the way out of the pharmacy, a homeless man approached me asking for money. I was distracted by him and explaining I didn't have any change etc. as I walked the half a block home and he followed me. While doing so, I reached into the bag, took out the medication, and threw the bag away.Three days later (today) I realized I must've thrown the card away in the bag. Even though I had been specifically prioritizing the location of the card in the bag just 90 seconds earlier, the presence of the homeless man had somehow erased that from my mind and replaced it with other worries, enabling me to completely forget about what I'd been focusing on just minutes earlier.Now, tomorrow, I guess I've gotta call H.R. and ask for them to facilitate me getting another medical card reissued, even though they JUST issued it. I had the damn thing in my possession for less than 48 hours.
Interruption is, of course, the royal road to bollocksing human memory.
Comedian/writer/autobiographer/all-around-genius Steve Martin wrote a wonderful piece along these lines a few years ago, in his pastime for the "over-50 set":
Here’s a way [you] can easily kill a good half-hour:
— Place your car keys in your right hand.
— With your left hand, call a friend and confirm a lunch or dinner date.
— Hang up the phone.
— Now look for your car keys.
Palm Pilots help me remember phone numbers and appointments, but every time lose my keys or walk into the bedroom and forget why I went there in the first-place, I wish I could order a brain implant....