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D. J. Sweetenham


  Since my Best Friend, Durant Godwin, aka “Auto Doc” was diagnosed with lung cancer I have got into the habit of taking him, and anyone else who happens to be visiting him at the time in his “shop,” an ice-cream cup from my favorite grocery store, Ingles. The treatments which he has been receiving have affected his taste and he says that the ice-cream is about the only thing which tastes good. Anyway, it's good to see him eating something. This morning was no different and when I stopped in there with my insulated cold bag, only one other visitor was there, our other close friend and another “Don.” To try not to confuse the story, I'll call the other Don by his nick-name, “Lobby.”

  Sitting in Doc's tiny, overcrowded office, half deafened by the roar of the space-heater and the country music blaring from the radio, conversation was all but impossible. But that's the way Doc likes it. After we had eaten our ice-creams we collected up the empty plastic cups, for me to deposit them in the garbage can outside on my way out, and then I poured myself a cup of Doc's excellent coffee. I think it's the well water that makes the difference, but Lobby calls it commode water. He doesn't really like coffee and he has a strange sense of humor. Just before I sat back down with my coffee, I turned the volume knob down on the radio, which lowered the background noise considerably. I thought I had got away with it but before I reached my seat, I heard Doc say, “While you're there why don't you mess with the radio?”

  “What'dya say?” I replied.

  “You know what I said”

  “You're right, I think I've heard you say somethin’  like that on previous occasions.”

  That just earned me a a dirty look which I chose to ignore. Now that the only noise was coming from the space heater in the adjoining room I figured I might be able to get some help with my main problem which had been bothering me for the past week.

  “Okay, guys, I need some help with a non mechanical problem. If you remember I told you I had bought a 2 ˝ gallon gas container a couple of weeks ago and I didn't realize it had some kind of fancy safety spout on it. It's so safe, in fact, I can't even get the gas out of it!”

  “I don't remember hearing about that,” said Lobby

  “Nor do I,” said Doc. “And there's nothing wrong with my memory”

  “So  you're saying that my memory is lousy? I don't know what you're talking about!”

  “See, you've already forgotten what we were talking about!” said Doc, pointing his finger at Lobby.

  “So what are we talking about?” I interjected.

  “Well, you should know – you brought the subject up, didn't you”  Lobby said.

  “What subject?” I asked. “Just tell me what we're talking about.”

  They both looked at me as if I'd lost my mind and there are times when I'm pretty sure I have. From conversations with other, shall we say, mature people this is not an uncommon problem so if it happens to you, don't let it upset you. It's certainly not worth getting your blood pressure up for and you'll forget all about it after a couple of minutes. But it is aggravating and if you think you might be suffering from CRS (that's Can't Remember Stuff) or the advanced version TMB (Too Many Birthdays), just remind yourself, you're not an isolated case.


  D.J. Sweetenham, originally from England, is the author of Bumps in the Road and Bumps in the Road - Part Two, highlights of his interesting and far-flung life. D.J., his wife, and two small dogs, live in Stockbridge.




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