Friday, 28 November 2014
Rewiring the Brain
By Mickey Rogers of This, That and the Other
Recently, scientists have been able to remove the memories of negative experiences from the brains of mice and replace them with good ones.
At first glance, this sounds like an exciting breakthrough for human beings. Had a bad childhood? Just erase those pitiful memories and substitute them with some fake ones, like having been the captain of the football team or the most popular guy in class. (I was so popular in school that I was elected senior class president four years in a row).
On second thought, however, this is a scary proposition. Can you imagine what could happen once the government got its hands on the technology to change what we remember?
If given the power, no doubt the government would just love to not only control what we do but also what we think. No thanks! I already have a wife to perform that function. Just kidding, dear.
My wife Bev is excited about this scientific breakthrough. She’s all in when it comes to rewiring her husband’s brain. As a matter of fact, she wanted to know how she could sign me up for the first human trials.
“Dear, just what kind of rewiring would you have them do to me?” I curiously asked.
“Well, first of all,” she responded, “I’d have those scientists wipe out all your knowledge of sports.”
“But most of my sports memories are positive ones,” I told her.
“Yeah, but for me, not so much. I wasn’t too happy last New Year’s Day when you and Ron set up four TV sets to watch multiple football games simultaneously. By lunchtime I had a migraine. When I want you to talk about my garden you switch the subject to basketball. And I’m sorry, dear, but I don’t like sports trivia.”
“So if I had no concept of sports you would be happy?”
“Well, that would be a good beginning. Then I’d ask those scientists to rewire your brain so that you’d remember to do what I ask, like picking up the roast on your way from work or buying the tickets for the Beach Boys concert.”
“Are you saying I’m forgetful?”
“You are selectively forgetful, dear. You never forget the cold beer for the football game but you forget our wedding anniversary.”
“I do not! That date is sacred.”
“Then when is our wedding date, honey?”
“Let me think. It is November 19th, 1985.”
“You’re right! I’m surprised.”
“It was easy; I just remembered that it was the day when Coach Smith got a commitment from Fred Jones, a five-star running back. Did you know that he could run the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds?”
“That’s pretty good for an old guy like Coach Smith. Maybe those scientists could rewire your brain so that you would quit channel surfing. That drives me crazy!”
“Dear, watching five minutes of uninterrupted commercials drives me crazy; that’s why I switch to other channels. And you know darn well I was talking about Fred Jones.”
“Maybe those scientists could change that brain of yours so that you would be more complimentary to me.”
“That’s not fair. Just the other day I admitted that you have even better in-laws than I have.”
“Maybe they could wipe out your so-called sense of humor, and perhaps they could rewire your brain so that you would be more romantic.”
“More romantic? Didn’t I tell you that you’re prettier than Mickey Mantle, and didn’t I name one of Uncle Bob’s pigs after you?”
“On second thought, I’ll ask those scientists to throw out your brain and put in a new one.”
“I heard that you can buy a woman’s brain for $50,000 and a man’s for $500.”
“Why such a difference in price?”
“The woman’s brain is more expensive because it’s seldom been used.”
“That’s sexist and it’s not funny!”
“Would it have been funny if I’d said the man’s brain was seldom used?”
“Yeah, but that’s different.”
*I think I’ll volunteer my wife for the first trials. Maybe they can rewire her brain so that she will find pleasure in baking cookies for her husband and giving him frequent back massages while together they watch multiple football games simultaneously.
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