Ah, What’s That Name Again?

By WR Jones

This farm house is abandoned just like my empty shell of a brain.   A few weeks ago a young woman introduced herself to me as Amanda, or Amelia, or Arther, or Apple.   Anyway I’m 72% certain it started with an A.

So what do I  do?  I really shouldn’t even say what did  “I”  do because this evil little trouble  maker can’t be a part of me.   He must be a separate entity   Somehow he has direct access to my mouth with no oversight by the brain.  Like one of those spam deals.   The little bugger caused me to blurt out, “I will most certainly remember your name for next week’s class. ”    Huh?  Next week?   I can’t remember a name next 5 minutes.

The rather minority part of my brain that still functions came up with a plan.   I tattooed her name just under a fold of skin at my kneecap.   The fold of skin hid it.   Then when I next saw her I did a squat to 1.  get close enough to read the name; 2. tighten the skin so I could see the name.   Worked like a charm, except ….. once you squat down, social convention has it you are supposed to stand back up again.  And during the upward motion I would forget the name I read on my knee.

Back down again.   Same thing.  By the third squat I forgot what I was going down for and started looking at my toes.   I stayed this way until the end of the class at which point I pronounced my toes as being pretty fit.

My daughter,  Erika, gave me a book on improving  your memory.  In the old days we would have called that pissing away your money.

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20 Responses to Ah, What’s That Name Again?

  1. Great laugh once more! Bill, aren’t there pills for this kind of thing? I have that disease too…The minute you assure yourself of something to remember it flies right out the brain. Then, two weeks later you blurt it out at an unsuspecting person in the quiet of the libray, and then they definitely come and put you away.
    Thank God you can paint! Huh?
    Wonderfully serene image.The road leading in is inconspicous enough to take us right up to the welcoming white house.Good work.

  2. lesliepaints says:

    I have the same problem everytime I start a new class. I’ve even started writing down their hair color, if they wear glasses, how tall they are and who they sit next to. I go home and try to bring up their images in my mind as I read over my notes. I guess I should write their names in my wrinkles, too. :) Too bad this house is abandoned instead of fixed up and flourishing. I like viewing these paintings of “places”. Don’t stop.

  3. carolking says:

    I’m sorry to hear this is an abandoned farm. It looks pretty nice to me. Then again, what do I know. I always like how you do these landscapes. The path to the farm and the grasses and trees are great.

    I’m a bit skeeved that you tattooed her name on a fold of skin at your kneecap. Ewwww. Maybe tattooing peoples names on your body has cause your issues with memory?

  4. wrjones says:

    Cathyann – thanks. I more or less give up trying to remember names. But it is an embarrassment when someone always greets me by my name and I have say, “oh, hi, how’s it going?” I’m for large type nametags

    Leslie – simple solution – for first day or week or month make them use name plates on desk.

    Carol – skeeved? That must be a quaint outdated NYC word. Not a real tattoo. One of those band aid tattoos. I’m not letting anyone poke me with a needle.

    • lesliepaints says:

      Hi Bill. You are right about the name tag thing. I just have been holding out thinking I should be able to do this, like take an interest enough in who they are to not need the tags.

  5. I like the name tag idea too. Or maybe everyone could simply tatoo their own name on their forehead. Or at least write it in magic marker if they don’t like needles.

    This is a very peaceful looking painting. Looks like you’re doing a series of nostalgic pieces with overtones of a simpler life.

  6. Dawn says:

    Just wanting to check in with you…looks like your still doing a lot of painting…Looks nice…Late Happy New Year…
    I so relate to your post unfortunately!

  7. Kate says:

    Oh goody, another funny blog to read! Just found this one via crabby old whatsit. See, it pays to comment, you get more traffic.

    As to the name thing, I don’t recognise faces. Even my nearest and dearest sometimes. There’s a fancy label for this but I’ve forgotten it. Dang, and I thought I’d passed that senility test too.

    The paintings here are lovely BTW, a couple of talented people!

  8. lori says:

    I love the painting, you caught that lonely feeling perfectly. Makes me want to sneak in there and hear the stories the house has to tell.

    I can’t remember names either. I have taken to asking them questions so I don’t have to say anything. Do you think they know I don’t know?

    You can always write that stuff on the palm of your hand. Then when you shake hands the ink will be passed onto their hands and when they wave farewell you will know who they are.

  9. 100swallows says:

    I like this house,Bill. Do you do ghosts too? I admire your nice, clean painting–all the colors seem to be right the first application.

  10. Hi Bill,
    The forgetfulness fancy-name thing starts with an A but we don’t want to go there, do we?

    I’m always very happy to hear about people who forget names. Then I don’t feel quite so oddball about my total lack of recall. I can’t even remember the name by the time a person has just said it and ask, as if I hadn’t heard it quite, somehow. But then one second later, it’s gone anyway, and then what can you do? K

  11. Anna Surface says:

    LOL Uh, “I tattooed her name just under a fold of skin at my kneecap.” A difficult place for a challenge? LOL

    I love this painting and very well done. Nothing like an abandoned farmhouse with whispering memories.

  12. wrjones says:

    Hi Dawn – not only a belated happy New Year but I’m still waiting for my Christmas present. Lost in the mail I expect.

    Kate – you look cuddly as a kitten. You might want to lean into your razor a little steeper.

    Lori – thanks. Great idea with the ink. I have a stack of papers describing people with their names. But eventually I forget who the name goes with no matter what.

    K – we do not want to that whose name you can not speak (because you don’t remember it).

    Hi Anna – I was looking through your photos last night to see if I might find material for a painting. I love the work of you and Preston.

  13. BAH!!! The things your daughter goes through..
    Fantastic little painting!
    ;)
    My name is spelled, Rebecca, in case you have another fold on the other knee.

  14. Lovely painting. My mother used to give me sea kelp vitamins to improve my memory when I was growing up, but I don’t know how effective it worked. :)

  15. wrjones says:

    Rebecca – I’ve had your name on my knee for a long time now. But I never see you to use it. If I ever meet another Rebecca I will use it for her I guess. I did use it once by mistake on a big fellow named Jake (Rebecca, it turns out, wasn’t even his nickname). He didn’t find the error in judgement humorous.

    Erika – I will look for some kelp to chew on. Did your mother have any other advice?

  16. There you are. Nice to see your paintings again. The house is great but I really love what you did with the foliage and grass – beautiful. Oh yeah, the knee flap thing… I’m still laughing.

  17. rahinaqh says:

    hey Bill, a serene piece with your wonderful handling of the grasses and leaves. i have a friend who lives in total chaos and keeps everything. another friend gave him a book called ‘from hoarder to order’… of course he lost it amongst everything else.

  18. wrjones says:

    Preston – thanks. I have other “memory” tricks up my sleeve just to make sure I can keep track of my own name.

    Rahinaqh – some people take having “stuff” to a whole new level, and they mostly can’t be helped. Give the man some OCD drugs.

  19. Hi Bill – This painting is lovely – the way one’s eye is led by the path up to the house; I especially love the trees on the left of the painting. The text is great, too – really enjoyed the last paragraph!

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