Thursday, August 4, 2011


I am able to grasp some rather complex mathematic problems.  I can expand my mind and understand how something can increase exponentially.  I’ve already expressed my absolute awe and admiration for the concept of “exponential.”

And then, there are the dumb days.  When I say dumb, I mean no disrespect to anyone, but for someone who is functioning (WAS functioning) at a fairly high level in the numbers game, I mean
R E A L L Y  dumb.  Second grade math dumb… and I’m responsible for some high level accounting????

Word dropping is an issue.  I already attempted a rather lame explanation of the difference between my word dropping and the normal tip of the tongue thing.  I visualize the protests that sometimes pop up on the sidewalks of NY.  On one side of the street is a group of word droppers and I am in the middle of them with my poster shouting something like, “I have a toothache!”  Across the street, are the skeptics.  The riot police with the barricades are in the middle attempting to maintain order.

I realize the folks on the other side of the street are trying their hardest to understand us but hell, if we can’t understand ourselves, can we fault others for failing to “get it?”  I think not.  The loved ones and the caregivers are in their own personal hell.  They are watching from the sidelines, helpless while we are in the fight, frustrated AND HELPLESS.

Follow along.  This is a real episode of “In The Fog” and a pretty good example of the things that I have come to find amusing.  My only choices are to feel pathetically incompetent or hysterically funny.  I choose the latter.  Every time.  All the time.

On Sunday, we had chicken on the barbeque.  I bought three packages of chicken breasts.  If each package contained 2 pieces of chicken and I cut each piece in half, how many pieces of chicken were on the barbeque?  Some may say, “Wait!  I’m a bit confused, too.”  Take a breath and break that down easily.

3 packages of chicken
2 pieces in each package (6)
Each of the 6 pieces cut in half (12)

Quite Simple, don’t you think?  Not so fast…. Breaking down a project into smaller and thus more manageable tasks is another of those work around solutions.  I am in deep trouble here when I can’t do the math NOR can I break it down.  Somehow, I think this particular “break it down work around” suggestion was meant for a far more complicated set of circumstances.

Not only was I incapable of determining I had 12 pieces of chicken, I could NOT figure out where I should begin in my futile attempt to do the math?  Surely, this is a joke?!!??  Perhaps because I was always able to “skip a step” when doing this type of calculation, I got all discombobulated which started the ball of confusion.  I was actually standing in the kitchen thinking, ok…. Where should I begin?  This process took at least 90 seconds.  Doesn’t sound like much time, but if you participated with me in the tonic experiment, this length of time was ridiculous.

I began to think:  Do I want to just say there were four pieces in each package and multiply 4x3?  Yes, that seems like the simplest way to do this.  Good, 4x3=12.  No wait!  Doesn’t 16 somehow fit into this situation?  Start again.  You just let the number 4 throw your thought process in the wrong direction.  Get the 16 out of your head.  NOW!  Alright….. 6x2=12  Good!  NO…. how can that be?  It can’t be that simple.  Were there just 6 pieces of chicken in front of me?  Seemed like more than that.  At this point, I’m all alone, laughing aloud at the sheer stupidity but I swear, the answer was no where to be found. 

In the back of my mind, I begin to question this Need To Know.  And in kicks the OCD element.  Damn it.  I need to select a properly sized container from my completely disorganized Tupperware cabinet in which to store the kicken.  (I was going to correct that error, but even now, days removed from this episode, in retelling the story of the chicken in the kitchen, THAT is the word that flew off my fingers.  Auto-correct had nothing to do with it.  Is this helping anyone see why laughing is my ONLY option???)

My brain is like the bouncing ball that, in the past, would provide the lyrics AND the proper pace for a TV sing along.  This clearly was prior to karaoke mania (and its subsequent fall from grace) whereby lyrics are flashed on a giant screen in a very teleprompter-ish type of way.   What?  Did the act of holding the microphone turn me into a presidential type or someone at a podium with a message of epic importance rather than a tone deaf fool with a microphone?  This was the Lawrence Welk bouncing ball, replete with background bubbles and the sound of an accordion.  Our family living room was transformed into a stage for this tone deaf fool.  I DO remember the bubbles, the accordion and for the record, I was a VERY young child.  Maybe I DON’T remember the actual show and it’s those skits on SNL that I'm thinking about???  Now honestly, does THIS really matter!!!

What in the hell was THAT entire paragraph all about???  Oh, I’m in analogy mode which always requires course correction when navigating the manner in which my AD brain is functioning.  My brain is the bouncing ball and what I was desperately trying to convey is that the ball is not moving at the proper pace nor is it moving from one word to the next.  It’s bouncing like it is possessed, it’s jumping to words in a crazy random order.  Sometimes, the ball is disappearing totally and still other times, the ball just zig zags across the entire screen before settling back into a normal pattern.

In the zig zag that is the chicken and the bbq, the ball stopped for a second in the Land of Logic.  I realized two things.  The BBQ is less than ten steps outside my side door and I can just walk over and actually COUNT the pieces.  Alternatively, if size matters (discuss among yourselves, I am NOT taking that bait into yet one more parenthetical comment), I DON’T NEED THE DAMN CONTAINTER NOW ANYWAY.  In fact, the chicken will be brought into the kitchen on a platter.  I can just eyeball the platter and easily select the container.

OK,  JUST – LET – IT – GO , right?  The number doesn’t matter.  It’s all about the size.  (There is positively another wisecrack in there if we let numbers represent a person’s age, but again, discuss amongst yourselves... I will give you a little clue so that I may aid in taking your mind into the gutter with mine:  Demi and Ashton… or better yet, Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft coo coo cachewing their way to seven academy award nominations).  Container size is directly tied to the quantity of the chicken and I’ve just gone around in a giant circle.  How many pieces of chicken are on the damn bbq?  I finally arrived at “12” and spent the next 15 minutes questioning if my multiplication was correct.  (NOT joking).

When the platter of cooked chicken was finally brought into the kitchen, there were 16 pieces of chicken.  I stared, my face in shock and awe mode and of course, checked the garbage for the packages because I just opened a new can of worms.  I SWEAR there were only three packages and I’m fighting with myself even with cold hard evidence (albeit in the form of garbage) staring me down.  There are lessons here but I will learn none. 

All I got out of this episode is that my plastic container was DEFINITELY too small, I should have trusted that instinctual moment when I thought “16 pieces,” my mind can get sophomorically perverse and how great it feels to be able to laugh at this stuff!

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