The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Friday, August 03, 2007

"It Was Someone Called Abby Normal"

Anyone name that movie quote? Anyone?

ACME Brains, Inc.

Dear Sir:

When I ordered a new brain from your fine company, it was with the hope and understanding that what I received would actually be better than the mush I was currently using. I am disappointed to say that this has not proven to be the case.

I've heard that cars built on Fridays or Mondays tend to be the ones with the most problems, because of employees calling in sick or taking a vacation day to make a 3 day weekend, or showing up hungover, or whatever. This suggests to me that the brain you provided me with was in fact constructed on a Monday, after a three day weekend. With a major holiday in it. During a blizzard. And a hurricane. And every bar in town was giving away free beer. For instance, I don't think a quality brain should result in my repeatedly coming home to find I've been wearing my underwear inside-out all day long. True, it's better than wearing them on the outside...but I think we can all agree that there are higher standards to be set than "puts underwear on first".

I also think that a good brain should have a good autopilot system. If I'm going to trust it to do things for me while I zone out, fantasize about Johnny Depp, or invent new knitting patterns in my head, it really ought to do it correctly--not have me put the serving spoon away in the pencil holder, toss my cell phone in the trash while carefully tucking an empty food wrapper into my purse, or place my knitting bag on the table to take to work about 4 minutes before leaving without it.

Additionally, I know that brains get into "grooves", where they try to apply what's gone before, but really. Just because I always knock on the doors of the exam rooms every time I go in to do anything at all with a patient, does not mean that I want to knock on EVERY door at work, including the one into the storage room, the medicine samples closet, and the one that opens into the waiting room so I can call back patients. Seriously--you should have seen the looks on people's faces. I think they were all trying to figure out who should get up and answer it.

It's terribly embarrassing to have to try to function with what is clearly an inferior brain. When you call a person and they answer the phone, they tend to expect the caller to remember whom they called and why. Generally, "Hello?" when used as a telephone salutation, is not answered with "Ummmm...who did I call?" And then "That's right, I WAS calling, I don't suppose you know what I wanted?"

I also distinctly remember asking for the "remember names" feature, and it is very definitively missing. And tricks like "now, remind me how you spell your name?" only work so far. Just ask the puzzled patient who responded "S - U - S - A - N. I don't think it's unusual...."

I expected to be able to know right from left without feeling for the scar on my left thumb, subtract simple numbers without muttering "...17 - 9 equals 8, had to borrow, 2 becomes 1, 11 - 6 equals 5...." and so on, take the meat out of the freezer on any one of the six occasions I said I was going to, go downstairs to TAKE the meat out of the freezer and not come back up 5 minutes later with a piece of granola bar and the vague feeling that I was supposed to have done something, remember where I bought that awesome, low-fat Kettlecorn BEFORE visiting 9 of the 10 possible options, locate the absolutely perfect sock pattern when I want it and not after I've given up and made something else, and not do things like fax the admin office to tell them I forgot to clock in....when I in fact didn't forget at all. There's only so many times you can do that last one before they start wondering if you should be alone with patients.

I'm enjoying the knitting feature quite a bit, although it does seem to have gotten somewhat stuck in "start" mode. That one, and the yarn buying one as well. Is there a trick I didn't see in the handbook as to how to program it to complete things, and use up the yarn already purchased? It would also be great if it had a catalogue of recipes you can make from frozen meat. It should manage to save valuable information such as "Dr. S just pulled out that drawer and didn't close it" instead of tossing it out until the moment my shin makes contact with that same drawer, or "Mr. K rarely empties his Pepsi cans" before I get the bright idea of tucking one under my arm sideways as I carry it and all the newspapers to the recycle bin (where I put the mop bucket would have come in handy about then, too).

Overall, I am very disappointed with the quality of my brain. If I could remember where I put the phone number--or my phone, for that matter--I'd give you such an earful.

Ms. K


  • At 6:08 PM, Blogger Faren said…

    I really had to laugh at the door one. As a former nurse aide I have totally been there, done that. The laundry room door, break room...they tend to look at you funny on that one too.

  • At 9:29 PM, Anonymous Gretch said…

    Totally got the movie - Young Frankenstein. Tee hee - never get this stuff!

  • At 1:05 AM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…

    Pish-tosh. Although you'll probably get a lot of us answering, I have to answer: Marty Feldman as "Igor", Young Frankenstein. Next? (You realize I'm only so casual about that one 'cause somewhere about that point in time we stopped being able to afford movies or cable, and you ask me anything about the intervening years, well, I suffer from a lamentable ignorance of popular movie culture. Lamentable, I tell ya. But that one? It's saved and backed up. [g])

    Meanwhile, as I laugh until my own sub-standard brain leaks out my ears... The name thing? I think that was the whole incident that started one of my future bosses thinking I was an idiot. I'm terrible at remembering names. Especially when I'm nervous. Now, think of introductions taking place at a job interview. During which I was usually terrified. I sure got a queer look when he spelled, "S-c-o-t-t", and I lamely mumbled, "Thanks, I wanted to make sure whether it was one or two T's..." ::makes dive-bomb noise::

    I got hired, but he never did quite get me...

    Underwear inside out? ::falls down again:: Oh deary, deary me!!

  • At 3:08 AM, Blogger Jen said…

    I loved Young Frankenstein-- almost as much as I love your stories!

  • At 6:08 AM, Blogger Robin said…

    ROFLMAO....after spewing coffee all over my monitor!
    Can I copy this letter to send as well, I, in fact, found that I too had worn my underwear inside out all day....last week!

  • At 8:01 AM, Blogger Jo at Celtic Memory Yarns said…

    You forgot the one about calling upstairs to your nearest and dearest:



    'You know what I was thinking?'

    'No, what?'


  • At 8:39 AM, Anonymous Frequent Frogger said…

    I have put a good quality working brain on the top of my Christmas list every year. I was not even greedy enough to ask for an excellent one or even like new or still in original box. I had to add "working" after I received brain coral, a rubber eraser shaped like a brain and even a baseball cap with the image of a brain on it. Sadly none of these have ever helped. Please let me know if you get satisfaction from the Acme Company. I'd love to see the recall notices on my model.

    Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone. And I do know what you mean about the knitting portion getting stuck in the start mode. Have yet to find the switch for finish. I'd be happy to have someone point that out to me. Delighted to have found your fun blog.

  • At 5:28 PM, Blogger Kitty Mommy said…

    What?? You mean brains aren't supposed to do those things? The one that is most crazy making for me is when I draw a blank on my husband's name. We've only been married nine years and dated for seven years before that. On those days, it's best just to quietly go back to bed and pretend it didn't happen.

  • At 11:55 PM, Anonymous angie Cox said…

    I think we should check serial numbers , mine must be from the same batch.

  • At 11:17 AM, Blogger Lynn said…

    Marty Feldman to Gene Wilder in "Young Frankenstein". My favorite line from that movie is "Taffeta, darling!"


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