I’ll take mem­ory for $200, Alex

The Saline Courier - - OPINION - JIM MULLEN THE VIL­LAGE ID­IOT Con­tact Jim Mullen at [email protected]

On our way to play golf to­day, Char­lie and I couldn’t think of the name of the movie star who had come up in our con­ver­sa­tion. We could re­mem­ber all the movies he was in, all his co-stars, all kinds of odd trivia about his life and times -- ev­ery­thing but his name. That’s all right; some­time when we’re think­ing of some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent, it will come to us.

All of us have mo­ments when we strug­gle to come up with the name of some­one or some­thing -- the name of an old co-worker, neigh­bor or shop owner. And when it hap­pens, es­pe­cially as we get older, we all won­der if this is the first sign of what’s to come. Am I get­ting

Alzheimer’s, or is it just a fleet­ing se­nior mo­ment? But the odds that Char­lie and

I had both lost our minds at the same time seemed a lit­tle far-fetched.

“We used to for­get things when we were 16, too,” Char­lie said. “We just didn’t worry about it. I sure don’t re­mem­ber ac­ing ev­ery test I took in high school.”

“Yeah, but you didn’t for­get that stuff, you were just stupid. You can’t for­get stuff you never knew to be­gin with.”

“It’d be a ter­ri­ble thing if some­one ac­ci­den­tally got hit with a golf club to­day,” Char­lie said, a lit­tle too cheer­fully.

“We didn’t for­get this guy,” I said. “We can see his face, we know what films he was in, we know his name -- we just can’t pull it up. But it’s in there some­where. It’ll come to us.”

“Google it,” Char­lie said. “Google never for­gets any­thing.”

“Know­ing ev­ery­thing doesn’t make you smart, any­way. An en­cy­clo­pe­dia isn’t smart.”

“Henry Fonda!”

“That’s what I said!”

“You never said that.”

“But you knew who I was talk­ing about.”

“I thought we were talk­ing about Jimmy Ste­wart.”

That night, af­ter Char­lie trounced me on the golf course, I watched

James Holzhauer win his 29th “Jeop­ardy!” game in a row. He has what is com­monly called an en­cy­clo­pe­dic mem­ory. And so far, he has out­played 58 peo­ple who also have phe­nom­e­nal mem­o­ries. But James is 35 years old. As a long­time “Jeop­ardy!” fan, I’m won­der­ing if there should be a spinoff show for peo­ple my age. Say, “Se­nior Jeop­ardy.” The rules would be the same, but you’d get a lit­tle more lat­i­tude with your an­swers.

“I’ll take Movie Stars for $200, Alex.”

“He played the God­fa­ther in ‘The God­fa­ther.’”

“Who was, that guy who was in that other movie about the boxer who coulda been a con­tender?”

“Could you be a lit­tle more spe­cific?”

“Who was, the guy who yelled ‘Stel­l­l­laaaaa’?”

“That’s right. Still your turn, Jim.” “Movie Stars for $400.”

“He played Rhett But­ler in ‘Gone With the Wind.’”

“The guy with the mus­tache.”

“It’s got to be in the form of a ques­tion.”

“Who was, the guy with the mus­tache?”

“So close, but our judges say that’s not enough.”

“Who was, the guy mar­ried to Ca­role Lom­bard?”

“That’s cor­rect for $400. It’s still your board.”

“I’ll take Stupid Ques­tions for $800.”

“You’ve hit the Daily Dou­ble. How much do you want to risk?”

“A dol­lar.”

“Good choice. Why go crazy?

This an­cient Greek city held the first Olympics in 776 B.C.”

“I’ll take ‘Phone a Friend’ on that.” “That’s an­other show. You pushed the buzzer, now you have to an­swer.” “What is, Glocca Morra?”

“That is so wrong. It’s not even a real place. The an­swer was ‘Olympia,’ but we would have ac­cepted ‘Oleo,’ ‘Olivia’ or any­thing close to that.

We’ll be right back with our Dou­ble Jeop­ardy round af­ter these com­mer­cials for prod­ucts I hope you’ll never need.”

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