I may be finally cracking up...I just put some toilet paper into the WC and as I opened the pack I smelled the paper...this momentary wiff opened up a multimedia, technicolor sequence of memories of my absolute favourite camping site on Thasos in Greece where I spent many wonderful holidays with my kids years ago! It started with a picture of the sun-splattered marble washrooms...and then panned out to the olive groves by the beach and the sound of my flip-flops slapping the path on the way back to our camper...then I felt a slight cool breeze from the sea and in my nose there was the mixed scent of pine trees, sea-salt and sand...I could even feel my old mozzy bites starting to itch...and caught the faint remnant of a bad head caused by late night red wine washed down by Metaxa...
Now if you had asked me, "do you remember the smell of the toilet paper on Thasos in Greece?" I would probably suggested that you were losing your Elgin marbles - but it seems I DO! And if I can remember that then what other arcane bits and pieces of total junk do I have stored on my cerebral hard disk?
I mean in this case it was nice to come across a wonderful little bit of frozen joy from the past...but there are times when I would be quite satisfied if I could just remember an idea I had just had or even why I had come into a certain room and what I was looking for.
This device in our heads is called a "memory" after all and if you look in your computer's memory you kind of expect it to be able to give instantaneous answers to questions like, "what is this person's surname?" or "where does that person live?" - and there is even a search machine to help...but in this lump of meat inside my skull..? No chance... (by the way, another bit of evidence against "intelligent design" for you creationists out there!)
How many times have I caused myself mental torture by saying, "oh, yesterday I ran into...erm...ahh...um..." and then spent hours agonising over the name of this person into whom I ran? Or made the absolutely fatal error of asking myself "how did the music to ... go?"
But just wave a roll of toilet paper under my nose and ...whoosh - off we go to Greece...hmm, actually maybe it's not so bad this memory lark....where's the bog-roll?