Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Another Thing I Hate About Me

My random memory is like Swiss cheese -- what I know is there forever but what I've forgotten is gone. I have a 23 year old sister who is somewhat mentally challenged and operates this same way only to a greater extreme. She can tell you where the Parthenon is and solve a long division problem, but can't remember where the bathroom is, how to dial 9-1-1, or who the president is.

It must run in the family.

I can recite for you all the books of the Old & New Testaments and the Girl Scout pledge, quote film dialogue, song lyrics, or Texas statutes, and tell you the name of my kindergarten teacher. But, I can't tell you who called me five minutes ago and whether or not I've paid my cable bill. Doctors scratch their heads at me because I have NO IDEA what I ate for breakfast, when I last went to the bathroom, or what years I had a hysterectomy, appendectomy, partial mastectomy, or gall bladder removed. Trivial stuff like that just falls through the holes in my Swiss cheese brain.

But, I can still recite for you a poem I memorized in the fifth grade. It had to be at LEAST 50 lines so I memorized this perfectly morbid & EXACTLY 50 line poem by Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953) --

MATILDA told such Dreadful Lies,
It made one Gasp and Stretch one's Eyes;
Her Aunt, who, from her Earliest Youth,
Had kept a Strict Regard for Truth,
Attempted to Believe Matilda:
The effort very nearly killed her,
And would have done so, had not She
Discovered this Infirmity.
For once, towards the Close of Day,
Matilda, growing tired of play,
And finding she was left alone,
Went tiptoe to the Telephone
And summoned the Immediate Aid
Of London's Noble Fire-Brigade.
Within an hour the Gallant Band
Were pouring in on every hand,
From Putney, Hackney Downs, and Bow.
With Courage high and Hearts a-glow,
They galloped, roaring through the Town,
'Matilda's House is Burning Down!'
Inspired by British Cheers and Loud
Proceeding from the Frenzied Crowd,
They ran their ladders through a score
Of windows on the Ball Room Floor;
And took Peculiar Pains to Souse
The Pictures up and down the House,
Until Matilda's Aunt succeeded
In showing them they were not needed;
And even then she had to pay
To get the Men to go away!

It happened that a few Weeks later
Her Aunt was off to the Theatre
To see that Interesting Play
The Second Mrs. Tanqueray.
She had refused to take her Niece
To hear this Entertaining Piece:
A Deprivation Just and Wise
To Punish her for Telling Lies.
That Night a Fire did break out--
You should have heard Matilda Shout!
You should have heard her Scream and Bawl,
And throw the window up and call
To People passing in the Street--
(The rapidly increasing Heat
Encouraging her to obtain
Their confidence) -- but all in vain!
For every time she shouted 'Fire!'
They only answered 'Little Liar!'
And therefore when her Aunt returned,
Matilda, and the House, were Burned.
I couldn't remember yesterday if I had included this in my post. I had not. So, I posted it separately. Actually, I didn't do that either. I saved it as a draft. But, hey! I paid my cable bill! Or, was it my cell phone?

By the way, how exactly does one stretch one's eyes?

3 comments:

Chesher Cat said...

Wow. You should write something about yourself and sell it to Lifetime.

Oops, I just forgot to put in the word verification code.

moviequill said...

I was castigated (or castrated) for using "rolls his eyes" in a screenplay once. The reader wrote "rolls? like tossing dice on a craps table?" Um, yeah, pal, that's what I meant... read too many horror stories did ya?

Mystery Man said...

I dated a Mathilda once. They're all the same. Hehehe...

-MM