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Senility, my old friend

I don’t want to cause a panic, but I have misplaced my banana. It should be here on my desk, but it’s not. My co-workers don’t seem to be taking this situation very seriously.

As I remember it, at one point this morning, as I was getting ready to leave the house, there was a banana in my hand. After that, I’m not sure what happened. It’s like it just vanished into thin air. I guess there is a small possibility that I might have left it somewhere at home, but that would mean that I’m turning into a forgetful old man. And that would mean that my wife is right. And we can’t have that.

But on that topic, I’m afraid that when I become old and senile, nobody will notice the difference. The other day, as I was driving home from work, my mind began to wander like it usually does. My thoughts went from how white and fluffy the clouds looked that particular afternoon and naturally progressed to how cool it would be to own a monkey to do my chores around the house. As my brain began to delve into the intricacies of simian ownership, my right hand absentmindedly reached down to my gearshift while my left foot instinctively raised up so I could depress the clutch pedal to downshift into third gear.

To the common, everyday, run-of-the-mill driver, this probably sounds like man and machine meshing together in perfect synchronization. However, as a matter of full disclosure, I should admit one thing. I have not owned a vehicle with a manual transmission since 2004. That’s right. My left foot was flopping around the cab of my Jeep searching in vain for a clutch pedal that has been non-existent for almost a decade. This is just one example of my smooth transition into becoming a doddering old man.

Here’s another illustration to prove my point. Have you ever totally ripped your entire house apart to find where somebody has coldheartedly hidden the television remote control? Have you ever tipped every piece of furniture over, torn every cushion off of the couch, gone through every one of your wife’s Woman’s Day magazines and torn every tissue out of the box of Kleenex in hopes of recovering the aforementioned wayward remote? And then, after all of that, you find it in it’s regular resting place — nestled in between the Kool Aid Jammers and the Bud Light Straw-Ber-Ritas located on the top shelf of your refrigerator. Has that ever happened to you? Yeah, me neither.

And with every one of these terribly insightful and intelligent columns that I write, I believe more and more that I’m remembering stuff that I’m pretty sure never happened. There are things that I can picture as plain as day that my wife says never occurred. When we were first married, I accidentally ran over a pigeon upon entering the city of Rock Falls, Illinois. I can still picture this big, old, fat pigeon looking up at me while I tried to shoosh it away with a hand gesture. Alas, it did not move and the feathers flew.

To this day, some 20 years later, my wife agrees with me that the event took place. But she says it happened on a totally different stretch of road than what I recall. We argue about this every time we enter Rock Falls. I have debated it so many times, that honestly I can’t remember which road I remember hitting the bird on. Nowadays, I just ask her which road she thought it was on, and I take the opposing road. She then usually follows up by shooshing me away and giving me a hand gesture.

So let this be a lesson to all you young, hip people out there with your fully-functioning brains. Right now, you think you’re so cool with your ability to not shift non-existent gears, to not put your television remotes inside large kitchen appliances or to not run down obese birds somewhere in northern Illinois. You’d better enjoy knowing where your banana is now because your day is coming.

Now back to my original problem. There’s an ever-so-slight chance that the banana will be sitting on the kitchen counter when I get home tonight, but I doubt it. I think this particular wayward fruit just wanted to make a get-away, and he made a run for it when he had the chance. That’s the only logical explanation.

Heed this warning. You have to watch out for bananas. From what I understand, they can be pretty slippery.

You can contact Wallace at gwallace@bcrnews.com. You can follow him on his blog at http://gregwallaceink.blogspot.com.

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