Friday, August 5, 2011

5. MY RAM AND CACHE

Is it real Dude?


I’m a big time movie fan. One thing baffles me all the time when I watch these Hollywood blockbusters especially genres like cop shows, detectives, crime and espionage.  

It is the ability of those characters to memorize phone numbers or security access code or a password or whatever it is, just hearing it only once. What a memory!!
  
You’d say,’ it’s just in the movies,’  But is it really?

How the hell are they doing it when I can’t remember a phone number? Thanks to the cell phones now we don’t have to remember even our own phone numbers, let alone others’. All are stored under the NAMES. Nobody is a number anymore on our phones. They are people. Good Huh?

Just got carried away.

Before the time of cell phones, in the days of land lines, I used to memorize my own number in threes. Like 2 123 456. But break the rhythm, you are in trouble.

Once my Vice Principal Malani Akka asked,
"Henry, is your number 2 12 34 56? I said “No, it’s 2 123 456.” She jotted that down, first frowned at what she wrote and then looked amused and said, “Idiot, it’s the same number, isn’t it?” 

I asked “Is it?”

Now don’t jump to the conclusion that I’m a dim-witted nitwit. Nah. Read on.

The Contrast


I remember the most unexpected things. That’s how I write my blogs, dudes. Long term memory.

I remember my NIC number because I have used it long enough. But I never remembered any of my passport numbers I’ve had (Hey dude, not at the same time, ok?) maybe because they change at renewal.

I remember my  land line number which I don’t use any more and is now disconnected but I can’t remember my current mobile numbers in a hurry.

I still remember my bank account number at the Peoples’ Bank, Queen Street branch which has now been dormant for over 15 years but I can’t remember any of my active account numbers I use frequently.

Bank numbers are complicated. But how come I can’t remember my four digit ATM PINs? They advise you to memorize the PIN and destroy the sealed security envelope. Easier said than done!!

Are you Roadworthy?


I remember registration numbers of my father’s motor bike, and my first bike and my first car. It’s a pain in the lower regions (see I didn’t say ass) to remember the same of my current bike and van.

These cops have this weird theory that the owners of the vehicles should know the registration numbers their vehicles by heart. Maybe these Sherlock Holmes dudes think we have hot wired a car and found the vehicle’s documents in the vehicle and had no time to memorize the license plate because we were busy under the dashboard hot wiring. They take our documents into their hands and while reading them ask us what the registration number is. If I say, “I can’t remember, officer. It is printed there, isn’t it?”, this most likely pisses them off. “Huh, You can’t remember even that, eh?” Then I am subjected to the treatment reserved for a felon and am grrrrilled on the spot. This can go as far as everybody having to step out of the vehicle, them scrutinizing my IDs and even searching the upholstery and panels of the vehicle.

All this, just because I can’t recite what’s on my own license plate.

Actually guys, is there a law against this?

How I work around the problem.


I’m not stupid enough to clash with the long arms of the law. So I have pasted a strip of paper with the registration number printed on it and secured it with water proof gum tape on the fuel tank of the bike. When they ask the question I coolly answer glancing at the prompt. Once, a Sherlock Holmes cop noticed that prompt and asked, Uh huh, you have pasted this here because you can’t remember it, eh?” as if he has just uncovered the mystery of the century. I didn’t say anything. Better hiding places in a car or van.

But, will someone tell me, if it is against the law for someone who can’t recite the license plate of his vehicle, to drive that vehicle on the public road?

French always made me mad. ‘Comment allez-vous’ I remembered like koment alez vouse (like mouse). I was never caught. And ABBA had that hit  ‘Voulez-vous’ I always remembered phonetically, as it is.   

And, I also had secret short cuts. Bureau, I always remembered like boo-rey-aww and wrote like that and got away with that.

Mr K. S. P. V. Liyanaarachchi (alias surname to protect his privacy) was a teacher of mine. I met him at the bank while he was getting ready to fill out a withdrawal slip. “K S P V Liyanarachchi isn’t it sir, I still remember your name after so many years.” He was suitably impressed by the personal interest I had shown in committing his name into my long term memory, I didn’t want to spoil that or hurt his feelings by revealing him how I managed the stunt. I actually remembered  the phrase code in Sinhala which means “there is soap in your ear. Wipe it Liyaarachchi” (Kane Saban Pihadaagena Waren Liyanaarachchi)  /කනේ සබන් පිහදාගෙන වරෙන් ලියනාරච්චි/

God save Samsung, Nokia, Sony Erickson, Motorola, etc.


As I said earlier the mobile phone technology saves us. No hassle of remembering the phone numbers thanks to the phone book and thanks to the built in calendar, date book and event reminder, no risk of forgetting the family birthdays and anniversaries which saves your marriage, too. God bless the technology. God bless the inventors. This alone reserves them one way ticket to heaven!!

I had trouble in remembering the spellings of certain words like; tongue, relevant, lieutenant, diarrhea. Now I typed them correctly,  thanks to the Microsoft Word feature to check spelling. Even when I work on another program I have a MSWord doc open to type out the suspicious looking words and check it out.

Now don’t jump to the conclusion that I’m a freak. Nah. Read on.


Me, the Einstein


When I was teaching in that school in Colombo Sri Lanka, I was the one who was in charge of preparing the G.C.E. application for the School candidates. I was to write the names in ENGLISH BLOCK CAPS in the given space. I had one student whose name is as follows

 “Amurtha Hastha Gunarathna Anuhas Wasala Mudhiyanse Ralahamilage Salinda Dhammika Ikiriwaththa.” Howzat?

The boy who owned this name nor his uncle who was a monk who worked in the same staff could ever remember it. The reverend was actually shocked and also amused to hear that I read out the name by heart. I had one hell of a time writing this name in that small box reserved for that. I actually managed to squeeze it in, in miniature font, dividing the box into three narrow strips.

And, this happened about 15 years ago and now I typed the name by memory.

I am not alone. The truth is out there!!!


Still think I’m a freak? Then what about this dude Wilbert?

Wilbert was a laborer who worked at a grinding mill in my neighborhood. He had one hell of a talent. He would tell you the registration number of any present or past vehicle in the area and the present status of the sold vehicles and pedigree of them. This includes whether it is in running condition, condemned, totaled up or whatever. He knows the registration numbers of my first car and bike. Believe me. He has this RSS feed and up-to-date database and is like, “I saw your old car in Avissawella. That van your brother sold to Angoda  is now in Kalaniya.”

Actually this dude would have been a very valuable resource person to the RMV (DMV), but he works at a grinding mill!!!

One day after testing his skill for some time, which most of us do as a popular pastime, I asked, “Wilbert, what's your NIC number?”

“Oops,” the Wilbert said with a stupid grin on his face.  

”I can’t remember that.”



4 comments:

  1. Hey Dude, U've a brilliant memory about the childhood even though u say that u aren't good at recalling #s. It's amazing and we too are benefited by that. Thanks 4 sharing them with us. DJ.

    ReplyDelete
  2. හිංචි මල්ලිOctober 20, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    Thanks god, i thought i'm the only one like this. My first job was in a taxi company. Girls that work there can remember about 250 vehicle's numbers and where they are, are they on a hire, where they went last day / condition driver's name etc.
    but can't remember what they eat for the lunch. that's the memory.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow what a memory!!!!! Kind of like amma's memory on b days.

    About long names, these days there is an Indian ad on tv. One guy comes to a government offie to get some work done and he has to dictate his name to a guy there. He starts and keeps n saying and doesnt stop. After a while the guy in charge stops writing and stares in shock. What has happened is when he was born his dad has been given a Rotomac gel pen to write his name with by the hospital staff. He has loved the pen so much that he has gone on writing names!!!!!😁😁😁😁😁

    Awesome article!!!!! 👍👍👍👍👍

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow what a memory!!!!! Kind of like amma's memory on b days.

    About long names, these days there is an Indian ad on tv. One guy comes to a government offie to get some work done and he has to dictate his name to a guy there. He starts and keeps n saying and doesnt stop. After a while the guy in charge stops writing and stares in shock. What has happened is when he was born his dad has been given a Rotomac gel pen to write his name with by the hospital staff. He has loved the pen so much that he has gone on writing names!!!!!😁😁😁😁😁

    Awesome article!!!!! 👍👍👍👍👍

    ReplyDelete

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