Monday, 5 March 2012

Units of Forgetfulness

You and I have been out and about a lot in recent days - you've been working, I've been going to parties - and nothing paranormal has happened. That, in itself, seems quite paranormal, unless you take the view that paranormal things only happen to people who stay in most of the time by themselves.

One thing that caught my eye last week was the report in the Guardian newspaper that West Midlands and Surrey police are offering a £1.5bn contract for private firms to investigate crime and detain suspects. Do you think we should tender for it? I would enjoy the investigation but I wouldn't enjoy detaining suspects. I imagine it would be a bit like having builders in the house - lots of cups of tea and coffee, and trips to Tesco up the road to buy them chocolate biscuits and muffins. Of course, builders are usually here by consent. What is the etiquette when detaining suspects? Presumably the promise of a blueberry muffin would not be enough to keep the suspects here if they didn't wish to be detained. I could lock them in the cellar. But actually I'd hate to keep someone here against their will. You know how I feel about animal rights. It would not be possible to speak out so vehemently against the imprisonment of animals in circuses and zoos while keeping suspects detained in the cellar on behalf of the West Midlands or Surrey police.

No sooner had I started writing this post, complaining that nothing paranormal had happened, than something occurred that was very mysterious (frightening, even). I went to make a bread-based snack to keep my spirits up, to help me finish writing the allocated 1000 words of my novel today. I found the bread easily enough, but I couldn't find any almond butter to put on it, even though I'd bought a jar of it the other day. It ought to have been in the 'dry goods' cupboard by the washing machine but it wasn't there. I looked in the fridge and found it in there, of all places, with the cellophane wrapper still intact. And yet I knew I had opened it and eaten some of the contents (very almondy, if you 're wondering how it tastes.) Weird! Self-healing cellophane! We could make a fortune... However, further investigation revealed a second jar of almond butter in the fridge. This one had been opened.

Remember when I thought I had bought a jar of almond butter, couldn't find it and went out and replaced it? Now I have two jars of almond butter. But why? What does it all mean? One possible explanation is that the original jar disappeared in some kind of 'Brigadoon' circumstances for 17 days, only to reappear this afternoon. Another is that the universe is calling out to me, telling me that there is plenty of paranormal activity, if only I look closely enough. Another explanation is that it's a sign of forgetfulness. I don't know how many jars of almond butter I would have to buy before calling in medical professionals, or even if such people measure forgetfulness in units of jars of almond butter.

I would like to do further research on units of forgetfulness. I think of the heyday of science as being the time when scientists were inventing new units of measurement, don't you? The kelvin, the watt, the pascal, the ampere, the ohm, the volt and the joule. I would like to give my name to a unit of forgetfulness, or to anything scientific and esoteric.

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