Have You Lost Your Mind Yet? Part I

Have You Lost Your Mind Yet? Part I
If you are growing older, you no doubt are also growing weary of the number of times you are asked to fill out various forms. You don’t have to be a baby boomer to know what I am referring to. The longer we are around, the older we get, the greater the number of forms we have to fill out. I am getting tired of it.

It takes more time filling out medical forms than it does to have the examination. And it takes longer to fill out your IRS tax return than it does to spend the money you earned in that calendar year.

What ever happened to the good old days when paper and ink were conserved? Have we lost those days forever?

I have good news. I am going to petition the U.S. Congress and ask them to enact a new Paper Work Act – The Paper Work Act for Lost Minds. An Act, so incredibly feasible, they will wonder why someone else hadn’t previously suggested it to them.

Imagine going to a doctor’s office for the first time, and instead of filling in answers to a long list of questions, just answering one big question – “Have you lost your mind yet?”

Think about it. Sure, our age, our address, our gender and our past medical history are important. But this information pales in comparison to the answer to the most important question of all. And that is, “Have you lost your mind yet?” That’s all they REALLY need to know about you, isn’t it?

If your answer is “No,” then they know you are still alert, vivacious, perky and full of wisdom. And then they have a legitimate reason for placing you in the rear of the line, and making you wait.

If your answer is “Yes,” then they know…well, they know you are getting older, more feeble, and increasingly more forgetful. Then they will feel sorry for you, be much more patient with you and bring you to the front of the line. (Providing you don’t spray them with saliva when you speak.) Also, they may forget to notice the food on your beard, the gray hairs in your nostrils, and the fact that your plaid pants and plaid flannel shirt do not match.

Who could argue with this one-question application suggestion? In the near future, I envision an application to AARP, with only one question under my name. And I dream of filling out an IRS return that asks for your name, your income, and whether or not you have lost your mind yet. Forget everything else, because it doesn’t matter one iota.

Please ponder for a second your application for a credit card – do you think your past credit history is important? Not nearly as important for those at VISA to learn if you have lost your mind. When you think about it, the answer to that question speaks volumes about one’s self. And the time and man-hours of work that would be conserved would be phenomenal. (Not to mention the fact that it would give those like me more time to clean up and get dressed before they left the house.)

I just may be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for making this great suggestion, except for one concern. And that would be that I couldn’t lie on my Peace Prize application. Obviously the one-question would appear there, and I would have to admit that, “Yes, I have indeed lost my mind.” No doubt, the prize would go to someone else.

Sure, I could fault the medications I take for my heart valves and to keep my blood thin. Or, I could place the blame on trying to teach middle school science students for over 30 years. Raising three kids from birth through college might be a factor. A clutter of useless information stored in my memory banks might also be an excuse. Whatever the reason, the result is undeniable – I have lost my mind.

As you await part II of this story, please feel free to make a mental note (if you still can) describing any situations you have encountered where your mind got up, and left you. Feel free too, to drop me a line and let me know how you handled your unique lost-mind situation. I will do the same and report back to you, the readers.

In the meantime, my wife just reminded me to remove the breakfast egg fragments from my unshaven face. Then I have to trim the hairs in my nostrils. Thank goodness my flannel shirt, in which I slept, is mostly gray.

Attention Readers: This story is not meant to demean or make light of the many persons who suffer from a legitimate form of dementia. The real purpose of this writing was to poke some fun at myself. As we all know, Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are not a laughing matter. And my heart goes out to those families dealing with a loved one afflicted with these conditions.

My Roots - The Potchaks - circa 1927

My Roots - The Potchaks - circa 1927
From Left: Son, Steve - Dad, Frank - Mom, Anastasia (Makar) - Sons; John, Mike, Frank, Chuck (Author's Dad) - Twins, Pete & Mary - Daughter, Catherine. Photo taken in Wilmore, PA