Life seemed amazingly simple when my husband Paul and I were in our early twenties and in full possession of our brain cells. If a memory escaped me, all I had to do was ask Paul a question, watch him crinkle his forehead in concentration, as he fired a few brain cells into retrieval mode and –presto!–he had the correct answer in a flash. Question asked, question answered. End of subject.

In our twenties, a typical conversation would go…

Me: “What was the name of that wound up actor in The Deer Hunter? You know, he played the soldier who went nuts when he was tortured as a POW in Viet Nam and after the war he played Russian roulette for fun and profit?

Paul: That was Christopher Walken.

Me: Oh, that’s right! Thanks.

Once we hit our late thirties, our brains slowly and insidiously became clogged and constipated. When asked a question, the only way we could extract an answer was to apply a virtual brain plunger, clamp the suction tightly in place, and with the strength of ten men, plunge repeatedly until an answer would pry itself loose from the echo-filled abyss (where it is trivia answers reside) and grudgingly reveal itself. The scary part: Often a few days after asking a question, we’d forget the answer and have to ask the same question again.

This time, the typical conversation would be more of a head-scratcher:

Me: Who was that guy in that movie–I can’t remember the name of the movie–you know, the Viet Nam epic with Meryl Streep. Who was the hyper guy who went nuts?

Paul: That was..give me a minute…DeNiro, no… Christopher something.

Me: Yeah, Christopher something! What’s his last name? Let’s go through the alphabet and see if we can remember. Somehow I remember his last name began with a letter near the end of the alphabet.

A half hour later, out-of-the-blue…

Paul: Hmm, I think his name has to do with transportation. Yeah, something like rider or sitter… wait! It’s walker. Christopher Walker. No, that’s not right. Walken! Christopher Walken.

Me: Bingo!

In days of yore, when Wooly Mammoths roamed the earth, we kept lists and scribbled notes–notes we’d promptly file and lose. So the question-agony-answer cycle was doomed to repeat itself.

The day we bought a computer was a great day, indeed. We discovered data bases. We created a “Senile File” and the first name entered was–you guessed it–Christopher Walken. Whenever we had a question, no matter the topic–we’d consult the Senile File knowing the answer, despite the nature of the question, stood a decent chance of being–you guessed it–Christopher Walken.

The years passed and so evolved the Internet. We evolved, or should I say dissolved-into the dawn of our 50s. Our brains took a mocking journey of their own.

Me: Who was the crazy guy in that movie?

Paul: What guy? What movie?

Me: You know. The movie about that war with that super intense actor who always plays hot-headed characters so brilliantly?

Paul: We’ve seen hundreds of war movies with hundreds of intense actors. Can you be more specific?

Me: Specific about what?

Paul: What’s for dinner?

Generations X, Y and beyond are lucky. They have no need for a senile file; instead, they sign on to the Internet and summon their omnipresent butler, Jeeves, or one of his pals, Ms. Google or Mr. Lycos and friends, to spare their yet-to-be-taxed brains the agony of fruitless thought and to produce answers for them, about any ol’ topic, cheetah-quick.

Since Paul and I use the Internet daily, too, we no longer worry about forgetting Christopher Walken’s name. Who’s Walken? You know…He played that guy who was in that war movie the Deer Killer…or was it the Deer Slayer? Drat! I’d better check to see if Christopher Walken has a Web site. I’m sure the name of that film will be listed somewhere.

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Jillian Leslie


  • Jillian Leslie is an incredible angel that has touched the lives of many through her sharing and caring. He life challenge with bouts of surgeries and all types of treatments for her cancers is extraordinary. Her love, compassion and care manifests itself in her wonderful site, Everyday Warriors. Her sense of humor and dignity is a blessed gift for all who visit with her.