I don't forget things because I'm old. I forget because I know too much. You young pups thought we old fogeys slipped a gear or three. Nope.
The brains of us, uh, experienced types must sift through tons more more facts and figures than the kids.
That's why it takes so long for us to remember where we left the car keys. And the car. If we even had the car. Or rode with someone else. Trivial things like that.
The common theory for years was that mental capabilities decline with age. You know - old people get stupid. Ask any teenager. They are convinced that their parents grow more ignorant by the day.
But in a report published in the journal Topics in Cognitive Science, researcher Dr. Michael Ramscar of the University of Tubingen in Germany says, ''The brains of older people do not get weak. On the contrary, they simply know more.''
So there. We aren't forgetful. We're too brilliant to remember.
Ramscar compared it to a computer. The more gunk that's stored on the hard drive, the longer it takes the machine to rattle through all the data to pull up the information.
For four years, I've loaded my laptop with so many videos, games, documents, photos, recipes, jokes, and programs I've yet to figure out how to run that sometimes, the machine practically stalls when I try to open the next hyperlink.
Finally, I have to shut the thing down and let it take a nap. It's the same strategy my wife uses on me.
So it's not thoughtlessness that causes me to forget birthdays and anniversaries on their exact dates - or years. It's science.
As you may recall - but probably not if you're older than 45 or 50 - two years ago, I diagnosed the problem: Crammed Cranium Syndrome.
After about 45 or 50 years, you've cluttered up the gray matter with so much knowledge that the brain leaks excess information out your ears every night to make room for all the new facts and figures you'll pack in the next day.
Brains use their own version of random access memory, tossing out willy-nilly incidentals like the name of your favorite musical group.
Or the name of your wife.
On top of that, you're so chock-full of smarts that it takes a while to call to mind tidbits that didn't leak out during the nightly brain dump.
So I was thinking, we can buy external hard drives for our computers to increase processing power and storage space.
Why not cerebral RAM? We could tote external cerebellum hard drives in fanny packs. It's been suggested that that's pretty close to where I keep my brain anyway.
I base this on recent reports that fewer of us feature all our original parts. Dr. Daniel J. Berry of the Mayo Clinic reports that 5 percent of all Americans older than 50 have replaced knees, and 2 percent replaced hips, big increases in both. And think about all those dentures, pace-makers, silicone and the like.
You can buy hair extensions. I figure the day will come when we drop by computer kiosk and pick up brain extensions.
That's what I'm thinking today. Of course, tomorrow, chances are my system will be down and I won't remember I said any of this. But only because I'm too brilliant.
---- If you remember, you can write Cole at email@example.com, or find him on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.