What clogs your memory banks?

Did you see any action, did you make any friends? Would you like some affection, before I leave again?”

It’s probably been two decades since I’ve heard “Never Been Any Reason” by Head East. But when I heard those words last week, the lyrics to the entire song came back as if it were the summer of 1975 and the song was in heavy rotation on FM radio.

Why? Because my mind absorbs lyrics like a sponge. In fact my mind is so full of song lyrics from the 1970s that there’s no longer much space for useful information like my kids’ birthdays or my social security number.

Sometimes, this is helpful as I can mouth the words to the fourth verse of “Pinball Wizard” while searching for my car keys I misplaced ten minutes ago. But usually it’s just annoying, as I desperately try to recall the first name of the person I just met at a party. Or now, when I can’t get “Save my life I’m going down for the last time” out of the way so I can write this blog article.

What Clogs Your Brain?What I need is a mental search function and “delete” button, e.g. “REO Speedwagon” + [Search] and “Delete All”. After all, I didn’t even like those songs when they first came out, and yet there they are, faithfully preserved by my finite synapses, seemingly until the day I die. Or maybe even: “1977” + [Search] + “Delete All”, although I’m afraid there are some Elvis Costello lyrics I really need to keep in there.

I suspect we all have our own version of this. I once knew a woman who worked as a bank teller and could remember everyone’s account and phone number. And I sense my son is destined to fill his memory with baseball statistics.

So what clogs your memory banks? If you can provide the line after: “I put her out in a town that was so small, you could throw a rock from end to end,” then you’re in my boat. Need a hint?