Columnist for Monday, 3/19 - Sun Ra

Nocturnal Emissions

So, here it is Sunday, and I'm writing this column for tomorrow. Or would it be more logical to say it is yesterday, and I am just now writing this column? No, I think I'm going to stick with my point of view. It's Sunday. You and your Monday (or later, even! Do try and keep up.) point of view can just deal.

Last night, round about two-thirty, I had a great idea for a column. I mean, it was brilliant.

Oh yeah, it's gone. I was certain that this time, I would be able to remember the idea. It was just so good. But no, my mind stored it in the 'Gilligan' sector of the brain, which all ideas we (could be the royal we, but is actually me expanding my generalization to include you, tomorrow-person) have late at night get stored in. Yes, that's the part of your brain that just doesn't realize it almost got off the island yesterday. It's happy to wear a bright red shirt and build plasma couplers out of coconuts. Maybe tomorrow someone will figure out a way off the island.

Why is that? Is some editorial part of your brain in control of storage, late at night, and, grumpy over being up late, relegates all ideas to the quick-flush? Or maybe, although the part of you that wants to be asleep isn't, the memory storage part is, and you are getting that special reduced-rate "Dream" class of service, wherein the circular file is moved directly next to the part where you do the thinking.

Of course, one way to circumvent this issue is to write stuff down when you think of it. I've tried that, and frankly the ideas that I read about when I wake up have obviously been cunningly substituted for the ones I wrote down, because rather than the Nikola Tesla idea that I know I had, it's some Gilligan idea that is on the paper.

In point of fact, I wouldn't put it past the Gilligan memory allocator to treacherously substitute its idea for the one that I really had, while I slept.

I wonder how many great ideas the world loses every night from my not being able to remember them the next day? And you know, I bet other people may have occasional ideas, too. That might even double the total. What a waste.

Maybe I should invent something to rectify the situation. I bet, if tonight I made the same clever decision to drink lots of diet coke before attempting to sleep, I could once again be awake quite late into the night. From which follows, like lemmings going to heaven, the inevitability of more brilliant ideas. Quite probably involving coconuts.

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