My dad, who has a penchant for sending me Wall Street Journal articles, recently branched out into CNN articles. Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox with the subject line: “I just saw it on CNN: Man's rare ability may unlock secret of memory”. It was an article about a man with hyperthymestic syndrome, a condition involving excessive remembering. Give him a date and he can tell you not only what he was doing but what world events happened that day. I wrote back to Dad, “That’s so unfair. I would have done so much better in school if I had a better memory.” My father responded with one of the strangest, more spectacular emails I’ve ever received from him. It read:
I’m really jealous of people who can recall in great detail. There is a guy who goes to the catechism class at the prison on Monday nights (he’s an inmate) who studied at a seminary at one time who can recall an amazing amount of detail about the church’s history (he also helped me pronounce “concupiscence” last night - as I was reading the night’s lesson).
'Scuse me???I love how he casually drops “the catechism class at the prison on Monday nights.” I should point out that my dad is not in prison. I have no idea what he was doing there. The man works in the cable industry. I guess he’s now ministering to The People (and the incarcerated people, at that) in his spare time. Very humanitarian of him. I also had no clue what “concupiscence” meant and when I looked it up just now on dictionary.com, all I saw was “sexual desire; lust” before I was frantically moving my cursor in the direction of the X at the top right hand corner of the page.