Laughing all the way: Zombieland: Newcastle

September 2, 2011

By Pat Detmer

I’ve always been missing a few vital brain synapses. My friends and family are well aware of this, most especially The Sainted One, who is forced to bail me out on a regular basis. This would be a whole lot funnier if there weren’t unsubstantiated rumors of Alzheimer’s in my bloodline. But when I do something brainless and ask The Sainted One if he’s worried about me, his response is always the same: “How could I tell if you have a problem? You’ve always been this way.”

For years I’ve pretended that my fogginess is just a sign of a certain kind of genius — something like Einstein not being able to dress himself — but now I’m starting to wonder. Am I, in fact, a zombie in search of a total brain replacement? Witness a recent trip to town:

I was proudly carrying my new organizational over-the-shoulder bag, a bag made specifically for folks like me, or so my girlfriend told me when she gifted me with it: a pouch for your phone, a pocket for your money or credit cards, a special place for your keys. Thus armed, how could I go wrong? Let me count the ways …

1. I am going into Bartell’s and retrieve my reusable Bartell’s bag from the trunk. I lay my keys down as I rummage for it and say to myself: “Wow. Do not leave your keys in here or you are screwed.”

2. I shop and get to the checkout counter. I’m returning an item, and I find that I don’t have the receipt on me because there’s no receipt pocket in my new organizational bag. I tell the young man at the checkout that I’ll just grab it from the car. I’m sure that it’s on the front passenger seat, and my car is parked right outside the door. I run out to the car, and sure enough, there’s the receipt. But my car is…

3. …locked, of course, but I have my key in the special key compartment of my new organizational bag, so I check there, but can’t find it. In that moment I’m sure that in spite of my self-admonition, I’ve locked my keys in the trunk, so I go back into the store, and because I…

4. …forgot my cellphone at home, I ask to use the landline there so that I can call The Sainted One to bring some keys. Minutes later, he appears and uses the extra key to pop open the trunk which is…

5. …empty, whereupon I look at him sheepishly while I search again in my new and very special organizational bag for the keys. I find them in the phone pouch, which was, of course, empty since I’d forgotten my phone.

So if you see me wandering aimlessly through downtown Newcastle muttering “Brains … brains!” be afraid. Be very afraid.

Pat Detmer will be selling her book at the Newcastle Days Sidewalk Sale to benefit Newcastle Parks.

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