The big medical news this month is that eating fish at least once a week is good for your memory. I don’t how this can be big news. They’ve been calling fish "brain food" for 50 years.

Of course, researchers also told us last year not to eat a lot of fish, because most of it is contaminated and that if you eat too much you will glow in the dark. I guess this year’s researchers forgot that.

I don’t believe this memory thing at all. When I was in high school I ate fish sticks three days a week and tuna sandwiches on weekends. Then I went to college where I spent half my waking hours looking for either my car or my spiral notebook. So much for the memory theory.

However, when I was a junior in college I used to go down to this pub every Friday night and eat crab cakes and drink six bottles of beer. I do have a distinct recollection of getting thrown out of the bar several times, so maybe there is something to this memory thing after all.

Now 40 years later as I enter my golden years, I get a little perturbed about all this talk about memory loss, especially in older people. I’m no rocket scientist but it seems to me there is a logical explanation for all this supposed forgetfulness. Think of your head as a jar (this may be tough for those of you who are metaphorically challenged). Inside this jar are pieces of memory-beans.

My theory is that you can only get so many beans in that jar. For argument’s sake, let’s say 568,777,879,575, 001 beans will fit in your jar. That last bean is your memory of where you just put down your reading glasses. Sadly, your jar is now out of space. This is a problem because your wife calls and says "Don’t forget to turn off the stove before you leave to go fly-fishing." But that bean won’t fit. Uh oh.

As you age, your jar fills up. You are not losing your memory; you just have to get rid of a bean if you want to put in a new one in. When you are young, there’s room for a several cans of beans, so your head can keep stuff in it that you have absolutely no use for.

That’s why when you are 35, you can go to a party and remember the host’s name even after two frozen daiquiris.

When you near 60, you’ve got to make some important choices. Let’s say you still want to remember that glorious night you spent with Gladys at Club Med in l964. Okay, fine, but that means you’re going to go downstairs to get a roll of toilet paper and come upstairs with two pork chops from the freezer. You may not want to face this, but it may be time to say adios to the memory of your love fest in Martinque…or go without toilet paper.

Is this starting to make sense?

The bottom line is if you hate halibut, flounder, tilapia and mahi mahi, there is no reason to force yourself to eat it. Your memory will be just as good if you eat at The House of Ribs as if you dined at The Salmon Shack.

And don’t you forget it.



Watch for Dick Wolfsie’s column Wednesday in the Rushville Republican. Add a comment at www.rushvillerepublican.com.

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