Maybe I Remember Pong. Who’s Asking?

Shoot. Darn. Heck. Nothing syncs up anymore.

Recently, while shopping for skulls, I made an amazing discovery—my brain wouldn’t fit in the new skulls.

You’ll remember I needed a new skull because my sinuses seemed to have filled up or caved in on the old model.  As much as I hate change, I installed a sleek beauty skull with high cheek-bones and extra hard-headedness.  But when I got it home I discovered—my brain wouldn’t fit.

It seems our humanoid gray matter grew for the first 20,000 years, but has been shrinking ever since. So the new brains are 10% smaller than Cro-Magnon man. (That’s a chunk about as big as a tennis ball).

The salesman was as slick-tongued as ever, assuring me I didn’t need that missing10%. “Remember the first cell phones?” he asked.

“No, I don’t know anything before Justin Bieber, Glee, and sugar-free, caffeine-free Dr. Pepper.”

He grinned like a zoo monkey, pretending to buy the lie in trade for a sale. “Well, the first cell phones were as big as lamps. Technology has improved. So has the brain.”

“You mean we’ve dumbed down?” I asked.

“No one’s sure,” he mumbled into the J-pegs holding brain apps. “Some scientists argue that as human society grows increasingly complex, individuals don’t need to be as intelligent in order to survive and reproduce. In any case you don’t need the brain cells you lost. It was probably just multiplication tables, old poetry, and reruns of I Love Lucy.”

“Never heard of it,” I lied. Dang! I liked that show.

“However,” he pontificated, adding his best ape grin, “An anthropologist at the Duke University Institute for Brain Sciences (Brian Hare), thinks a smaller brain is a domesticated brain.”

I squinted at him. “I have domestic chickens.  They’re stupider than a box of rocks. Some of them drown because they don’t know to come in out of the rain.”

“Well…” he continued, ignoring my dead chicken problem, “A smaller brain is the signature of selection against aggression, and an increase in tolerance.”

“You want me to trade how-to-use-an-abacus for not-getting- bent-out-of-shape-that-Starbucks-hikes-the-price-of-peppermint-drinks during December? Is that what you mean by tolerance?”

“No. You’re right.” He squinted at me as though I were the insane one. “It could be the dumbing-down of the gene pool.”

"The governer's on line one, Barb."

I scowled at him until he lumbered away, then I bought a Wii.

According to the Japan Medical Journal, 42 patients suffering from brain tumors and head injuries were introduced to ping pong.  In all players, even the crappy ones, blood flow to the brain increased.  Additionally, dementia levels dropped from high to intermediate.

Sign me up. Let a fresh load of blood wake up my last two blinking brain cells. I might even admit to remembering the original Hawaii-Five-O.Ping Pong

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About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
This entry was posted in A Laugh, Choices, Humor, Life, Satire and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

57 Responses to Maybe I Remember Pong. Who’s Asking?

  1. Pingback: Leaking Music from the Past | Before Morning Breaks

  2. I remember all that stuff. Pong? Santa challenged me to one game that Christmas Eve, just to make sure it was working right for the kids. I beat him. One more, he said. I beat him again. THREE HOURS LATER I finally let him win a game so that I could get some sleep.

    Ah, if only that translated to computer skills…!

    Like

  3. I can’t imagine where you got that photo – starbucks? Just kidding. In support I want you to know that I got my own peppermint flavoring. One small gesture for solidarity.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Whoo hoo!!! Every movement starts with one. You and me…we’ll take over the peppermint-drink world. Thank your for your thoughtful Occupy Peppermint Drink contribution.

      Like

  4. Nisha says:

    Ha ha! What a brilliant post! You had me laughing like Beavis-and-Butthead all the way through. 😀

    But on a more *ahem* serious note, how great would it be if the main reason for our brains shrinking was that we were losing all unwanted memories? You know, like the time you embarassed yourself in front of the guy you had a crush on or the time a stranger caught you with your pants down(not that any of this happened to me, of course, ahem). Why cant we retain the good stuff and let the bad go on its merry way? Ah, the imperfections of life…

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    • Barb says:

      Aaaaaaah Nisha, you pose a good question. But he answer is because we’re goofballs. (Sorry to call you that, but I’m referring to all of humankind). Without painful memories, I’d be destined to pick up hot skillets and think guys who say, “I don’t want to work,” are still cool. One of my biggest imperfections is repeating mistakes…obviously I need to play more ping pong and develop some new synapses.

      Like

  5. gigihawaii says:

    playing ping pong is fun, but watching it is hypnotic.
    how do you like the more recent Hawaii 5-0?

    Like

    • Barb says:

      OOOOHHH, I’m thrilled to get the scoop on 5-O from someone in Hawaii. I’m wondering what the locals think of it. I’ve never watched an episode all the way through, so I guess that’s my opinion. I channel surf and never get back to the show.

      Like

      • gigihawaii says:

        That’s funny, because the only programs I watch on TV are the news and sports. But, my husband watches everything — especially Hawaii 5-0. He enjoys the show, which is popular in Hawaii.

        Like

  6. riatarded says:

    How’s your new brain treating you now? 😉

    Like

    • Barb says:

      I’m trying to get gigihawaii to send me lots of pineapple. I’m sure pineapple would be better for the new brain than the pine cones we have here.

      Like

  7. mj monaghan says:

    I sometimes have to grow my hair out to make room for my brain. I just wish it operated efficiently as the average person! 🙂

    Like

  8. ansuyo says:

    My poor brain has had a rift and now the right side and left side are alternately ignoring each other or trying to out-talk one another. Either way – non aggression – yeah right! Great post:) Angie

    Like

  9. I think what you have is a family sized brain. You thought you had sinusitis but what really was all the family home at once. They have grown and there just isn’t room for them all. When they can wander round out in the world and drop in for visits everything is fine. And you, and we, benefit from the new perspectives they bring home. So send them all out in the world and stretch out and relax. Just not too much because we want to hear about the perspectives they bring home. And tell the daughter who is camping over at Two Pan that she could come home a bit more often.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      E.C. Are you saying that I have lots of people roaming around in my head? Sounds like a condition that Freud would enjoy.
      I wish I had a family-sized brain. Mostly I wander around the empty-rooms of my brain wondering where I filed stuff. It would be nice if the “Number room” worked more efficiently. Pin numbers, phone numbers, passcodes, etc. Maybe I should tattoo them on my tummy. I could hike up my shirt and check my stomach for numbers when I go to the ATM. That would be a bit of a hoot, don’t you think?

      Like

      • Here at least ‘family sized’ means big. As in a big bar of chocolate. And then I further extrapolated and envisaged your neurons roaming – as your posts indicate they clearly do.
        You are not alone in wondering where you have filed stuff, knowing that it is in there somwhere…. The tattoo might work – but I think I would forget (as I do now) which one relates to what.
        I may have to go back to being grateful that I can hide my own Easter Eggs and be pleasantly surprised when I uncover them days/weeks/whenever later.
        Freud is/was a very scary man with far to much thought given to his own appendage. As are freudians.

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  10. Roxie Matthews says:

    Your brains are well exercised because you frequently let them play outside the box. They have great big outdoor-brain muscles and are not going to be comfortable in a high-fashion head anymore than real feet can be comfortable in high-fashion shoes.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Well, I’ve never thought of it like that. I just know if it’s a comfortable shoe…it’s going to be ugly. Of course, having friends like you with wicked humor to exercise with…helps a lot. By the way, you must wear so many cool hats in order to cover your big brain.

      Note to Self: Get hats for the Souvenir shop.

      Like

  11. souldipper says:

    Whatever sized brain you used to write this, keep it. You had me in stitches, Barb. You are definitely one to keep any salesperson dancing on the polished soles of their two-toned shoes.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Thanks for your patient kindness. Sales people don’t think I’m funny. I don’t think any of my family does either. They don’t subscribe, saying….”We get enough of her humor already.”

      Like

  12. My brain is shrinking………….at least, it feels that way to me. 🙂

    Like

  13. pegoleg says:

    Not everybody can rock a big brain like that, but on you it looks good. Reminds me of that rap song, “I like big brains and I cannot lie…”

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Thank you. I haven’t heard the song. But here’s a beauty from your home state: sung to the tune of “I’ve Been Working On the Railroad” lyrics by Linda Lubhart, Vicki Wielgopolan, Debora Parisot, Kathy Despain and Bev Richardson – teachers in Power Tools, Mendota, Illinois)

      I’ve been working on my neurons, All the livelong day.
      I’ve been working on my neurons, Just to make my dendrites play.
      Can’t you hear the synapses snapping? Impulses Bouncing to and fro
      Can’t you tell that I’ve been learning–See how much I know.

      (from Brain Songs: http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/songs.html

      (I fixed this. The original html made the formatting goofy. ) Voices All together now…

      Like

      • pegoleg says:

        You have GOT to be freakin’ kidding me. I have dinner with Kathy Despain and a big group of friends every Friday night!!!!! OMG – I didn’t know this. Will have to call her right now!

        Like

        • Barb says:

          This is too much of a quinky-dink. No wonder your humor is so sharp when you keep it honed with dendrite-stimulating friends like this. Tell her we’re singing her tune in Oregon and hope to be smarter the next time we ask questions of the Geek Squad.

          Like

      • pegoleg says:

        I forgot in my excitement at how random life is, my comment would have been much funnier if you were familiar with the song I’m quoting. Here’s the YouTube video http://youtu.be/2ImZTwYwCug.

        Like

        • Barb says:

          Snort. I’ve got the perfect place to use this. Thanks. If dancing to that rap song would give me a posterior like those gals have, then I’d play it 24/7.

          Like

    • Nisha says:

      “I like big brains and I cannot lie…”

      Ha ha ha ha!!! That’s brilliant! 😀

      Like

  14. Helen Wand says:

    Barb, your clinical and psycological research is in valuable and I’m glad it got published! Now on the the London Journal of Medicine!

    Like

    • Barb says:

      I’m trying to find enough experts to sign off on the research so I can get it published in the elite Beavis and Butthead Take Over the World Journal. Thanks for the endorsement.

      Like

  15. Arindam says:

    You really have a nice brain, which can give birth to idea like this, to write a post. 🙂 Currently my brain is in hibernate mode, which is not giving me any idea ! I am hoping that, after reading this one, my brain will start working in normal mode. 🙂

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Thanks, Arindam. Perhaps your brain is full. A nice walk or a week-end of reality TV will clear it out. But I read your last post and I think your brain is working wonderfully.

      Like

  16. “A smaller brain is the signature of selection against aggression, and an increase in tolerance.”

    If that’s true, why are the dumbest drivers the first ones to flip you off?

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Thomas, Thomas. This is a definite sign of their brain-shrink. They’re operating from the reptilian portion of their brain so much, they’ve lost their fine-motor skills. Their dumbed down attempt to wave comes out as a one-fingered salute. And as you exit through my souvenir shop, be sure and sign the petition to have the car horn unhooked from all lizard-brained drivers.

      Like

  17. Julie says:

    Let me get this straight, our heads are getting bigger, but our brains are getting smaller? I thought that our heads and feet always continue to grow, so even as our minds decline, we can’t at least enjoy the benefit of dropping a hat size? No wonder I got so far behind in your posts! This is a classic!

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Thanks for the classic ranking. I understand our nose and ears continue to grow also. I think this is a beneficent Creator’s touch in allowing our face to match the size of our head. It also explains why some folks who spend years being jerks take on the facial characteristics of donkeys.

      Like

  18. moma escriva says:

    Oh, and cuff him Dan-o

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Oh-Ho. You remember that? I haven’t watched the new 5-O all the way through. Do they still say that? It’s a great line. We’ll wait to see if DAN posts and use it on him. Oooooh the anticipation. I may have to go over to his post and lure him back here.

      Like

  19. moma escriva says:

    I’ll challenge you to a game of ping pong, that is if I can find my signature paddle.

    Like

  20. Margie says:

    Ha! I suspected there was a general dumbing down of the gene pool! That explains the popularity of some of the reality TV shows, the willingness to believe everything just because it is on the internet… well, the list is endless, isn’t it!

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Yes, my friend. And because this is on the internet, you should believe it, too. You can stop by the souvenir shop on your way out of my blog and pick up the T-Shirt:
      My brain isn’t domesticated, yet. (Also comes in coffeemugs and on toothbrush handles. There’s a special on the Talking Boots, this month.)
      (Now watch…I’ll have some people clicking all over the page, looking for the Brainy Souvenir shop)

      Like

  21. Margie says:

    Hysterical on a Monday morning my friend. Yup, the first photo is ridiculous. I’m still smiling. Margie

    Like

  22. Your posts exercise my brain. So are you looking for the ping or glad to know just the pong? I’m asking.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      I played a game of Pong over Christmas break. It seems strange that at one time we thought Atari was so challenging. (They’re bringing the games back out). How things change…you’d think we’d need a bigger brain to make the adaptations. I guess we simply push out the Mayberry ReRuns.

      Like

  23. Hmmm, thanks to you, now I know what’s wrong with some of our politicians. They still have Neanderthal-sized brains squeezed into their widdle bitty heads. Not only does that make them less tolerant, but the discomfort that must entail also explains their unpleasant dispositions. And here I thought it was because they had pea-sized brains. Thanks for bringing me up to speed.

    Like

  24. The Hook says:

    You need a cyborg body – with regular upgrades and expansions!

    Like

    • Barb says:

      I agree, but I’m not converting until they make those cyborg-networked eyepatches in burgandy, and I’d like to hang jewelry on those hoses coming out of the skull. The Jean-Luc-Picard black style they’re presently using looks horrid on me.

      Like

  25. magsx2 says:

    Hi,
    Loved your photo’s especially the 1st one that is just hilarious.
    Looks like I’ll have to take up ping-pong to get the old brain working again. 😀
    Great post.

    Like

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