Forgetting by Robert Lynd
Robert Lynd is a humorous writer who deals with the ordinary matter of forgetting in a jovial manner. First he deals with the things which human beings don’t forget. Modern man remembers the telephone numbers and addresses of his friends. He does not forget the appointments for lunch and dinner. It is surprising how he remembers the names of the actors, actresses, cricketers, footballers, and murderers. No man forgets a single item in his clothing while dressing in the morning and no one forgets to shut the front door while leaving the house in the morning. Yet in some matters like taking medicine, posting letters and carrying back all things after a journey, men seem to be forgetful. Among the articles left in trains and taxis, book, walking sticks and umbrellas are very common. It is also found out that the young people forget more than the older ones and the sportsmen and anglers have worse memories than the ordinary serious minded people. A considerable number of lost balls, cricket bats and fishing rods left in trains illustrate this fact. Sometimes great men like Coleridge and Socrates may not remember ordinary things like posting letters. Yet that does not mean that intelligent people have bad memory. Often good memory is combined with intelligence. Great writers and composers of music usually have excellent memory. The author concludes his essay by giving an example of an absent minded father who took his baby in a perambulator. He left the perambulator outside to have drink in a public house on the way. Meanwhile his wife came that way for shopping and took away the baby with the perambulator. She expected that her husband would arrive with a pale face and explain the baby’s disappearance. To her shock her husband came and asked for lunch. He had forgotten that he had taken the baby with him. The author concludes that the ordinary men are surely above such level of absent-mindedness.
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