Friday, 4 December 2009


Is there any other word for the inability to remember names? Numbers and dates, I'm fine with. Names and faces escape me.

The first time I mentored a group for a Kabbalah class, I made a concerted effort to remember the names of the ladies on my table. Rather keen to be a 'Good Mentor' I tried to arrange for the group to meet for coffee before the next class, and waited at the allotted time outside a busy tube station.

I stood for fifteen minutes searching the faces of every passer-by before I realised that I couldn't remember what any of my students looked like. I had remembered their names, but not their faces. Oh bugger. Hiding around a corner, I rang each of their mobiles in turn and peered through the crowd searching for any young woman answering a phone.

Another half hour later I realised that it wasn't important that I didn't remember their faces because none of them were going to show up (a lesson learned) and have been working on a technique to help me remember both names and faces. I think I might be scaring people - either that or they think I am permanently constipated. Whatever method I am trying doesn't seem to be working, so now I have decided to master the art of conversation when you can't remember someone's name. Wish me luck.

Last night two men boarded the tube I was on - one of them was extremely drunk and having trouble standing up, and the other was constantly checking to see if he was okay. Then I realised that I knew the man who was drunk. In fact, I spent a year hanging around with him when I was on student placement ten years ago, then kept in touch for several years afterwards as part of the student crowd. We'd been to Dorset, Cambridge, London... and his name is.... and his name is.....

What's his name? Oooo.... it's Rob's Friend ----....... Rob's Friend---------- "Rob won't be coming along tonight and neither will -----" Shit.

Roger? Jake? Jason? Jeff? James? Jay? Kevin? Kenneth? Keith? Carl? No.... let's start with the A's.... Alan? Adam? Aiden? Adie? Ade? Adie? Aiden? Bert? Brian? Billy? William? Charles? Charlie? David? Dave? Davey? Don? Don? Donald? Don? Ron? Damon? Damien? Darth Maul? Diego? Eric? Ernie? Fred? Fernando? Graham? Gary? Gollum? (*silly*) Harry? Ian?
J... J... I'm sure it begins with a J...
The names went through my head all of the way from the Underground to the overground train home. There was a black hole where his name had been. I know this man! I've met his wife! What's his name?! It's..... It's....
Jonathan! No! James! Jake! Gah! What is it?! Hang on... it'll come to me...
Every time I caught an inkling of the tail end of his name it slipped out of my grasp like an eel. And I hate eels.

Fifteen minutes later and I am still working through the alphabet, repeating all of the names I had thought of before, and more, trying to fit them to his face.
Oh this is stupid. Steve? Steve? Steven? Sevriano? Simon? Si? Sean? Salmon? (Salmon??) Sherwood? Vernon? Vick? Mike? Michael? Micky? Martin? Mark? Ryan? Richard? Rick? Ricky? Tom? Thomas? Tommy? Terry?

TIM!!!!! It's TIM!!!!

Oh, where'd he go? I wanted to say hello to him.

Went to visit my Business Advisor this morning (and yes, I do remember his name). The journey on the way there and back was on the big bus, which was nice and warm. On the way home I noticed a sign outside a church which read "Don't forget Jesus this Christmas"

Oh crap - I don't even know what to get Dad for Christmas... let alone Jesus....


  1. Thank goodness it wasn't Zach. Nice post, whatever your name is.

  2. Alan: Every time I come across your name, I remember the prairie dog shouting "Alan! Alan! Alan! Al! Alan! Al!...." I guess that's one way to do it... not that you look anything like a prairie dog... (stop digging, KR...)

  3. Have you been sipping the funny juice?? Very Funny!!!!

  4. Nicola: This week I have mostly been sipping the funny juice... Actually I think it is a little bit of over-excitement from selling things and rediscovering the magic of this paper stuff called money. Sod Fear workshops... "Come on ladies and gentlemen - five CDs for six quid!!! get your CDs here!!!! cheap at twice the price!!!" :o)

  5. Hilarious. That same thing happens to me. I forget everyone's name eventually. My wife,, my wife thinks I must have suffered some kind of brain damage from early and often over consumption of alcohol.

  6. That was so funny.
    A good one to read before going to sleep.