Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Timmy Mallet and the Theory of Evolution

I am a man living in a small flat who often has to spend five minutes looking for his keys before he leaves it. The mechanics of my brain frequently fails following tasks:: a) instruct my movable arm to put my keys in the same place every time I get home, b) in case of failing ‘a’ store the location of my keys in my memory. This could be because sub-consciously I decide that such information really isn’t worth wasting limited memory on; that all that is stored there now cannot be discarded for such piffling convenience of being able to go outside.

But the principle of the brain’s memory holding the most important stuff in it whilst refusing to hold that which is less useful falls down clumsily on its arse as soon as you partake in an afternoon’s tour around it recesses and see just what a load of crap has been lying about there for years. I for example know that eighties children’s TV host Timmy Mallett has had an art exhibition in a place called Pinder Hall; and that’s not a memory by the way; I’ve never been to Pinder, I don’t have any particularly interest in art or Timmy Mallett and wasn’t waiting for this unlikely and exciting combination to change this situation. In fact I’ve no idea how I know this information, yet my brain resolutely refuses to replace this knowledge with something which could be traditionally described as ‘more useful’ - like when my M.O.T. is due or the age of my mother.

The answer to why this happens is available for y’all in the Theory of Evolution. The often random way our brain soaks up information has been sufficient – and as a species we are most likely unique in this way. In fact, back when our species was living in caves (where the fuck are all these caves?) the knowledge of Mallett's art soirĂ©e would most likely have been advantageous to the chance of having your genes reproduced.

But let us not be complacent: It may be in the future that homo-sapiens who can always find their keys do gain an evolutionary advantage; that those that can’t fill their brain-boxes with useful facts that allow an ordered and efficient lifestyle will be shunned by the opposite gender who crave the company of those that know what kind of fuel their car takes. The sorting-office of the brains of future generations of people like me might deteriorate to such an extent that whilst knowing Michael Parkinson’s favourite ice-cream and the history of the Lola-Ball, they are unable to remember what a pen does or where they put their reproductive organs. That’s why every time I waste five minutes of my life searching for and then retrieving my keys from the fridge - I’m not annoyed or frustrated - but glad that I live in a time when this can still happen.


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