Humans utilize less than half their brains. Unfortunately, the gray matter I do use is overly devoted to trivial matters.
I'm mindful that my cerebrum resembles an old coffee can chock-full of wing nut pop culture references and factoids. Television theme songs, spark plug gap settings, junior high locker combinations; all assorted nuts and bolts rattling around my brainpan.
Who really needs to retain innate bits of useless information when there is Google. I should devote my thoughts to higher brain cell callings like learning a foreign language or remembering my wedding anniversary.
It's a well established statistic that 75 percent of brain growth takes place between newborn and age six. However, I don't share that percentage when our 10-year-old daughter complains that her head is too full for math homework.
Why do certain dribbles of pointless knowledge get stuck in the folds of long-term memory? The answer can often be traced back to childhood.
At a time when your sponge-like brain could have absorbed Latin, you memorized the words to "Found a Peanut" or school bus variations on "There Once Was a Man From Nantucket." My brain was undone by another adolescent affliction: Saturday morning cartoons.
Commercial jingles, like most self-help books, are chewing gum for the brain — except they stick to the cerebral hemisphere and not your hair.
I don't own a cat or even like them. I'm a dog guy. However, I can recite all 16 "meows" in the Meow Mix ad. While my spelling skills are suspect, I still know "b-o-l-o-g-n-a" thanks to Oscar Mayer's earworm tune.
My brain would be better served if I had memorized something meaningful like Lord Tennyson's "Ulysses" or a Mozart overture. I instead have brain cells permanently occupied to this:
"Come on down to Meat City Market,
bring your car there's room to park it,
Every day is a special day,
when you shop the Meat City way,
Meat City, Meat City, Rah, Rah!"
We all have quirks when it comes to committing certain things to memory. My father still remembers the serial number on his rifle six decades after his stint in the U.S. Army. I can tell you the manual transmission shift pattern for a 1978 Chevette.
With all the inutile stuff kicking around our heads it's amazing we don't spring a cerebrospinal fluid leak. Somehow there's always room in that 25 percent brain to retain the 1961 American League home run champ or house address numbers to places that no longer exist.
Yet I need constant yellow sticky-note reminders to pick up my flesh and blood from elementary school.
Years ago I came across a tidbit on a classic music composer nearly driven insane by a solitary note. Funny, the guy's name and note escapes my Googleless addle brain at the moment.