There I was cruising along in my motoring car, keeping to my own side of the road, with the wireless on. Only for the fact that I was driving, I would have jumped out of my own standing with what I suddenly heard coming over the airwaves. The lovely Katie Hannon was interviewing … let’s not be sexist here, Lads … the lovely Katie was interviewing the lovely minister for health, Stephen Donnelly. The interview caused me to swerve into a layby – thankfully, on my own side of the road.
The minister stated that it has now been proven beyond doubt that people’s memories are not performing as well as they used to. We are not talking just about old people ( leaving aside the fact that there is no such thing as old people, when you get to my age); no, the minister reeled figures off the top of his head to show that all age groups are being affected by poor memory retention.
When pressed by Katie as to the reason for this – which is ‘gan dabnt’, a health crisis, Mr Donnelly, explained that the available data suggests that our brains are not being exercised sufficiently, due to the ‘push button’ society we now live in. ‘A lot of people have never even heard of mental arithmetic,’ said the minister; …’if you don’t use it, you lose it.’ I did hear or read about this previously – but I can’t for the life of me, remember where or when.
It transpires that our esteemed minister for health has the problem under control and it is his proposed solution that left both myself and Katie momentarily speechless. I wrote it down…
The good news for you lazy-brained lot is that there are supplements you can take to improve your memory, focus, mental energy, and problem-solving skills. These supplements are called ‘nootropics’. I’ll tell you the names of a few of these supplements – but you won’t remember them … yet! It doesn’t matter, as long as you get the stuff into you.
There is Phosphatidy Iserine and then there is Bacopa Monniera; a herb used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine. Huperzine is extracted from a plant and guaranteed to make you a candidate for ‘The Chase’. You don’t need any more detail … just take the stuff.
This recital of information was just Minister Donnelly’s warm up act for his big announcement. The Government has decided to add all of the above supplements to our bread. Every bakery in the country has been mandated on the correct amount of brain food that should be included in every sliced pan. Katie, with the clock beating her, had two final question for her guest. Firstly was this an EU directive; to which the minister replied; ‘no it isn’t … but this way, the Irish can retain their standing as the smartest race in Europe’. Finally, Katie thought she had him, when she asked; ‘why put it in the bread … surely people can just take the supplements with their morning Cod Liver Oil’? ‘They wouldn’t remember to take it,’ concluded the minister.
I eased my vehicle back out into the slow lane – deep in thought. As luck would have it, I came upon a shop on my side of the road and there, delivering bread, was the best bread salesman in the country. He was delivering today’s bread today when I nabbed him in the doorway. ‘I can’t believe what I have just heard on the radio about what yiz are putting in the bread; is this some sort of joke or what?’ ‘We don’t joke about our bread’, said Adrian. ‘Those of us on the inside have been eating the new formula for the past three months.’ ‘And do you see any difference’, I asked? ‘Any difference …’ he replied; ‘up until three months ago I could only tell you how Mayo footballers faired out since 1951, but ask me now the score of every match for the past 72 years and I’ll tell you; or would you like to be reminded on how badly you scored when you played on my team in a squash tournament final in 1990?’ ‘Could I please have two sliced pans and a brown cake’, I asked meekly…
I arrived home and bounced in the back door; a memory loaf under each oxter and a brown cake in my left hand. ‘What are you looking so happy about,’ enquired Mrs Youcantbeserious. Then the downside of the breakthrough hit me: The wife too will be eating this bread – and she already has the memory of an elephant and the nose of a bloodhound where I am concerned. It could be a burdensome April …
Because I am not on social media, you might like to know that I had porridge for my breakfast this morning, followed by a slice of toast and marmalade and two mugs of tea.