Memory Pills

D-L-R-O-W. In case no one has ever told you, that’s “world” spelled backwards. My mother began reciting that reverse sequence several years ago when she learned it’s commonly included in cognitive impairment tests. Now I’m practicing it too.

Mama’s remarkable memory has lost some reliability, but she’s still sharp with her thinking. When she tells me something important she adds, “You better write that down.”

Memory has never been a strong point of mine, plus it’s oddly selective. Some things stay with me while others quickly dissipate. Nonsense is easily retained, but useful information tends to have a short lifespan. Perhaps that reflects my priorities.

Countless ads for Prevagen convinced me it might be worth a try. My confidence in its effectiveness was bolstered by knowing it contains a special ingredient replicating a protein found in jellyfish. Nothing symbolizes mental acuity like gelatinous marine blobs.

An online site ranked several products reputed to possibly have some beneficial effect on memory enhancement. I have no idea if the information is accurate, but they listed Prevagen at number five and Stonehenge Dynamic Brain at one. The prospects of having a dynamic brain were thrilling so I started at the top.

The 30-day regimen of two pills per day was planned to begin October 1st, but I forgot. Sadly, I’m not kidding, despite putting the bottle at my place on the table. I should have used a sticky note.

November 8th concluded my experiment, eight days longer than expected. Apparently there were 16 extra pills in the bottle, or I missed taking some doses. At times of uncertainty I left it off rather than risk the effects of doubling up. The idea of becoming a genius at this point in life holds little appeal. Throngs of seekers looking for advice could bring on a lot of pressure.

After the month-plus trial the results are astounding. I can now name all the capitals of states south of Georgia. Maybe I should clarify that by saying states south of and adjacent to Georgia. For the sake of full disclosure, I lived in Tallahassee 12 months, six before marriage and six afterward.

During the bachelor phase of being a Floridian, Jane was staying with her parents in Thomasville, only a 35 minute drive away. I would leave Tallahassee on Friday afternoons and spend two nights at the Horne residence, then return to my apartment at 2600 Miccosukee Road late on Sundays.

On Friday nights during football season, Mr. Horne and I would walk the short distance from their home to watch the Thomasville Bulldogs. Running back William Andrews was in his senior year, breaking tackles and records each week, leading them toward a state title. It was an exciting time to be a fan.

My clearest memory, however, doesn’t relate to Andrews’ magnificent runs or anything that happened on the field. Those highlights faded long ago. The most distinct recollection I have involves peanuts. Jane’s father loved peanuts and took plenty of boiled ones for us to snack on. His were dug with a shovel, picked off by hand, and of impeccable quality.

Milton Callaway was superintendent of schools at the time and routinely sat a few rows behind us on the top row. I didn’t know him well but we’d met at First Baptist Church and exchanged greetings a few times. He was a member there and I attended on Sunday mornings with my future wife and in-laws. 

Mr. Callaway brought a generous amount of parched peanuts to one of the games and passed them around our section. His brown paper bag was identical to ours, so I decided to make a switch for the return trip.

He stuck his hand in the bag and pulled out a boiled peanut which he curiously examined. He grabbed a few more and had a rather bewildered look on his face until he spotted me grinning. We shared several laughs over that small caper, so maybe that’s why I haven’t forgotten it. Even nonsense sometimes has lasting value. 

For a brief moment I expect he questioned his memory. That’s kind of where I am today, hoping my increasing lapses are a natural part of the aging process. If this dynamic brain boost doesn’t pan out, I may try Prevagen. I used to want a memory like an elephant. Watered-down aspirations are now represented by jellyfish. 

If memory pills don’t lead to substantial improvement, I’ll resume practicing reverse spelling and hope they don’t change the test. D-L-R-O-W. In case no one has ever told you, that’s “world” spelled backwards.           

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5 Responses to Memory Pills

  1. Vernon Twitty, Jr. says:

    As you refer to William Andrews and the Bulldogs, Toni and I were living in Valdosta at the time. I went to every Wildcat home game and even went to Thomasville one time for a game. We were at the game in Valdosta when Andrews ran wild. He was the best running back I ever saw in person. He was unstoppable and I think Thomasville won that game something like 37-0. If you were at that game, I’m sorry we didn’t get together for a visit. I don’t take anything for memory but I do remember that quite vividly.


  2. Judy says:

    Let me know how the Prevagen works for you if you decide to try it. I just tried the “world” test, and that was difficult. I’ve got to find something to improve my memory.


  3. smittydennard says:

    Neil, as always I enjoyed this article very much!!! I was about to make a comment, unfortunately I forgot what it was!!!!!!!!!


  4. Susan Montgomery says:

    Hi Neil,
    I chuckled a lot through your article. You have quite a sense of humor and a way with words! 😂 Thanks.


  5. Curtis Greer says:

    Well did Prevagen work for you, if so I may want to try them instead of
    the Jellyfish one. We loved your column as always, that is if we could
    remember, hunh? p&B


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