18 April 2010

Day 22: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  ISBN: 9780439023481.

I'm still at the beginning of the book because I've been distracted recently.  I'm going to have to start running around like crazy because I managed to swing a second interview with that university in Tennessee.  I'm excited because it's my first professional interview with an academic institution (not counting ITT Tech).  I have to relearn all the stuff I forgot about cataloging because I had no real interest in being a catalog librarian, but a job is a job and I'll still be able to do reference at this place.  Not to mention there are suit pants that need to be tailored, nails to be taken care of, and my car could use a serious oil change.  On top of all this I landed an odd job working for a professor here at Bowling Green State University.  This has given me much needed cash for...well, things like my oil change.  So forgive me if my posts aren't as thought provoking over the next month or so, and if I switch to a weekly schedule, it means I'm employed and you should be happy for me.

Anyway, Katniss was describing how she collected food for her family from the forest.  I've never had to do this, although I enjoy being able to recognize a handful of plants (including poison ivy thanks to my somewhat recent brush with it...literally).  My fiance is also fairly quick to recognize almost anything local to Ohio and has a vast knowledge of things that are kept in the dark and grown in animal dung.  

It occurs to me that I don't necessarily have the knack for finding edible foods in the wild, but I do have a similar trait, which is remembering people's dietary preferences/habits.  This is a bizarre thing because my brain is normally the consistency of swiss cheese and you never know what's actually going to be retained.  Well, this is one of those things I happen to retain.  I suppose since we are a social species this is evolutionary necessary and important information, but it's the damnedest thing that I can remember that Joey is a vegetarian who doesn't eat honey, Sue is allergic to tomatoes, and Janet is on Weight Watchers.  It actually got to the point where at one job I was consulted anytime food was brought in for certain people so things could be left to the side, or a low sugar cake could be made for the diabetic, etc.

A strange glitch with this, uh, ability is that if dietary preferences are changed or I learn about them later, I'm slow to remember them.  For some reason, if I meet you within a week and I learn that you don't like cilantro that becomes a Major Point of Interest in what I remember about you.  In fact, I can forget your name and remember that you can't eat strawberries.  It really is kind of like a strange super power and I sort of wonder if anyone else does this, or if my brain is just wired funny.  I also wonder if it might have a more sinister background, and part of that is probably because I'm reading a book like The Hunger Games where people are trying to kill each other.

Maybe this ability to remember foods people can't eat was a way for people like me in primitive societies to knock off newcomers to the cave that they didn't like.  I mean sure there were probably some benefits to keeping the regulars healthy, but then why is it easier for me to remember it when I first meet people?  There's little advantage to remembering that Grandpa hates asparagus when the entire clan knows this, but if the new guy is a jerk and I know he can't eat peanuts I'd have the power to make his life a living hell at the least and possibly send him into anaphylactic shock if I really didn't like him.  I'm not saying I would ever do this, but why, why does my brain remember this stuff?  I like to ask these questions and try and figure out the biological/neurological/evolutionary advantage. I think it's important to question our own thought patterns and weird psychological phenomena.

So yeah, sorry about the kind of weird post, but I hope it was sort of entertaining and I was having fun thinking of different foods that kill people and what not.  Do you have any weird "things I seem to remember about people for no reason" abilities?  I'm interested, tell me.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...