King of Excellent (according to Scaryduck)

Friday, August 28

Photographic memory

I have eidetic memory, and as far as we know, so does BLS. I suspect so does my mother, and I'm pretty sure John does now. Photographic memory is a quirky memory that means you remember one or more if the sense's effects, normally sight, and can recall it in impeccable detail. I find whereas my sight is very reliable, sound can also help. I can recite conversations back to people from months before, and this is always helpful when it comes to instructions. I can also recite from pages in books, as if I'm reading back from the book, which normally I am because I just have to visualise the page. This, however useful you might think it is, is not a good thing though.
First of all, I'm crap with faces. I can see people in the supermarket, and they'll say hello. I'll stand there, have a complete conversation with them, and not have a clue who they are. If the Police asked me to describe a bank robber, I might as well describe Oscar the Grouch to them, because it's probably going to be a better description then the one I'll offer.
Secondly, when it comes to numbers, there are so many you want to remember. Phone numbers for example, are stuffed into my head like mad crazy things, and no amount of mind bleach or alcohol lets me forget them. I'm stuffed full of taxi companies (01734 393933 was my local company in Reading around 1989, for example), take aways, banks and stations, all of which probably don't have that number anymore anyway. I can recite almost every registration of every car my father had when I was a child (GYY 42N was probably the first), and really honing in my 'skill' of remembering things. I can pick a music track from any Now album from Now 5 up to Now 45, not only tell you which album it's on, but which disc, and even which track, something that used to have Sharon standing in awe of when we used to DJ. I can remember bank account numbers for bank accounts that aren't in use any more, part numbers for electronic devices I can't even buy any more, and prices of items that aren't even for sale any more.
I also had a problem when it came to my exams. In the days of 'real' exams where kids were lucky to get an A, and A+ and A* didn't even exist, I was questioned as to why I'd quoted from school books. I couldn't be arsed in exams, more interested in being first to finish so I could ogle the blonde girl in the next row. I would rattle down the questions, scribbling down as much as was needed in the question from memory, and nothing more. This meant that most of my exams were perfectly average, just getting the required C grades.
John's doing the same now. When he was younger, and was being forced to read, he would memorise an entire book, and then recite it from memory. This was far easier in his mind then actually deciphering the lines and curves that made up the letters in such a confusing shape. A few teachers actually commented on how he'd read them the book with his eyes shut.
I'm finding as I get older that it is getting less of a pain. I can now remember what I want, as long as I 'take a picture' first. I still remember phone numbers (recently someone wanted the phone number of a bank in my local town, and I reeled it off without so much as a second thought), and registrations of cars all without trying.
Next time someone tells you they wish they had a photographic memory, tell them it's best not to load film.