3/28/11 A few bricks short of a full load.
By Sue Langenberg

Or, as they say, “Not playing with a full deck.” There are a lot of phrases to criticize those other souls that we deem less than brilliant.
It occurs to me, however, that we are all not the “sharpest knives in the drawer,” or are a few bricks short because those who study such things report that we don’t even use our full capacity of the brain. So if any of us have a bona fide brain storm, there is merely a minor blip on the brain scan.
I suspected such at the doctor the other day after that generic knee jerk reaction or when the doctor taps just below the knee, the leg automatically flies up. And a tap on the head either sounds like a hollow sound or someone wishing good luck by knocking wood. “Anyone home up there?” he joked.
It’s no joke. Some of us habitual dreamers space out at times entertaining what little brain cells happen to be around. I had a friend actually ask me if anyone were home up there. It must have been obvious because my head drifted into cumulus clouds overhead. I told him that I can’t help it sometimes because a brilliant idea may be loading and I need all the help I can get when I can get it.
So our half wits come at a time in our Third Age when we are over-informed about everything from hangnails to brain surgery. There is enough Google data swirling around to sink a continent or two and we don’t even have half a brain to comprehend it. Moreover, there are yet more studies out there that say something about the little brain matter we use is traumatized by too much stimuli.
The symptoms are obvious. You can tell that our half wits are working too hard to comprehend the data by the way our eyes look like gambling slot machines jutting up and down trying to hit the same images. If a jackpot idea emerges, they blink into a blurry stare. Sometimes they move sideways like following a fly buzzing around our head.
The verb Google, in fact, causes much more than knee jerks and hollow sounding heads; it alters our heart rate in such a way that most of us would flunk a lie detector test before we even entered the room. “…and your name is…” and the needle jumps off the page simply because you Googled some map directions earlier in the day and got much more data that you bargained for.
And if there is already too much information to comprehend, more and more information regurgitates from our computer screens. If you look up something like a hangnail, you get about 10,000 hits including the documented history of hangnails, a few rock bands and advice for hags that habitually chew nails because of a need to think using too few brain cells.
All this constant state of confusion should lead us to a larger capacity of brain usage. If we exercise our muscles, for instance, they become stronger and larger. But we can’t properly exercise our brains if they are in a constant state of stress trying to exercise the verb Google. Or, as someone claimed the other day, “If your mind is too open, your brain will fall out.” I’m still processing that one with my head somewhere up there cumulusing around. It would be the first time that an open mind had some drawbacks.
I am trying to think about that one as we speak, but I am a few bricks short of a full load right now.