In Fear of Charly’s return……

April 7, 2010 at 3:50 am 1 comment

If either the book with the title “Flowers for Algernon”, or the film known as”Charly” that was based on that book, a movie that starred Cliff Robertson, happen to ring a bell, perhaps you’ll understand why I have an issue.

Full disclosure; I’ve been doing crossword puzzles on a daily basis for years, and not far from the beginning I became aware that both the Los  Angeles Times and the New York Times puzzles start out easy on Monday and get progressively more difficult until you reach the Saturday edition, which by most peoples standards is a bitch killer. To quantify things, the Monday puzzle used to take me about 7 to 10 minutes, and by Saturday those times were more like 20 to 30 minutes, and on occasion I’ve even burned off an hour on one. Or maybe two with the NYT edition.

Several months ago I started taking an over_the_counter dietary supplement I found at Costco that, since I don’t get a penny for saying the name of it (nor even a discount), will go nameless here. Except, I will say that a photographic term will figure in there if you dig a bit.

A few weeks into taking 3 or 4 of those capsules a day, I noticed that my elapsed time to solve a puzzle seemed to be dropping, and after a few more weeks I found that I was finishing in less than half of my previous time. I no longer suffered from TOTT syndrome (this is my name for Tip Of The Tongue, that failure to be able come up with a word I know that I know, and I’m trying to think of). Words that I want to remember now will float to the surface like that triangle sort of thing that was in the middle of those old black magic 8 Ball party fortune tellers with a window on the bottom, the part that told you “yes, no, maybe, or ask again later” when you inverted the ball. I’m also speaking faster and hitting my marks on jokes that I tell, both are things I consider to be good. I’m not saying that I’m a Robin Williams, but hey, even Robin Williams isn’t exactly a Robin Williams any more.

Still with me? A quantum jump in my synapse firing speeds barely describes it, everything is clearer, sharper, and I feel like I’m really, really functioning. In effect, I’m pushing my personal throttle forward to what we called  the “Military” position when I was in the Air Force, a setting that went beyond 100% and was not supposed to be used except when shooting at the Vietnamese farmer’s water buffalos or doing evasive maneuvers to dodge enemy missiles and such.

And now for the catch. Many years ago when I indulged in experimentation in what I’d like to call psycho-active products, it was always with the idea that I could quit at any time. Which I did…. Eventually…. Several times. So, what has me worried is that if I were to quit being a user of, ah, let’s call it FF, I might go through what happened to Charly, a return to a slower state of being at a time when my brain functioning at full speed is necessary for me to just keep in place, much less pull ahead. I was never the retard (the film’s unfortunate and not very PC choice of a descriptive word) that Mr. Robertson played, other perhaps than in the opinion of my 2nd ex-wife, so a drop like this would be scary but not fatal. I just don’t want it to happen, so I seem to have a new life long addiction to deal with.

I guess the high (no pun intended) point of all this is that it’s not any kind of a  legal issue this time. After all, these days I’m buying my “meds on my American Express Card, not sniffing stuff off of it. Wish me well…..


Yet another disclosure: I’ve worked with Cliff Robertson (one day on an ATT commercial) and Robin Williams (2 seasons on Mork & Mindy and a special on the Universal Studios lot for Spielberg to make a video birthday card for George Lucas) in the past, both guys were (and I have to presume still are) very nice, warm, and intelligent people.

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More-on-Meg? I’ll Tell You Where You Can Park It!

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. lulumoretti  |  May 27, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Good grief. I’m still reading stuff off your blog and still writing you. Like, I’m usually up to my prefrontal cortex in the Financial Times by this time of the morning, but . . I’m stuck here.

    OK. Charly haunted me for years. I learned that when your IQ falls below 50 you don’t hang stuff on your walls. As your IQ improves, you hang more stuff. Looking around my studio I’m at 135 and going up.

    (Hm. Checked Netflix and Charly is paired with “The Way We Were” and “Les Miserables”. . .whoa. There’s enough material there to keep the little grey cells humming for awhile.)


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