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  • Paul Davidson

I Cannot Be Your “Remember the First Three Numbers” Guy

I cannot be your “remember the first three numbers” guy.

Sure, I may be standing next to you when you call 411. Sure, I may have an almost inhuman ability to remember three numbers for hours and hours without forgetting them. Sure, I may even have a pen or pad next to me on which I could write those three numbers and remember them for you.

But I will not do it.

If you come to a point in your life that you can’t remember the first three digits before the other last four digits so that you can actually call the person you want to call, then there is something desperately wrong with your short-term memory capabilities. Now, I’m not saying you should be punished for such lack of memory/number retention skills…but I refuse to be a part of the chaos that will ensue once you hang up the phone and forget the numbers.

Forgetting numbers is an expensive skill. If you forget some numbers 2/3rds of the time, you’ll find yourself with a hefty 411 bill as you end up having to call back again and again and again. Sure, you think a way to save money is to ask me to memorize the first three numbers as you shout them from the other room, as the automated voice tells them to you — but I cannot do it.

There’s too much pressure having to remember the first three numbers. I would much rather remember the last four numbers because even sets of digits have a sort-of rhythmic feel to it. For example, if the numbers were 4,5,8,8 — that’s easy. It’s like sing-songy and all.

Four, five, eight-eight!

It’s almost the chorus of a song as sung by Brit or Ash. You may be saying, “well, of course it is, there are two 8’s at the end there…that makes it easy to remember!” But my ability to memorize four digits while singing stems from my extensive karaoke appearances in the Los Angeles area. But, just to prove that it has nothing to do with the double-8, let’s try 6,9,3,4?

Six, nine, three-four!

Still works. But give me 8,7,3 or 9,7,6, or 7,8,5… I don’t want any part of it. Seriously, I don’t.

If I was sitting in a quiet room, without you there, and I had to remember three numbers — I could. But with you standing next to me saying “eight, three, two, seven” over and over and over again, how do you expect me to remember “two, three, seven”? Before long, my “two, three, seven” will become “three, two-seven” and then I’ll start to worry I’m dyslexic.

Which I’m not.

But you see where I’m going with this, don’t you?

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