You have no idea how much time I spend convincing myself I’m not insane.
People tell me I have a good memory because I surprise them with trivia. I don’t have a good memory. I have a good sense for vivid and unusual details; they stick with me for decades. But so does everyone. I just talk about them more.
For years I remembered this weird movie with Matthew Broderick saving chimps from a space program. I thought I had seen it when I was very young. But there was always the possibility that I’d dreamed it instead. Then some benevolent soul pointed me toward Project X and relief slapped me in the face. I didn’t make it up. I’m not insane.
MentalFloss last week posted twelve things you probably didn’t know about A Christmas Story. I like the film, though I don’t hold it in the reverential regard so many others do. But it’s clever enough, so I scanned the list until I hit this one:
There are two little-talked about sequels. The first one was a 1988 made-for-TV movie, Ollie Hopnoodle’s Haven of Bliss. Jerry O’Connell played 14-year-old Ralphie, who is excited about his first job – a furniture mover. Of course, it ends up being awful, and it might make him miss the annual family vacation at Mr. Hopnoodle’s lakeside cabins.
And then I sat in stunned silence for a full five minutes, because I remember seeing that movie. Jerry O’Connell and his three friends spend the entire summer moving this refrigerator up four flights of stairs! His employer’s this really fat guy! I didn’t make it up or dream it while in a fever. I’m not insane!
Every now and then my dad will wander the house, singing snatches of pop hits from the 50s or 60s. My mom will stare at him. “Don’t you remember that one?” he’ll say. ” ‘Run to Him’! Bobby Vee!”
“I’ve never heard that song,” Mom will say.
” ‘If you find another guy / that satisfies you more than I / do run to him …’ ”
“I think you’re making that up.”
I always considered these moments a charming diversion in my childhood, or now a source of nostalgia. I never considered them a terrifying glimpse into my senile future.