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Addled brain?

Friday, 28 August 2009


Have you ever forgotten a PIN you use nearly every day?

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I had to go back to the dental surgery where I work this evening, to check that I’d switched the coffee machine off. It’d be tragic if the surgery burnt to the ground, you see, but even worse if I lost my source of hot black nectar.

We have a security system at the practice that requires a four digit PIN to disarm it; a number that I tap in at work on an almost daily basis. Tonight, I could not remember what this PIN was. It had gone completely! I tried all the tricks: jingling my keys to go through the door-opening motions, letting my mind go blank, imagining the keypad and the shape the number traced, to no avail. I had to come away, with a possibly seething coffee machine, and was driven by G to the pub instead.

It’s amazing how a couple of beers with friends can relax the mind. After an hour of almost imperceptible fretting at the back of my head, the PIN came back to me, with no effort at all. I popped in with G on our way home: the coffee machine had actually been switched off, presumably by a more vigilant member of staff.
This was the first time this sort of thing has ever happened to me, and I found it quite disturbing. I’ve just turned thirty-six, and I can’t help wondering if what was probably just a temporary lapse is actually a more sinister sign of an inevitable decline into drooling, once more, into my Tommee Tippee bib.

Have you ever forgotten a PIN you use nearly every day? Is this a normal thing for the human brain to do? You can add your thoughts by clicking just below. I’ll be grateful for your reassurance.

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