Bateman: Never forget, especially during the Day of Remembrance

By Oliver Bateman

Things like D-Day, Pearl Harbor, 1492, the past two Steelers Super Bowl victories, 9/11, the phone number to your favorite $5 pizza pie joint and those godlike Founding Fathers: totally unforgettable. Things like D-Day, Pearl Harbor, 1492, the past two Steelers Super Bowl victories, 9/11, the phone number to your favorite $5 pizza pie joint and those godlike Founding Fathers: totally unforgettable. Everything else? Way, way, way more forgettable.

Notwithstanding your significant other’s claims to the contrary after you’ve dropped the ball on yet another anniversary (first kiss, first shared spaghetti noodle, first head-to-head match-up in Madden 2009, first trip to Market Central, etc.), forgetfulness is great for your mental health. After all, you need to save as much empty space as possible in the ol’ noggin for those Wikipedia-and-Four-Loko-fueled cram sessions.

But perhaps we should all take a break from our busy, sleeping-past-noon schedules to remember some of the stuff that really doesn’t matter that much. To this end, we’re declaring Oct. 11, 2012, the first annual Day of Remembrance. And in the spirit of making the Day of Remembrance incredibly easy to remember — although it’ll still probably slip your mind — the next one will take place on Nov. 12, 2013, the one after that on Dec. 13, 2014, and then … uh, we’ll figure something out. Maybe we can hold it on your birthday.

Here’s a brief blueprint of how we expect the festivities to unfold:

1. Wake up around 1:30 p.m. or so. After downing five ibuprofen tablets, a little “hair of the dog” and some whey protein in order to combat the week’s fifth or sixth hangover, dial up your BFFs and play a few multiplayer games of “Call of Duty 58: Rapid Assault on the Mon Valley.” Although this is how every morning should unfold, it’s important to maintain a normal routine even on as solemn an occasion as the Day of Remembrance.

2. Now let’s get this party started by revisiting some totally irrelevant family memories. Never wonder what your parents were like when they were lazy college students? Dial them up, and take a walk down unmemorable lane:

You: Hey Dad, so what was your college major again?

Your Dad: Geology — or as we used to call it, “rocks for jocks.” Ha ha ha.

You: Ha ha ha. Okay Dad, could you put Mom on the phone?

Your Mom: Hey son, what’s shaking?

You: Oh, I’m just chilling. Hey Mom, what was something that’s kind of wild that you did in college that won’t turn my stomach too much?

Your Mom: Well, there was this one time that I smoked half of a “blunt” filled with some “kine bud,” and then my boyfriend at the time and I decided to …

You: Thanks Mom, we can stop there. I’m glad we got a chance to talk. By the way, it’s the middle of October, and I have to buy all my backup textbooks — you know, the ones I need in case I lose the real ones. Could you send me $750?

Your Mom: Sure, son. It’s been nice catching up.

3. From there, embark on a guided tour through the greatest hits of your high school years. Pick a classmate at random on Facebook — anyone on Facebook’s dysfunctional, crash-prone “chat” application will do — and catch up on the good old days:

You: Hey there, old buddy. I know it’s been about five years since we last talked — which was also the only time we ever talked — but could you remind me about something I did in high school?

Your Classmate: Hi there, stranger! Hmm, I remember there was that one time you got sick in math class and threw up on the back of my head.

You: Whoa, yeah, I’d forgotten about that one. I was crazy sick that day.

Your Classmate: Yeah, and you also always used to wear this one fitted Arizona Diamondbacks baseball cap.

You: Wow, are they even in the league anymore? Ha ha ha. Man, I was pretty nuts back then, throwing up on the backs of people’s heads and apparently following the Arizona Diamondbacks, or at least wearing a hat with their logo on it. We are getting so old!

Your Classmate: Hey, do you want to get together and grab some dinner? I’m free all next week and we both live in the same apartment building.

You: I’d love to, but I’m going to be busy for the next six months coming up with some good excuses about why I’m so busy at the moment. Anyway, I hope you have a good life.

4. Now that you’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s time to brush up on your bar trivia. Unlike those “cake” or “blow-off” classes where the ancient instructor distributes the same exam every single semester and you can get an A just by memorizing your roommate’s previous A paper, a game of bar trivia can test you on almost every conceivable subject. Accordingly, you’ll want to rack your brain trying to dredge up all of the irrelevant facts that you know. Who started at quarterback for the Detroit Lions in 2007? How many joules are in a watt-hour? Where was Niels Bohr born? Are Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, Ralph Nader and David Letterman still alive? Who built the Allegheny County Courthouse? What is the seventh track on the legendary Limp Bizkit album Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water (hint: It’s not “Rollin’ (Air Raid Vehicle)”)? Where is beloved Monicagate provocateur Linda Tripp living these days? Why did Kim Kardashian’s sex tape co-star believe it was necessary to make a sex tape? According to the July 8, 2008, issue of the National Enquirer, who’s gay and who’s not? This is the kind of useless and context-free information that our perfectly devised society truly values, so please try to remember as much of it as you possibly can.

5. 10:30 p.m. Time for bed.

As soon as this holiday is in the books — and, boy, isn’t the holiday season just so, so, so hard? — you can get back to taking your life one day at a time. Drag yourself out of bed, do a few things, come home and skim the sports news before tackling five more seasons in your Madden dynasty. Can you think of anything better? Since you’re probably at a loss to recall what you did yesterday or even a few hours ago, that answer will likely be a resounding “no.”

Oliver Bateman is the lead memorialist at the Moustache Memory Club of America. Visit and renew your acquaintance with those old, sweet stories you loved so much as a kid. And if you’ve got a killer suggestion for a column that (hopefully) has something to do with hardgaining, $5 pies or Maddens 2006-2012, send it to [email protected].