Whatshisname clan getting larger as we’re getting older

By Edward Forbes / The Bulletin

It’s not dementia, only old timer’s.

The other day – or any yesterday for that matter – while meeting with my coffee group at G&G convenience store in Angleton, a young man came up to us.

One of our group members is his former teacher and another the father of his childhood friend.

He told them of his children, one graduating from college and another in the nursing program at Sam Houston University.

After he departed, the former teacher in our coffee group told us: “Yeah, I was the principal of his elementary school, and he’s telling us about his children in college. A definite sign of aging.”

Another group member replied: “Yes, John is a good kid. He was over at my house all the time, and I sold him his children’s goats and sheep to exhibit at the fair.”

Thus began the game of what is that young man’s last name, since it never came up in conversation earlier when he was there.

It was recalled where he lived as a young boy. It was recalled that he was always a steady, hard worker. What was not recalled was his last name.

We decided on Whatshisname.

There are a large number of family members in the Whatshisname clan in our city – probably all over the world. Some of my age peers can tell you entire family histories, including parental linage without recalling a last name.

This accounts for the large increase in the Whatshisname clan.

I have noticed in communicating with friends in other communities that the Whatshisname clan is more widespread than I had initially imagined.

My age group, in fact, has expanded to include my age and up to 10 years younger and older. I’m concerned about the ever-present danger that we will next cease to recall the first name. How many “Old Whatshisname” can there be in any community?

I have decided that my contribution to solving this problem is to introduce myself as we shake hands with: “How are you? My name is Edward A. Forbes, Eddie to my friends.” This should prevent me from becoming part of the Whatshisname clan.

Another solution is that we should all start wearing name tags. The writing would have to be two to three inches tall to accommodate the diminishing eyesight of the diminishing memories segment of our society.

The next time the young man comes into the store and we’re still there, one of us should ask his last name. If we can remember to do so, that is.

Then again, maybe it is dementia.