Location: Why oh why would I wanna be anywhere else?
It's been going on for ages Drapes - I can't remember how long
BILL CLINTON was the master of the ''I don't recall'' defence. In the Paula Jones sexual harassment case, his deposition reportedly resorted to this answer 267 times.
In fact, he used those exact words only eight times. But the then US president uttered 71 ''I don't remembers'', 62 ''I don't knows'', 17 ''I'm not sures'', six ''I don't have any specific recollections'' … And so on.
That was 1998. Four years earlier, Australia's corporate fraudster Alan Bond was practising the art of courtroom memory loss at his bankruptcy hearing. Reporters couldn't keep count of his ''I don't knows'', ''I just can't remembers'' and ''I don't recalls''.
Bond offered the excuse that a succession of minor strokes had caused the brain damage that robbed his memory. But it went with the territory in Western Australia. In 1995, during the royal commission that investigated events surrounding the suicide of Perth lawyer Penny Easton, the former WA premier, Carmen Lawrence, managed 19 ''I don't recalls''.
And the crooked former premier Brian Burke had repeated memory lapses at the WA Inc royal commission. Once he suggested helpfully: ''I don't recall the detail … but I can speculate if you want''.
My medium and long-term memory seems reasonable, but what bothers me is the very short-term memory, such as deciding what to do next and then being unable to recall exactly what it was that I was going to do . . .
My favourite example of a faulty memory is the punchline to that well known joke about the old man with the gorgeous and very eager young wife, who when asked why he was weeping, sobbed "I can't remember where I live!"
I used to have a wonderful memory until I contracted glandular fever in my 40's. Short term memory is terrible and SWMBO used to rely on me to remember things. All I can say is thank goodness for 'post-it' notes, they are stuck to everything in our house.
A friend visited the NEC some years ago, he made a particular mental note that he was parked right next to a flagpole. When he came out he realised that there were flagpoles in the car park every 100 yards or so...