Viewpoint: Let Perry go in peace; mistakes happen

By Robyn Sanders

We leave the house without putting on deodorant, take a shower and forget to use shampoo or, in my case, come dangerously close to putting handsoap on the toothbrush instead of toothpaste.

Call it what you will – absentmindedness, forgetfulness, brain flatulence. But we all experience those times when we forget what we’re doing, and a simple thought in our head just seems to drop dead.

As I discovered, searching “causes of forgetfulness” on Google will produce ominous results with titles like, “Is it Just Forgetfulness … or More?” and “Forgetful or Dementia?” Neither of which are comforting at all.

Let’s be reasonable.

Barring brain tumors and rare diseases, most of the time we forget things because we are preoccupied, stressed or in too big of a hurry.

Trains of thought can also sometimes “derail,” if you will, in high-pressure situations, such as taking a test or giving a speech, a pattern to which Gov. Rick Perry fell victim Wednesday night during the Republican presidential debate.

Perry couldn’t remember the third of the three departments of government he wants to eliminate if he is elected. For a painful minute, Perry struggled to recollect his thoughts before finally saying, “the third one, I can’t. Sorry,” and added “oops” as an afterthought.

Naturally, the Internet and Saturday Night Live were completely merciless to Perry as a result of his blunder. But he made an appearance the following day on Letterman to deliver his “Top Ten Rick Perry Excuses” for his mistake at the debate, which included, “I had a five-hour energy drink six hours before the debate,” and, “You try concentrating with Mitt Romney smiling at you. That is one handsome dude.” He proved, at least, that he can laugh at himself.

We should remember that most people are pretty forgiving, unless our brain slip-ups reinforce stereotypes that apply to us: like if you’re old, blonde, Texan or a pretty-boy politician.

Now would be the perfect time for Apple to take another revolutionary step and invent an app that will tell you, “What was I about to say?” or, “Why did I just walk into this room?”

Or even better, “Where did I park my car?”

In the Police Log of Sarasota, Fla., there is, supposedly, the following report:

An elderly woman was walking back to her car after doing her shopping. But upon approaching the vehicle, she saw four males inside, about to leave with it. She drew her handgun from her purse and shouted at them to get out of her car. The men didn’t hesitate for a second. They all abandoned car and fled.

But after loading her shopping bags, getting into the driver’s seat, and being unable to get her key into the ignition, the truth dawned on her. This was not her car!

Her own car, she realized, was parked a few spots farther down. She reloaded her shopping bags into her own car and drove to the police station to report her dreadful mistake.

Once there, she found four shaken men reporting a carjacking by a white-haired, elderly lady with a handgun. No charges were filed against her.

Forgetfulness is human nature, so when you forget your house keys, your glasses or what floor of the parking garage your car is on, you may as well laugh it off.