Dead Brain Cells and Midlife Chimps

Some days, the world makes it too easy. Miss Crankypants turns on the evening news and wham-o! Two items of breaking news fall into her ample lap. Seems that when your seventh grade teacher accused you of using only 10% of your brain power, she was 100% wrong! The real reason you acted like an ape in English class? You were actually using ALL seventeen of your brain cells to fling that spit wad on poor Mary Jo Widebody.
That’s right! Scientists now believe that the human brain kills off any brain cell caught standing around idly, also known as loitering. So whether you put 10% or 63% of your gray matter to work, your brain has ways of shutting down the rest. Forever.
Miss CP was wondering why she kept forgetting her passwords. Now she knows that her own brain has plotted against her. And what does her rogue brain want out of all this? A red Ferrari, of course.
Which catapults us to the next news item: Scientists with way too much time on their hands have determined that our furry friends the chimpanzees have midlife crises like people do!
Sure, most chimps start out acting like seventh graders. Miss Cranky suspects that many of the seventh graders she has taught were chimps with braces and zits. In their youth, chimps run around giving other chimps wedgies and making crank calls.
But as the great apes get to middle age, something happens. Chimps who have been as loud and obnoxious as gossiping preteen girls suddenly find themselves sitting around watching CSI reruns and eating salty snack foods. Midlife Chimp loses her zest for filling her roommates’ shoes with shaving cream. She’s bored with the food.
“Bananas,” Midlife Chimp says. “If I have to eat another banana, I’ll scream.” That is if she has the energy and nothing better is on TV.
But give a chimp (or Miss Crankypants!) a red Ferrari and she has a new lease on life! She wants to tear around the chimp enclosure scaring the tar out of the other apes. She wears 5 inch stilettos and a mini skirt as she brainlessly guns the Ferrari and racks up noise complaints from the gorillas next door.
What can be done about this sad state of affairs? If you were going to say, “Seventh graders will go extinct,” don’t hold your breath. Your brain is plotting against you as we speak.

About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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