Seth Brown | The pun also rises: Hip, hop, forget me not


Stop. Grammar Time!

On Saturday, I rapped at a small hip-hop show at the Parlor Cafe. Past tense.

As I am writing this on a Friday, the show is tomorrow for me, but by the time you read this it will have happened. Future perfect tense.

Meanwhile, I hadn't done a rap show in a while, so I was worrying that I might screw things up. Imperfect. Tense.

What is the reason I am worried? I forget. I mean literally, I forget things a lot and so I worry that I will forget the lyrics. And you may be reading this thinking, "That's no big deal, everyone is forgetful sometimes, and doesn't remember to put their keys or wallet in their pockets." I am more forgetful than that. I remember to put my keys and wallet in my pockets, but then forget to put on my pants.

This has happened more than once.

Sometimes I wander into the kitchen and cannot remember why I went in there in the first place. Yesterday I walked into the kitchen, couldn't remember why, walked back to my desk, recalled I wanted to get a glass of water, walked back to the kitchen, poured myself a glass of water, walked back to my desk, and realized I had left the water in the kitchen.

You might be tempted to chalk this up to old age, but my memory has always been terrible. I recall many decades ago, when I was a kid at summer camp, I was at a table with my best friend, and the counselor asked me if someone at the table had a birthday today, because there was a cake that had been reserved for my table. I said I was unaware of any birthdays at my table. A few minutes later, they brought out the cake to sing happy birthday. Had I really forgotten the birthday of my best friend?

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No. It was my birthday. And I had absolutely no idea. These days I have a decent idea of roughly when my birthday is, but I'm completely incapable of remembering my password. Or rather, I remember one of my passwords, but don't remember which website it's for. So no matter what website I'm on, I always try the same password first, which inevitably fails to work. It's definitely my password for some website, I just have to remember which one.

And all of this is why I have the very reasonable worry that I will forget the lyrics to my songs. Or will have forgotten them. These are songs I wrote many years ago, as I recently explained to my partner, and I have trouble remembering them.

"Yes," she said, "You said that yesterday."

"Oh, I didn't recall. I guess that probably doesn't bode well for my ability to remember lyrics."

"You said that yesterday too."

So it's even money whether I remembered all of my lyrics at Saturday's show. I presume you weren't there to hear me perform, but if you run into me this week, you can ask me how it went and I will tell you.

If I can remember.

Seth Brown is an award-winning humor writer, the author of "From God To Verse" and... some other third fact I can't recall right now. His website is


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