Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Flowers For Algernon Gave me an Existential Crisis.

WARNING this post contains spoilers. Like Holly lays out the entire plot of this book on the table for you. This won't take away your enjoyment of the book however, since it makes no bones about how it is going to end, but y'know SPOILER ALERT.

You know what book you shouldn't read whole in one evening and finish right before you go to bed?

Flowers for Algernon.

Yeah. Everyone who's ever read this just winced a little. For everyone who hasn't well, let me sum up.

Scientist take a willing retarded (mentally challenged whatever you want to call him) man and using science make him smart. Like really really smart. High level genius of the whole world smart. The world is his oyster smart. Everything is going according to plan smart. But then he starts to regress and everything he's studied and learned and fought so hard to understand leaves him. Of course it does this slowly enough that he has time to morn all that he has lost.

I shouldn't have to explain to you why this is terrifying.

This all led to the following conversation where I ambushed my husband coming out of the bathroom.

ME: “Scott, promise me you'll shoot me if I ever start loosing all my knowledge!”

SCOTT: “Um... why can't you just shoot yourself?”

ME: “Because I won't remember.”

SCOTT: You won't remember how a gun works?”

ME: “Flowers for Algernon Scott. Of course I won't remember. Promise me you'll shoot me in the face.”

SCOTT: “Did you finish it? Did you like it?”

ME: “Yeah, it was thought provoking. I'll never sleep again. It was a book I could never have written.”

SCOTT:“Why's that?”

ME: “Because as soon as he stole the hyper intelligent lab mouse from the scientists when he realized they were just using him I would have had him and the mouse team up to fight crime!”

SCOTT: “Ah.”

ME: “Look. I need to go look at cat pictures on the internet to mitigate the horror.”

SCOTT: “I didn't find the book that horrific.”

ME: “How could you not? Can you picture being able to read and then just...just loosing that? I think I need to eat another dessert, to mitigate the horror.”

SCOTT: “Uh huh.”

Now I feel horrified and fat. Also, every time I misspell something my brain is all 'we're regressing JUST LIKE CHARLIE AND ALGERNON!

You know what? I think I need to go look at some cat pictures on the internet.

Lot's of cat pictures.


  1. I try to aim low, that way, the things that I forget seem less important. It is a good book though, and a movie as well. At least I think it was a movie? I don't remember? :)

  2. It sounds like a souped up version of Alzheimer's. The Mister's grandfather has it, and it's been fairly terrifying to not only watch poor grandpa KNOW that he's loosing his memory and asking questions that he's asked a thousand times before, but also to know that puts the Mister at a higher risk for being afflicted as well.

    1. My Grandfather has it as well, as though he doesn't seem to be that aware of it. Although we did accidentally convince him it was Halloween a few weeks ago.

  3. I would prefer my hypothetical (because he doesn't exist yet) husband to poison me rather than shoot me in my face, but agree that I would NOT like to lose all of my knowledge. Also, internet cats are the BEST thing that ever happened to me and scary movies.