So last night, my mom turns to me randomly and says, “Remember that TV show that you used to love when you were little? And it was about a boy who could like, like something happened to him, with a scientist, and he just flew?”

And I was like:


For the record, yes, this is how my mom asks questions. They’re always this detailed and specific.

“No, he didn’t fly – well maybe he did – but he could like, run, really really fast. You were just in love with the boy! You don’t remember what it was called?!”

“I don’t even remember the show!”

As I Googled the phrase, “80s TV show about a kid who could run really fast,” my mom continued to hem and haw, something about Stand By Me and how she couldn’t believe I didn’t remember the show.


“Was it called My Secret Identity?” I asked her.

“No, definitely not.”

“Well, it fits the description. Just a sec.”


There it was. With Jerry O’Connell.

“Oh! Jerry O’Connell was in it.”

“YEAH! Remember that?!”

“Nope. Not at all.”

“What are you talking about?” my mom scoffed, “You LOVED that show. You were just in love with him. You used to watch it all the time.”

“Are you sure? I’m gonna look it up on YouTube.”

“Yeah, do. When you see a clip, it’ll all look familiar.”


“There!” my mom practically shouted with excitement, “See?! He flies with the hairspray. I didn’t remember that was the title. Remember, though?”

Blink. Blink.


“What?! You’re joking. You LOVED that show.”

“I’m gonna watch the third season’s intro. Maybe I’ll remember that, if I was a bit older.”

My mom during the video: “Yeah! Him! Oh, him! Yeah, her! She was funny! Look how handsome! See? Stand By Me. Oh, he was great. I forgot he was on it! So cute! Now do you remember it?”

Blink. Blink.


“Really? Really?

“Nothing. I’ve got nothing.”

“You used to watch it ALL THE TIME with your brother. Like after school. All the time!”

I checked: the show ran from 1988-91, which means I was only five when it ended. But I remember lots of other shows from when I was five, and even younger, too.

So yesterday I learned that some things really do just vanish from memory.

Also, you can answer pretty much any question using the following websites: Google, IMDB, YouTube, and WebMD (if the answer you’re looking for is that you’re DYING).


P.S. After that fiasco, I watched the opening credits from Perfect Strangers on YouTube and remembered the entire thing. Take that as you will.

P.P.S. My Secret Identity looks like the worst show EVER.