Our boss, Jim Watson, had been to the local Super Discount store and bought our weekly grocery needs. When he got back to the senior’s home he hauled in his purchases, in miscellaneous boxes and bags, storing most of them in the large walk-in fridge just off the kitchen. On his way out again, he set one of these boxes on a stool that sat perpetually beside the fridge. Likely he meant to dispose of it, but it was forgotten there for about a week.
I was working as part-time cook/ part-time cleaner in this senior’s home at the time and I happened to work in the kitchen the next day. I noticed that box sitting on the stool and stopped to read the writing on the side: Red Sails Whisky.
I guess this dates me, but some memory bank in my mind started playing the song, “Red Sails in the Sunset.” It had been years since I heard that song, but the association was immediate. And the next day while my boss was working in the kitchen, though he paid no attention to the box, I heard him humming that same song.
The next day the main cook was back on the job and I was doing the day’s vacuuming, but came into the kitchen just before lunch to carry loaded plates to the residents, serve the tea, and help with the cleaning up after. As we were occupied with this last task I heard her humming the tune “Red Sails in the Sunset.”
I laughed. “You, too?”
“You’re humming that tune, too. You must have seen the box.”
I pointed it out to her. She hadn’t even noticed the words. In fact the box itself, during its short stay, had blended in so well to the kitchen decor that it hadn’t registered on her conscious mind. But her subconscious mind had picked up on those words and recalled the same tune that popped into my own mind and my boss’s mind.
Just as the song “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” was one of the things that popped into my head when I saw today’s daily prompt word: smoke. And looking through all the responses to the prompt, I see the same switch was flicked in the minds of a lot of other bloggers.
Instant association. You see something and, far faster than the speed of thought, an image, a statement, a slogan or the line from a song, pops into your brain. (And often it’s for the best if you can keep it from popping out your mouth! Let’s not go there. ☹ ☺)
Sometimes as I’m walking down the street, I get a whiff of tobacco from a freshly lit cigarette and my mind goes back to my dad. He smoked for over thirty years until one day he realized how it was sapping his lung power, thus his ability to work, and he quit cold turkey.
Actually, one of the first thoughts that came to mind when I saw this prompt was my Dad’s death as a result of smoking. I wrote an article about this; you can read it HERE.
Before I posted my article, I asked my doctor if I’d get into trouble claiming that smoking caused his cancer. Was there enough medical evidence to verify this, or would I get sued by the tobacco companies for defamation of product? “Yes, you can say smoking causes cancer,” he assured me. “There’s definitely enough evidence to back up that statement.”
This word also prompted thoughts of all the smoke we get hereabouts when forest fires are raging in the north. So I saw the word SMOKE from several different angles — and judging from the many links at The Daily Post HQ, others have, too.