There is a great deal of publicity these days about the advent of the home computer.
Futurists are predicting that in a few years there will be a computer in everyone's home which will store all sorts of useful information in its memory, such as birghdays, anniversaries, bank balances and inventories of household effects.
The computers will also be used to turn on lights, turn off furnaces and adjust air conditioners, open and shut doors and record what time your children come in at night.
When it comes to information retrieval I doubt if there really is the market out there that home computer manufacturers think there is. The American wife has a memory far superior to any computer, at least she does in my house.
My wife can recall things in seconds that I have forgotten for years.
An example: The other night we were having a discussion over some remark I had made about an attractive lady sitting next to me at a dinner party.
I said, "I don't see anything wrong in admiring a pretty girl at a dinner as long as you don't make a pass at her."
"That's just the point. You can't admire a pretty girl without making a pass at her."
This got me really angry and I said, "When have I ever made a pass at a girl at a dinner party?"
"Sept. 6, 1963, at the Stevens' house. You were sitting next to Hope Lange and as the chocolate souffle with the coconut meringue cookies were being served you put your arm around her. I believe it was 10:14 p.m."
"Are you sure it was chocolate souffle? I thought that night Liz Stevens served a vanilla mousse with fresh raspberry sauce."
"Don't avoid the issue," my wife said. "And what about a midnight, June 12, 1957, when we were in Paris at the Crazy Horse Saloon and you made a fool of yourself dancing to 'I'll Never Smile Again' with that lady in the green-beaded dress and pale green chiffon scarf and gold shoes and dyed blonde hair."
"You remember that ?" I said.
"She was 5 feet 5, weighed 115 pounds, spoke with a Swedish accent and had a silver handbag shaped like a turtle."
"You do remember it."
"While we're on the subject, I suppose you've forgotten April 9, 1969, at 7:40 p.m.
"What happen that night?"
"The cocktail party at the Federal City Club when you were telling Barbara Lipscomb of area code 212 Boulevade 3-2376 if you ever came to New York you'd give her a call."
"Was that her name?"
"Brunette," she said, "with a beauty mark on her right side of her mouth, two on the left. False eyelashes and flaming red Revlon nail polish. Known to her intimates as 'Bobby.'"
"Wow, what a memory!" I said more in admiration than anger.
"Do you want more? Remember the night it snowed on Feb. 13, 1971, and we were at the Hartwells and you offered to drive Ginny Southern home because she had no snow tires on her 1970 green and white Thunderbird with the white vinyl roof?"
"What was rong with that?"
"You didn't have a driver's license at that time."
"Are you sure?"
"You didn't get one until March 6, 1974."
I looked at my driver's license and darned if she wasn't right.
"Is there anything else you have in your memory bank?" I asked her.
"Would you like to talk about VJ night, 1945, at the Astor Hotel?"
"But I was still in the Marines," I protested. "I didn't even know you then."
"Yes, but you told me about it on Sept. 26, 1952, the first time you took me out for a drink at the Cafe Flore in Paris."