21 Oct 2020
One of my favourite authors writes books featuring an ex armed forces police officer who, after leaving the forces, roams the country solving crimes and so forth. He’s basically a hobo (buys new underwear rather than doing washing, for instance – although he does carry a toothbrush!), but one who is highly skilled and quite lethal – if you’re a baddy, that is.
One of the skills that most amazed me about this character was his ability to notice – and remember – huge amounts of detail that other people would not notice.
We only read about the significant stuff he notices, of course – stuff that goes on to solve a crime or protect an innocent person. One can only assume that his brain is jam packed with useless information about people who didn’t turn out to be murderers or thieves.
Its a safe assumption that I am not an armed forces police person trained in this level of observation, because quite frankly I struggle to recall if a person I pass on the street was male or female.
Occasionally I see something I think may be slightly suspicious while out walking – someone hanging around a car in a furtive manner, or a car driving slowly past a house looking down the driveway etc. I try to make note of significant details – license plate on cars, a physical description of the person involved etc. And as I walk away I argue with myself about whether that person was closer to my husbands height, or a particular footballer’s height, or whether they had a beard or was that a moustache, and what kind of clothing were they wearing again???? By the time I get home everything is gone from my mind but the need to sit down and rest after my exhausting walk remembering stuff. Or trying to.
I’m always amazed by identikit pictures – I shudder to think what a police artist would extract from my brain by the way of a description!!
It must be a genetic trait – my mum insists if there was a competition for forgettery, she’d be a champion. She figures she’s almost at Olympic level proficiency 🙂
Are you the sort of person that police identikit people love to work with? Or are you like me, who would start with “It was definitely a male. Possibly.”???