The digital display “12:17 AM CHAN 15” appeared in front of the man selling a memory aid over the television. Alexander left the converter on the arm of a chair as he went through to the kitchen. At the fridge, he mulled over the usual selection of condiments and drew out a bottle. Too much or too little? The pile of ketchup expanded from the edge of a small white plate. Wouldn’t want to have to get up again to get more. The pile expanded. Under Alexander’s surveillance, ten seconds counted down on the microwave. He popped the door open when the timer reached “:02”, a habit he had developed in order to silence the five shrill beeps which usually accompanied meal time. The two slices of bread and three slices of cheese that had gone into the microwave sat glued to the rotating glass plate, now in a mastication-friendly format. Alexander salivated.

The melted sandwich dangled from his mouth while he pushed the microwave door closed, grabbed the ketchup-covered plate from the counter, and returned to the television room. He sat down and pushed the sandwich around in the ketchup. Well lubricated, the tractable bread and cheese required only minor assistance from Alexander in sliding down his throat. Anxiety suddenly gripped him: miles away, the converter still rested on the arm of a chair. For the forty-five seconds during which he was consumed by eating, Alexander was forced to behold the awesome power of Amazing Memory. “ would you all please stand until I call your name....” Wonder and adulation seized the audience as the host accurately recalled each of its members: “Melanie, would you please sit down...Robert would you please sit down...John would you please sit down...Delandra, hi, would you please sit down...Has-ina-dul? Yes? Did I pronounce that right? Would you please sit down...”