Dorothy: How can you talk if you haven’t got a brain?
Scarecrow: I don’t know… But some people without brains do an awful lot of talking… don’t they?
The Wizard of Oz, 1939 (pre-dating the thinking cap by several decades)
Thinking can be hard. So hard, in fact, that a lot of us nowadays leave our thinking to the Internet rather than subject our already-bursting craniums to the hardships of actually learning and — heavens forbid! — remembering new stuff. When the answers to all of our questions are a simple Google or Bing or Wikipedia away, we sort of treat the World Wide Web as our collective external hard drive of knowledge, sometimes.
Wouldn’t It Be Nice to Have a Thinking Cap?
Now that we have smart phones to help cart around this worldwide gathering of facts in our pockets — as Douglas Adams imagined in his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series — the memory our brains once required for what the proper people call an education is now utilized for some pretty mundane stuff. We keep up with Kardashians and ponder the social ramifications of which young celebrity of the month isn’t wearing enough or weighing enough in front of camera-toting voyeurs — grown adults, usually — who are paid the big bucks to spy on them by actual “news” reporting agencies.
In spite of having highly sophisticated biochemical processes swimming around in our thick, human skulls that are capable of figuring out how to build pyramids and paint Sistine Chapels, it seems like we — as an entire species — could use a boost from time to time, no? It’s almost like we could benefit by having some sort of thinking cap, if you will. A brain for our brains to pal around with. They could hang out together and bounce good ideas off of one another (and bounce bad ideas far, far away before things get too out of hand).
Ah, yes! A thinking cap! I wish I’d thought of it.
But would outfitting one’s dome with a friendly second dose of grey matter clinging for dear life to the roof while the primary brain hides safely inside be a wise move? Would brain number two get jealous of brain number one? Look, I’m not going to pretend that I have all the answers. I’m admittedly not wearing one of these brainy thinking caps right now. But based on that fact alone, I can tell you that it certainly couldn’t hurt matters.
I’m also imagining — on my one puny, underpowered brain — that coffee might also be something worth looking into. If I had a thinking cap and a healthy cup of strong caffeine swirling around underneath it, there’s no telling what obstacles I couldn’t surpass, by gum!
A Thinking Cap Isn’t Always a Bright Idea
Sporting a visually apparent brain on top of your skull-encased brain isn’t always the brightest of ideas, however (and I suspect anyone wearing a thinking cap would very well know this). There are times when others less fortunate will covet your thinking cap and go all grabby hands when approaching close proximity to your person.
There’s really no way around bringing up “the z word,” so here goes:
You might want to wear a less conspicuous cap over your thinking cap if you seek to keep the brain-hungry undead at bay during an impromptu zombie apocalypse or something. It’d be like hummingbirds attacking plastic flowers, after all, but they don’t know any better.
Just a thought.
What uses would you have for a thinking cap and the extra zap to the neurons we might imagine it to provide? How about if it were just a cosmetic accoutrement that made your less brainy friends jealous? Either way, having a thinking cap on hand in your hat collection is sort of a… no-brainer, don’t you think?
Oh, yes. I went there. No thinking cap, remember?