Wait, I Thought I Read That…

22 Sep

I’ve been rereading one of my favorite book series over the weekend and I hit book six. Within a couple chapters, I realized, “Wait! I’ve never read this before!” I was sure I had. In fact, I’ve read the next three books – how did I forget to read this?!

This is an extension of something I’ve just learned is called the Mandela Effect. Apparently, it’s named after the belief held by many people that Nelson Mandela died in prison. In fact, he was released from prison, became the first black president of South Africa, and died long after.

Did you ever watch Moonraker (1979), one of the cheesiest James Bond films of all time? If you grew up in the 80’s, it was shown over and over on broadcast TV, so you couldn’t help but watch it. Anyway, there’s a scene where Jaws, the henchman who will not die, is pulled from the wreckage of his latest attempt to kill Bond by a small blond haired woman. He smiles with his patented metal chompers, she smiles with her braces.

Except she doesn’t. You can see from the picture above that her teeth are perfect. Your mind put the braces in there. You remember reading the Berenstain Bears as a kid? No you didn’t, you read the Berenstein Bears. Unless you grew up in New York City, you weren’t used to people having names ending in “-stein,” so your mind changed them to “-stain.”

So there’s only two answers to this. One, you’re in an alternate dimension (a la Sliders) that’s close to the one you started in. Or two, your memory is faulty. In fact, your memory is not very good at all. When a political candidate… let’s say, embellishes a story, especially a story that can be easily checked from existing footage – they’re not lying. When they originally told the story, they added a detail to make it more exciting. Then when they told the story, that detail was kept in. Then they added another detail. The longer you tell the story, the more you believe it, until finally, your memory puts in the detail that wasn’t there before.

I didn’t read Kushiel’s Mercy because I didn’t own it at the time. The second book ended on a good note so I thought that was the end of that trilogy (forgetting it was only the second book). So when the next trilogy came out, I read that, and there was minimal reference to the previous book because… well, the author set it two hundred years in the future. I wasn’t confused. So I just assumed I read Mercy.

As Petros Papadakis is fond of quoting, “All the world has become a lie, and the lie is the truth.” Of course, I probably got the quote wrong. 🙂 Where have you noticed your memory being wrong? Were you as surprised as I was that Dolly didn’t have braces? Have you read Jacqueline Carey’s steamy series? Let me know in the comments below!

One Response to “Wait, I Thought I Read That…”

  1. Silk Cords September 22, 2020 at 8:55 pm #

    The Mandela Effect is also being played upon by talking heads to spin events, it’s not ALL harmless.

    What really amuses me though is that SOME people are going out of their way to rationalize their bad memory by saying the Mandela Effect is all about seeing alternate realities, and even them collapsing in on themselves with people being displaced into other similar ones. I kid you not. Coast to Coast AM has done at least one show humoring this stuff. Even being somewhat metaphysical, at least I have the God given common sense to apply Occam’s Razor to these situations.

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