You know how it is.
You see something, or hear something, and something sparks inside your head.
Be it a brand new thought, or an old memory … there is that moment, that spark, that creates a bigger spark in your mind's eye.
Which has happened to me on a couple of occasions.
The first, when I was about 7 or 8 and my dear dad hauled me up for some misdemeanour and gave me some sharp and incisive words of advice.
And that was?
I've no idea for the moment was brief and time marched on.
They would have surely been fine words of wisdom, knowing my dad but at that effervescent time of my life they would have gone in one ear and the other.
I accept that, because at a young age one takes in so much and has to build a sort of personal framework using things you see and hear.
A mental library, but with only childhood skills to operate it.
As time rolled by I kind of figured that when you got to a much later time in life (when you didn't need ID for a six-pack of medicine) one would just take in and remember everything.
For I hear things and see things and do things, and three days later begin to wonder if it actually occurred … or did I dream it?
"I bumped into a bloke the other day that I know from way back and he told me about some bloke … who did something," I will remark to someone.
"So what did he say," they will respond.
At this stage I shake my head hoping something lucid will emerge but it doesn't and I return to the common thread.
"I can't remember."
Or I will say "I've got a rough idea" but it's always too rough to smooth into a comprehensible reply.
The other comfortable stance in such times is "I'm not sure."
That's always a winner, and you can adorn it with words like "completely", "exactly" and "altogether".
My preferred is the second choice.
"I'm not exactly sure," I will say, hoping the recipient will take this as meaning I am reasonably sure but not quite on the brink of exactness.
The most common and adopted phrase, I reckon, is "I think so."
You have departed the homestead for some reason and your co-departee asks if you remembered to lock the back door.
Your brain goes to work and comes up with that very common response.
"I think so."
So then (into the heavy psyche stuff now) your thoughts are on your side, for they are telling you they "think" you locked the back door.
But then Mr Reality enters your head and asks "did you REALLY lock the back door"?
You tell yourself you are "pretty sure" you did.
"Are you absolutely sure?" Mr Reality snorts.
That's when you do the U-turn and whip back home to make absolutely sure.
So you return to the journey at task and 21 minutes after leaving your premises having made absolutely sure the door was all secure and sound, you get another mental task to perform.
"Did you shut the gate on the way out?"
The mind swirls again and comes up with the best it can do.
"I think so."
Which brings me to this column.
The sub-editor of this piece will call and ask if my column this week will make any sense as there's always a first time for everything.
"I think so," I will reply, before edging toward another popular phrase "I hope so."
I can't tell you their usual response as I'm not allowed to use that sort of language in these missives.
I'm pretty certain of that … or reasonably certain, I think.
Probably right … sort of.
Roger Moroney is an award-winning journalist and observer of the slightly off-centre.