I want to report a glitch in my multitasking mechanism

It took a while to learn how to multitask, a skill most notably absent when I watch my football team playing a game. It takes intense focus from me for my team to play the game. Without my focus, I fear what would happen.

Multitasking seems to be valued as an asset for people who are involved in human conversations with other people while simultaneously scrolling around on their cell phones.

Yes, I should have scorned the idiotic adage, “A watched pot never boils,” instead of writing while cooking something, resulting in (1) trashing a kitchen timer which apparently was so transfixed by watching the pot boil, it failed to buzz, and (2) keeping an oddly attractive blackened saucepan with a thoroughly attractive coppery exterior.

So I’ve had a few small problems with doing a couple of things at the same time. But a few nights ago, something happened about which I’m still worried.

My multitask was reading a magazine while watching a British crime-solving series.

Each crime is explored over two one-hour segments. Because it’s an excellent series, it doesn’t present an over-intricate solution: we’ve met the killer at some point in the two hours so although there’s a surprise about who the killer is, it’s not some rococo twist. That is, it’s logical and satisfying.

So here I was, reading a New Yorker while looking up at the TV occasionally when, after the killer had been apprehended, our crime-solving team realized there were two killers — the one they caught and another one. So everyone dashed off to grab Killer Two. Except me. I cried out (to the team), “Wait, what? Who is this guy?”

I didn’t remember Killer Two. I mean, he had to have made a serious appearance at some point in the two hours, right? You can’t just pull a “Oh, the killer is [fill in the blank],” when [the blank] is a heretofore unknown character. But I couldn’t put together who the hell this guy was. For all I knew, he could have been dragged out of another series and inserted into the one I was watching, just because.

It’s possible therapy would help me.

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