"It's like taking a nap on that little rug when you were in kindergarten."

Savants – I Just Might …

I’ve discovered a show on the Science channel called Ingenious Minds. The series presents the stories of several savants.

savant, alonzo clemons, savants

Alonzo Clemons - savant

Some of these are not your every day savants who were born with special gifts, and yet have other disabilities. They have what is termed “acquired savantism.”

The acquired savant is a previously non-disabled person who develops savant-like abilities after a traumatic injury or disease to the central nervous system (CNS). Typically some sort of head injury causes the neurons to fire uniquely, changing the architecture of the brain.

You have Alonzo Clemons who had a head injury at three years old, and from then on was able to sculpt animals from memory, in minutes, and with perfect detail. There’s Derek Amato, who at 40 years old suffered a traumatic head injury. Afterwards, he had an incredible ability to play the piano at the highest level; an instrument he had never played before.


As I was watching Derek play the piano on the show, it dawned on me … like numbers coming to Rain Man:



No, seriously. Ask MLB.

Let me explain.

Okay, maybe she can’t prove that I’m a blogging savant, but she can attest to the fact that I’ve been hit on the head one, or maybe 100, times too many.

Let me give a couple of examples that stand out from childhood:

1) I’m playing baseball in the street – yeah, we did that then, and yes, it was kind of dumb – and my brother hits a long fly ball.

Like the great Willie Mays, I want to make that great over-the-head catch, so I streak for the ball and glance over my shoulder, and then …


That was the sound of my face hitting the side of a steel mailbox. Mind you, back in that day, mailboxes were solid and cemented into the ground. Not sure how long I was down, or how my mom got the blood stains out of that sweatshirt.

2) Sandlot football game in a friend’s back yard. I’m playing receiver, going out for a pass. The ball is coming to my out-stretched hands, when …


This time it’s the sound of my eight year old skull hitting the – you guessed it – steel clothesline pole. Yes, I did finish the game, thank you. Who knew what a concussion was then, but I’m pretty sure I got another one from this hit.

Lord only knows how many more times I was hit in the head by someone else’s head, knee, elbow, sporting equipment, or football, baseball, or basketball. It must have been hundreds of times.


All this explanation leads me back to being a blogging savant.

Let’s put it to the test:

– Do I see words forming in my mind, or on the paper, or screen?
Why, yes I do.

– Is my writing so amazingly gifted?
Hmm, let’s leave that one as a ‘Maybe.’
And, sorry, friends, these are rhetorical questions.

– Have I had a traumatic injury to the CNS?
Yes, too many to count.

– Do I suffer from other “disabilities” since I’ve been hit in the head?
I believe those around me would answer this with a ‘YES.’

– Is blogging something that I “have to do” as an obsession?
Yes, for certain.


 Well, after responding affirmatively to four out of five questions, it’s pretty obvious that I am in fact …



Or, maybe like George Costanza said on Seinfeld, I’m just an idiot.


Do you have any savant-like qualities?

Do you know any savants?


  1. I am hereby going to blame my decade long weight gain on being a food-and-wine savant………..

  2. I’ve been banged up so much I ought to be a wizard at anything I touch if such is the prerequisite.

  3. Hi,
    Oh yes, I have had the old head hit a few times when I was younger, especially a sport that had anything to do with balls, for some reason they always seemed to hit head on. 😀
    But being a savant at something, well I’m still waiting for that to happen. :)

  4. Megan Broutian says:

    I’m definitely an idiot-savant. Sadly, I don’t have any brain trauma to blame for this.

  5. Wow that sculpting guys is amazing. Lol. I love that you are a blogging savant. :)

  6. Judy Berman says:

    As a tomboy, I took more than my fair share of tumbles and knocks to the head. Savant? We can definitely rule that one out. Acting like an idiot? Check. (Thanks for the chuckle.)

  7. Ha ha! Good, ahem, attempt at connecting the dots, MJ. Well, like the new synapses that fire off in an acquired savant’s brain, you may have missed a few, but I had a grin on my face from the moment I read this:

    – In addition to your self-diagnosis, please add my proven experience of you being savvy with humourous blogposts.

    >The acquired savant is a previously non-disabled person who develops savant-like abilities after a traumatic injury or disease to the central nervous system (CNS). Typically some sort of head injury causes the neurons to fire uniquely, changing the architecture of the brain.
    – That silver lining to a very dark cloud.

    I’ve taken a few knocks to the noggin back in the day, but I’m hella glad those resulted in some more nonsense being knocked into me. Can’t bear the thought of all the attention had I acquired some new skill. Meep!


    • Hmm, just an “attempt?” Well, okay.

      “Savvy?” Well, I obviously didn’t convince you. Ha

      I had a lot of very dark clouds over the years.

      Yeah, I definitely wouldn’t want that attention, or the neurons constantly firing, without any letup.

  8. I’m with Andra. Definitely a food and wine Savant.

  9. Hahaha– blogging savant! Thanks for the chuckle this evening, MJ. You most certainly are an online savvy savant. :)

  10. Clearly I am not one. I didn’t even know how to spell savant until I read this post.

    • Lisa, what I did to remember how to spell it is that I change s-a-v-a-n-t into calendar numbers based on the Incan calendar, then change it into the phonetics and then back into letters. Wow, I am Rain Man! hehehe

  11. Of course you’re a savant – and not just of the blogging variety!

  12. Blogging savant – love that! Similar to Andra and WritingFeemail, wine and food savant may be as close as I can get. Great post…definitely put a smile on my face. :)

  13. jodi @Heal Now and Forever says:

    Hahahah! You are silly!

  14. sunshine says:

    You are the blogging savant MJ and me, I think I’m running more with the blogging servant label… ‘GET TO YOU BLOG AND WRITE, NOW!!! Me: yes, master. I mean, Master.

  15. After being hit in the head by this post, I was able to stand and IMMEDIATELY walk through all the rooms of my house!

  16. In all of your blogging savantness, can’t you create a “Like” button? I’m trying to catch up on reading and clicking “Like” would really help! Great post by the way!

    • Alas, that’s where my savantness ends! I can NOT figure out how to get that “GD button” to show up. (See, thought I’d remind you of your dad there.) :)

      • Mike, It just took me a half-hour of checking my settings and researching WordPress support pages to help you out (but you are MORE than worth it).

        To enable the “Like” button (1) go to your WordPress Dashboard, (2) scroll down the left-hand menu and click on “Settings,” (3) click on “Sharing” in that menu, (4) scroll ALL the way down the Sharing Settings page (to just above the “Save Changes” button), (5) and where it says “WordPress.com Likes are . . .” click in the circle that says “on for all posts.” Be sure to click on the “Save Changes” button when you are done. That’s it!

        Another change I suggest: Currently, everyone who wants to comment on your blog has to enter their name, e-mail, and website. This is cumbersome for fellow WordPress bloggers, who, if they are already logged into WordPress, normally can just click on a like button or start typing a comment.

        You obviously already “Allow” people to comment, so go to Dashboard/Settings/Discussion and put a check in the box that says “Comment author must fill out name and e-mail” and UNCHECK the box that says “Users must be registerd and logged in to comment.” Then under “Before a comment appears” UNCHECK the box that says “An administrator must always approve the comment, and put a check in the box that says “Comment author must have a previously approved comment.” This will save you TONS of time because you won’t have to approve the comments for people for whom you have given prior approval. Be sure to click on “Save Changes.”

        • John, I really appreciate you going to all this trouble. Thank you.

          On the Like button thing, I used to have that on WP.com, but I’m on WP.org self-hosted and that setting isn’t on my dashboard, unfortunately. So I’m still at a loss on the Like button.

          I did what you recommended on the comments. Can you try it and see if it’s better now?

          • John Robinson says:

            Sadly, Mike, nothing changed. Even though I am logged into WordPress, I still have to enter my name and e-mail to comment.

  17. Lana Benz says:

    Thanks for the post.Really looking forward to read more. Much obliged.


  1. […] Maybe the movie studios should hire this tech-challenged dude. I can promote their movies without even trying. Am I also a savant who predicts the future?? […]

  2. […] Whether I was born with this Super-Sniffer (for all you Psych fans, out there) or it was my environment that caused it, I can’t be sure. Lord knows I was smacked on this body part so many times from the time I was born until my early 40′s. Mainly from all the hits, and being hit, in sports. […]

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