And now for the trope!
The Shee were a race unique in their mindset, most likely having invented the steam engine as an offshoot of an attempt to design a better way of brewing tea before they invented the wheel.
(For the Disney movies, see The Absent Minded Professor — the "The" before the title is important.)
This Stock Character is a brilliant scientist, but very flighty, often forgetting things like the date, people's names, meetings, eating,people's names, etc. Good thing he (and it's very often a he) is good at what he does and often has perfect memory for scientific details ormathematical values. Sometimes he becomes so engrossed in his work that he loses track of his very surroundings. Of course, with a little prodding from the heroes to focus on the matter at hand, he rarely fails to create the tools necessary to save the day.
This is a very old character type, referred to by this name since at least 1864.
A subtrope of The Professor. Compare also... um... blast it!... ah yes, theMad Scientist, who often exhibits this trait. I do so only reluctantly. And of course, I must mention my colleagues in the math department. Some of them go a bit beyond absent-minded, though.
Now if you'll excuse me, I must nip on home, as I seem to have forgotten to put on my pants. Ah, the hair? Oh, yes, I should try to comb it some time... I do have a comb, don't I? A subtropeof...oh, yes, Forgetful Jones. Compare with Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!.