By Karen Anderson, Club Humorist
I once started keeping track of how many minutes a day I spend looking for lost items. I soon gave up, in part because it was discouraging and in part because I couldn’t find the notepad I was recording this on. It turned up, eventually, in the garden shed with a scribbled recipe for a no-fail tomato fertilizer – none of the ingredients for which I’d been able to find when I planted this year’s crop of tomatoes.
It’s easy to lose things and later find them. Anyone can do that! I have a special talent for finding things and immediately losing them again. It keeps things lively. Last year my friend Matt watched in amazement as I discovered a diamond ring in a box of costume jewelry and promptly lost it on my way to the jewelers to have it appraised. Oh, well. Small things – rings, pills, and, of course, one earring of any pair – are notoriously easy to lose.
How about a car? I’ve lost a car in a downtown Seattle parking garage. I’d turned off I-5, driven in circles looking for parking, finally stashed the car, and raced off to dinner with friends. Two hours later, I couldn’t remember which parking garage I’d left the car in. It turns out “somewhere near the Convention Center” is not a helpful clue. Neither is “made out of concrete” or “it had an elevator.” I took a cab home. (Fortunately, the next day was Sunday, when most parking garages are relatively empty. With the help of a friend, I spotted the car in the third garage we tried, and paid the ransom for overnight parking.)
The most upsetting thing I’ve lost is a cat. Mr. Tippy, on his way to our house from California, got lost in our Honda Fit. He was discovered inside the dashboard, wrapped around the steering column. We had to summon a mobile mechanic to dismantle the dashboard so the Scholarly Gentleman and two friends could wrestle the freaked-out feline back into his carrier. As it turned out, that was a mere prelude to life and loss with Mr. Tippy. After he arrived in Seattle, he exploded out of his carrier in our basement and vanished again. We removed the heating ducts, the bookcases, the furniture, and most of the drywall in the basement before giving him up as lost. After three weeks, we spotted him in the demolished ceiling from which he was eventually extracted. As of this writing, Mr. Tippy is not currently lost. But it could happen at any moment.
Then there’s clothing. Every house has a Bermuda Triangle of sorts where clothes go to become lost. This may be the dryer or the laundry room. At our house, it’s the tiny hall closet outside the Scholarly Gentleman’s office.
I’m convinced there is a portal to another dimension in there, and someone from that other dimension is wearing my Eddie Bauer storm coat. If you see them, tell them they left the quilted lining in the closet. Well, at least it was there last time I checked.