Lost tools will haunt into eternity [UPDATED]Published 9:26am Monday, May 14, 2012 Updated 11:27am Monday, May 14, 2012
Over the years, I’ve lost just about any and everything one can imagine. Some days, I spend hours and hours searching hither and yon for stuff. I’ve said it before, but it bears saying again: “For the first half of eternity (quite a long time, actually), I’ll be shown where all the stuff went that disappeared while I was alive.”
For the last half of eternity, well, I don’t have that worked out yet.
Over the years, with countless service calls on refrigerators, washers, dryers, furnaces, and endless other appliances, I’ve left a trail of tools behind me. Once in a while, after years have passed, I’ll make another service call on something, and find whatever it was that I left.
I once read this great idea about gluing a magnet to the back of your voltmeter, so you could stick it to the side of the appliance and have both hands free to operate the voltage leads. It stuck real good.
Too good. It’s still attached to someone’s furnace. I tried another one. It’s out there somewhere, too.
Late last summer, the extra set of keys for my car disappeared. It was weird. We were headed out the door to church.
I ducked into the downstairs bedroom for some gloves, headed back out the door, looked down at my hand, and the keys, which I was certain I had just picked up off the kitchen counter? Those keys? They were gone.
I patted all my pockets. At least five times. Went to where the gloves came from, looked under the bed. Came back out to the entry, searched around. Patted my pockets twice more. Looked in another pull-out glove drawer, which I hadn’t pulled out. Nope. Not in there.
Patted my pockets again. I swear I just had them. I did. In my hand. Honest.
I grabbed the spare set, went to church. Came back. My mind was flooded with thoughts on where they might be.
I dumped the kitchen garbage can, which was in the vicinity, spread it out on the floor. Ick. Then I dumped the big garbage can in the pantry, and spread out a lot of stuff on the floor. Double ick.
Be calm, I told myself. They’ll show up. I called the auto dealer and priced a new set.
Unbelievably expensive! More to the point, I knew beyond a doubt that as soon as I bought new ones, the old ones would surface. I didn’t buy.
Thus it was that this spring, they still hadn’t showed up.
Remember one of the last columns about the compost pile that My True Love wanted spread out so she could proudly view its contents? Remember how happy I was about that?
I wasn’t. She was gone the other day, so I went out there with a scoop shovel, resituated the black composter, and began scraping grapefruit peels, celery ends, and various other undecomposed vegetation onto the shovel, and pitching it into the composter.
I was nearly done. I reached down with my hand to push the last of the pile onto the shovel, brushed some onion skins and a rotten apple in, and saw, and saw….
Yes. It was my car keys.
And they had not composted. Matter of fact, I brought them in, took the remote apart and stuck it in a bag of dried rice overnight, and it worked.
She did it, I know she did. She throws everything into the compost pail. No, she denies it, and I tell her I know, I know, you didn’t.
(But she did. I’m sure of it.)
Alan Linda writes weekly from his home in New York Mills.