READY. SET. NO.
In my posting titled “The Turkey Had It Easy, Part II”, I wrote that I had a theory concerning the little mysteries we experience from time to time. I formed this theory some time ago, but after an unprecedented number of recent, peculiar events, I’ve come to believe it must be true. In the case of my Thanksgiving escapade the lock button on my back doorknob had inexplicably been set, thus leaving me locked outside my house on the coldest night of the season. (Recall that the doorknob and deadbolt locks had never been keyed to match and I had never set the doorknob lock in the eighteen months since moving in. And, as Edith Ann* would say, that’s the truth.)
Another unfortunate episode involved both my house and car keys. One Sunday I was preparing to leave for Mass and for once was ahead of schedule. This meant that I would arrive at my pew calmly and with dignity instead of like “Willy Mays” Hayes (Wesley Snipes) sliding for stolen bases in the film “Major League.” Everything I am to take with me is ready on my dining room table. I give the dog a rawhide chew stick, gather up my things and, reaching into my purse for my keys, walk to the back door.
THE BIG SEARCH
Arriving at the door I’m still foraging for the keys but with no luck. I set everything down and begin looking inside my purse. Then, one by one, I begin removing its contents: wallet, glasses case, pen, hairbrush, cell phone, Kleenex, gum—everything but the keys. I put it all back and race upstairs to check the purse I had used the day before. The dog races up, too. Nothing. I check the pockets of recently-worn clothing. Nothing. The desk next to my bed, the bathroom, the floor. No keys. I check in the office and the TV room. No luck. I run back downstairs. So does the dog. By now it is 10:15. Mass begins today at 10:30. If I leave right now I’ll be only five, maybe ten minutes late. But where are my keys?!! I search the kitchen, the powder room, the living and dining rooms. I shake my purse but there is not the familiar sound of jingling keys. I race back upstairs. So does the dog. Another thorough search with the same results. I run downstairs again. So does the dog. (This is beginning to resemble a Chinese fire drill!)
IN THE KEY OF. . .SEE
Aha! I’ll get the spare keys. I look in the kitchen where the extra house key had been since I moved in. Gone. Gone?!! To the front closet where another house key hangs from the lanyard I wear on my walks. Good! One down, one to go. The extra car key, however, is missing. What? No! No! By now it is 11:15. Not only am I going to miss Mass, I’ll have to go to confession to explain why.
Later that evening, searching for my keys again, I find them—in my purse! They were in a side pocket hidden under my rosary bag and some other things. That’s why they didn’t jingle. Months later, just before Christmas, I was cleaning the storage closet under the stairs. I picked up some bags next to the door and—son of a b—-! There was the prodigal car key! How in the world . . . ? Several weeks before I had taken it and the house key to a local hardware to have duplicates made. The clerk couldn’t cut a new car key, however, because there was no current template. Since the key, equipped with a computer chip, costs about $125 to replace at the car dealership ($75 at the hardware), I decided to wait on the new template. That’s the last I recall seeing that key until my Christmas cleaning. Sometimes it’s not easy being me.
Tune in next week when WES explains it all.
©2012, The Wit’s End Scribbler
*A Ruth Buzzi character on the TV series “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” (1968-1973)