I went to a concert with some friends the other night.
They pulled into my driveway, and as I was thanking them, I reached for my house keys, carefully tucked into my purse.
Ten minutes later, I was still searching. The language was dreadful.
Now I know I had placed those keys in a particular pocket in my purse, one specifically designed for keys. I even checked when I left the house.
The keys were still gone.
This disappearance is direct proof of what I call the Fundamental Vanishing Theory.
The Fundamental Vanishing Theory (how did Einstein miss this one?) is a scientific principle which can be stated as follows:
“If you know that you will really, really need something, and have therefore put it away in a safe, logical and correct place, inevitably it will be gone at the moment you attempt to retrieve it.”
The Disappearing Sock.
If you put five pairs of matching socks into the washing machine, then immediately transfer them into the dryer (nothing in between), as you sort them later, you will find yourself with exactly nine socks.
One sock is gone. It will never be seen again. Never.
The Roaming Remote.
Each time you turn on the television, place the remote on the arm of the couch. Slip into the kitchen for a coffee and a small snack. Inevitably, when you return, the Remote will no longer be on the arm of the couch.
In those three minutes since you left it, in a house where you are the only one home, the Remote has vanished.
It also follows that the one show you have been planning to watch for, I don’t know, twelve and a half years (possibly the Leafs in a Play Off Final) is scheduled to come on in 2.5 minutes.
On a different channel.
You tear the couch apart. You search under and inside sofa cushions. You flip the entire piece of furniture over and grope around under it.
You will find seven pens, $1.73 in change, well used kleenex, several deceased beetles and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that went missing in 2002.
You will not find the Remote.
Incidentally, about 40 minutes into the show you wanted to watch (you know, the Leafs being eliminated in a Playoff final), you will recall that the television itself has a built in channel changer.
Race across the wreck of the room and switch channels.
When you return, the Remote will be sitting on the arm of the couch.
Again, the Fundamental Vanishing Theory.
Some Assembly Required
Those words, “some assembly required” strike fear into the hearts of many of us.
They mean that a purchase arrives firmly packed inside a large box which also contains several packages of screws, nuts, tabs, levers, gears, cogs, bolts, latches and a special one of a kind screw driver thingie which is the only object on earth capable of installing and tightening all these various parts.
After laying out the instruction manual, and carefully counting and sorting each of those “parts” packages, I have been known to attach that one of a kind screw driver thingie to my actual person to keep it safe.
It’s pointless act.
When it comes time to reach for that screw driver to try and tighten up my wobbling construction, my one of a kind screw driver thingie will always be gone.
It will not be in the packing rubble, buried in crumpled plastic, misplaced inside the object, lost in my underwear.
It will simply be gone.
The Fundamental Vanishing Theory. Proof positive.
Also the reason why I have attempted to sell several of my “some assembly required” purchases as unique folk art.
The Elusive Cell
This is the primary proof of the Fundamental Vanishing Theory.
Cell disappearances do not apply to modern mutated human beings. These possess two hands, but 11 digits, the eleventh being a cell phone permanently attached to their palms.
As their cell phones are fused to these beings 24/7, there is no danger of their ever being set aside.
No, the elusive cell belongs to those of us who do detach from our cell phones.
We may tuck our cells into purses or pants, set them on tables, desks and counter tops, rest them by public washbasins, even toss them somewhere in a car last cleaned during the Diefenbaker years.
Naturally, when we need said cell phones, they will be gone.
They will not be in any logical place, not even under a used pizza box.
No search will reveal the cells.
The Fundamental Vanishing Theory. It’s true. It exists.
By the way, my cell phone has a picture of flowers on the….