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story.lead_photo.caption Photo by John Moore / Texarkana Gazette.

I've come to the conclusion that the only way to find something you've misplaced is to buy another one.

I don't know what magical event occurs when you buy a replacement for that one thing you really need but can't find, but it's a real occurrence.

No? Then why do I have six measuring tapes? Two battery testers? Four lawnmower keys? Seven TV remotes?

It never fails. Whenever a measuring tape is needed, it's nowhere to be found. I dig through the toolbox, the junk drawer, look on the shelves in the garage — but, nothing.

Oh, sure, there are those four yardsticks that your grandmother left you from paint and hardware stores that are no longer in business, but let's face it; three feet is never long enough.

Also, yard sticks don't bend. Except when your grandmother used them to keep you in line.

How do you find that measuring tape? Well, you go to the hardware store and buy another one, of course.

Five minutes after returning home and using your new Stanley Turbo 9,000 Model, 50-Foot, Guaranteed Not To Rust, With The $11.99 Extended Lifetime Warranty? Three of your other measuring tapes show up.

Not just show up, they magically appear on a cabinet or table in plain sight.

It's as if they all huddled in a closet and tried not to giggle while you looked for them, only to emerge while you were at the hardware store and throw themselves into view.

You come home $49 poorer, and blame your spouse.

Me: "Where did these measuring tapes come from?"

Wife: "You put them there after your last trip to the hardware store."

Me: "No, I didn't."

Wife: "Here, I also found two more in that drawer you just went through."

And then there are the TV remotes.

Recliners and chairs eat TV remotes like dryers eat socks.

I sit down after a long day, pour myself a beverage, and reach over for the remote to watch an episode of Columbo and — no remote.

I put it right there on the little table by the chair, and now it's gone.

Me: "Honey, where is the TV remote?"

Wife: "I haven't seen it, but I found three more measuring tapes if you want them."

I turn the chair upside down, completely disassemble it, and nothing. After putting the La-Z-Boy back together and sitting down, exhausted, I look over and there's the remote. Right where I just looked.

Me: "Honey, did you just put this TV remote on the table?"

Wife: "Why would I do that? If I did, you'd just watch Columbo."

I almost never take off my wedding ring, but I make an exception when I'm working outside with lawn equipment or working in my shop. Caustic chemicals aren't good for jewelry, so off the ring comes.

On the rare occasions I take off my ring, I set it in the exact same place on my nightstand, every single time.

However, one particular instance, I came back in to discover my wedding ring was not there. I asked my wife if she'd taken it, thinking maybe she decided to clean it or something, but no.

Over a week went by and no ring. Then, I come home from work one day and there it is. On my nightstand, in plain sight.

Me: "Honey, I just found my ring. It was in the same place I've looked 40 times in the last week."

Wife: "That's great. Could you find me a measuring tape? I don't see one anywhere."

And what about socks? They seem to be that one item that disappears and never does show back up.

Socks must have a different mindset than measuring tapes. Socks aren't interested in hiding in the closet and giggling at you. When they've got a chance to make a run for it, they take it.

Somewhere, there's a singles bar for socks, where they mix and mingle and find a new partner. Maybe even a website for socks where they post an old picture of themselves that makes them look younger than they actually are, and they lie about their age and accomplishments.

"Single, White Sock, looking for companionship that includes long tumbles in a Maytag. Message #Hanes2018."

Why is it that the things we need are able to evade us? How do they manage to disappear and then reappear at will?

Maybe they have some extraterrestrial cloaking device. Or maybe they just enjoy toying with me, which brings joy to their otherwise mundane existence.

I'm going to look up this phenomenon on YouTube. As soon as I can find the remote.

^

©2021 John Moore

 

(John Moore is a 1980 graduate of Ashdown High School who lived in Texarkana and worked at KTFS Radio during the 1980s. His books, "Write of Passage: A Southerner's View of Then and Now — Volumes I and II," are available on Amazon and on his website, TheCountryWriter.com. His weekly John G. Moore Podcast appears on Spotify and iTunes. You can email him through his website at TheCountryWriter.com.)

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