Here's the Scoop: February 1, 2012

Spinning a yarn
It didn’t happen overnight. No, this was a gradual trend.

At first, I would occasionally ask my wife: “Do you know where all my socks are?”
Then, for a change of pace, I’d mix things up by inquiring: “Have you seen any of my handkerchiefs?”
My questions were usually met with shrugs or a return question that started: “Have you looked in the (fill in the blank)?”

Of course I had already looked in the places being suggested. No socks. No handkerchiefs. At first, this wasn’t really a big deal. Frankly, I rarely wear socks — at least not for long periods of time.
I do, however, like to have a handkerchief with me. Always. These are very practical items — great for blowing your nose, wiping your glasses (not in that order, naturally) and many other uses. I just feel good having one. Lately, though, that’s been a problem.

Where could they go?
Sure, I would occasionally find a handkerchief in my work jacket or in the car. But when you own probably two dozen handkerchiefs and can put your hands (or nose) on only three or four, it’s weird.
I’ll admit that some nights, instead of practicing my accordion playing, I would spend hours scouring nooks and crannies in our house, trying to track down these missing socks and hankies. No luck.

Then, last week, I was looking for something in my office desk and couldn’t get the drawer open. I finally dislodged the drawer —discovering that a handkerchief had become stuck in the back. Closer inspection revealed that the handkerchief was not traveling solo. There were many others — like clowns in a phone booth — and just as colorful!

But, wait, there was more. Much more. By now I had removed the entire drawer and was kneeling on the floor and peering into what could have been a laundry basket. I had struck the mother lode! Somehow (this still isn’t clear to me), many, many handkerchiefs and socks had fallen into the abyss in the far reaches of my desk.

It was like Christmas without the wrapping paper. Or the drama. None of that mattered, though, I was discovering lost treasure. Plus, there was no doubt whether everything would fit.

Big packing job
After several hours, I had stuffed my loot into a few large bags. I then faced the problem of how to transport these items back home. That night, I casually mentioned that maybe my wife and I should switch vehicles the next day. She thought this was odd, but didn’t question me too much. With the larger storage capacity of my wife’s car, I was able to move my treasure. Problem solved. But, not really. How would I explain this sudden reappearance of all these pieces whose whereabouts I had been wondering about for so long?

A light bulb went off! I could tell the truth. It would be hard, but I figured it might just be best to put it out there. When my wife arrived home from work, I sat amidst the huge pile of “missing” items. I then proceeded to explain what had occurred.

After pausing for a few moments, she said, “Let me get this right. Your feet get hot, so you take off your socks during the day. And, you don’t like having anything in your pockets, so you remove your handkerchief? Because you don’t want these items lying around, you put them in a vacant desk drawer and forget about them?”

“It sounds odd, the way you describe it, but yes,” I responded.
Even though I was slightly embarrassed by my admission, I was relieved to have the information out in the open. I was glad I didn’t get cold feet and that I no longer had to worry about blowing my cover.
— Brian Sweeney