The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Me and the Scarecrow

A riddle for you: What has 9 bazillion pounds of yarn for the petting and is as dumb as a box of hair?

Answer: That would be me. No, I'm not being self-deprecating, although I may need to apologize to boxes of hair everywhere for denigrating their fine, hairy intellects. Truth is, I'm an idiot and need only a little girl from Kansas with a small black dog, a man made of tin, and a strange talking lion to accompany me on a journey to get a brain. Because here's what I did:

I went to Knit for Life last night (that's not the dumb part). I walked from my car into the hospital and sat in the same spot and knat for two hours (still not the dumb part, although my back might beg to differ). I walked out to my car...and my keys were gone. ALL my keys. I emptied my purse. I emptied my knitting bag. I looked in the gutter and on the ground around the entire path I took from car to hospital. And yet, believe it or not, we're still not to the really dumb part.

'Cause I finally gave up and went home (thanks to the valet key I keep in my purse--the only known proof of any brain activity in my head whatsoever) and just as I was driving onto my block, I remembered: I had eaten a banana on the way to Knit for Life (no, still not the stupid part) and I had not wanted to leave the peel in my car so that it smelled like monkey breath all the way home (getting closer to the dumb part). You can see this coming, can't you? I walked into the hospital, I found a garbage can, I tossed away the peel....and as near as I can figure, I also tossed out a keyring containing three or four sentimental-value type keychains, a $50 computer-chip-containing car key, the remote fob that goes with the key, my house key, the key to my work, three assorted little dealies from supermarkets that give you discounts while shopping, and a bewildering number of odd keys whose purpose remains a mystery to me.

It is, I believe, one of the great mysteries of life how pretty much everyone I know somehow manages to accumulate a number of keys whose purpose is unknown to them. Either keys breed when we're not looking just to mess with our heads, or there is a sick little key fairy who sneaks them onto the ring while we sleep; then hangs around snickering to himself when we try to figure out what the hell the things unlock--maybe even walk around the house trying to open shit, with the apparent hope that perhaps--just perhaps--we or our significant other might have installed a lock on the microwave and forgotten to mention it. Or we all have memories that are fading faster than Tom Cruise's popularity. It's got to be one of those things. I vote for the fairy.

I called the hospital as soon as I got home and the nice young man from security (nice because he waited until I was out of earshot before muttering something about crazy old broads who probably have to write themselves notes to remind them how to put panties on each morning) went down to search the garbage can but, in a stunning display of efficiency heretofore unseen in any hospital I've yet visited, the cleaning crew had been and gone. Just like that, no more keys.

See what I mean? I cannot be trusted with shiny objects.

The good news is that Mr. K, who was apparently using the family brain the day we bought the Toyota, refused to sign unless they promised to give us a second key and key fob. He figured it would come in handy some day. I'd kind of hoped it wouldn't have anything to do with my marshmallowy brain, but you can't have everything (where would you put it?). And, since I use a garage door opener and go in and out of the house through the connecting door (which is never locked), the house key is not an emergency and we can copy Mr. K's this weekend. And even my boss took pity on me and gave me another work key. The supermarkets will probably issue me new savings cards. So really, the only irreplaceable items lost (besides the keychain made in a remote village in Africa that I got at a fundraising dinner and no small amount of dignity) are the half dozen or so keys to whatever the fairies stole them from. I guess I can live with that.

On the way home tonight, I stopped at Fred Meyer to pick up a new keychain or two--something loud and rattly and shiny and not easily lost (like the light up, moooing cow on the one I lost was somehow quiet and subtle--delusion is a sad thing). Turns out they do not have a 12 pound cowbell that rings at 78 decibels if dropped into a garbage can with a banana peel (I know--I was surprised, too) so I was stuck with a stylized silver key and a little medallion that says something about living and loving and laughing and not being a complete and total nitwit. Okay, I made the last bit up...turns out they don't have that, either. But they should.

Anyway, I got to thinking about what I might do to avoid such moments of brain death in the future. Here's what I came up with:
  1. Connect my keys to a long, knitted string and thread it through my jacket sleeves like we used to do to humiliate kids when they lost their mittens too often. It has the added advantage of providing humor to anyone who wishes to come tug on the key sticking out of my right sleeve, thus causing me to hit myself in the head with the other hand as the string tightens up.
  2. Wrap my keys in a ball of multi-colored sock yarn, such as Colinette Jitterbug in the Mardi Gras colorway. It could be raining steak knives and I'd still take a moment to make sure THAT was safe.
  3. Paint my keys brown and wrap them in Hershey's wrappers. When have you ever known me to lose chocolate?
  4. Have my forehead tattooed with the phrase "Ask me about my keys". It'd be a conversation starter if nothing else.
  5. Tie them around my neck on a dirty, knotted piece of white string and then get my mother to threaten to beat me if I lose it. It worked quite well when I was a child.
  6. Get a St. Bernard dog and attach my keys to its collar when not in use. It would be a bit more work, true...but I think it would be tougher to lose a whole dog than it was to lose a ring of keys (which was WAY easy).
  7. Have all my keys remade in the same stuff they make superballs out of--you know, those ones that you used to bounce around the house while your mother screamed at you to take it outside and the cat nearly got whiplash trying to track the thing? That way, even if I drop them, they should bounce right back to me.
  8. Give them to a bank manager and then default on a loan. I'd NEVER lose those babies--they'd be hot on my heels no matter where I was.
  9. Roll them in ham and then just watch for the crowds of dogs and cats.
  10. Announce to my husband that they have disappeared and cannot be found. History shows that whenever I utter this sentence about anything, the item in question immediately removes itself from wherever it is, rips through time and space faster than a medical office can go through a plate of free food (it's not pretty, let me tell you), and tucks itself lovingly into his hand so can look pityingly at me as I stammer unconvincingly that I looked EVERYWHERE.

I'll be headed off to Oz now, but I don't have a ton of hope. After all, even if he gave me a brain, it's a cinch I'd put it down somewhere and lose it.

Oh, I nearly forgot--the miners blankets are FINISHED. Seriously--they really, really are. Which might explain where my brain cells are. I think crocheting may actually eat them. Anyway, I'll get Mr. K to take a picture of me with all of them before I wrap them up and mail them to Utah. Is this exciting, or what??


  • At 8:06 PM, Blogger Tola said…

    oh yes please photograph all the blankets!!!

  • At 9:05 PM, Blogger Lynn said…

    The only reason that I know where my keys are is that they are attached to a fob with a snap, and the "male" part of the snap is on the inside of my big red tote. Since the big red tote is approximately half the size of my car, I have known for the past year and a half where my keys are. It's the only thing that works for me.

    Woohoos for completing the blankets, and ahead of schedule yet!

    Go eat some pumpkin pie. You'll feel better.

  • At 6:02 AM, Blogger Marianne said…

    Ooooh, I really like this long version... heh.
    SO looking forward to seeing the blankies!

  • At 8:41 AM, Blogger Kitty Mommy said…

    Well, misery loves the last ten days, I have left my purse at a fast food joint (I got it back with credit cards, debit card, and cash liberated), left two or three meals of leftover soup in a plugged in crockpot over night (not pretty), and spent more time looking for the remote control, keys, cell phone, and coffee mug than I have spent knitting. The good news is that I have never actually forgotten the children anywhere...yet.

    Congrats on getting the blankets done! Can't wait to see them!

  • At 11:15 AM, Blogger Tola said…

    forgot to say:
    ive been borrowing my parents' big white Cadillac for the last month, because my car was not being very reliable in the starting department. i am scared to death that i will lock the keys inside the car, and as they are 3 hours away, it is slightly problematic getting another set of keys. but i return Moby Dick to them tonight and get my own little Escort back.

  • At 7:40 PM, Blogger Kit said…

    Oh dear heavens you have me laughing so hard!!! Sadly, the most effective key remembrance device I had was to put it on a long thing around my neck. The long cord was easy to remember and if it was around my neck, it was blindingly obvious to me and everyone else as well where it was.

    That said, will that be the part of Kansas that has the Yarn Barn?

  • At 1:22 PM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…

    WOOHOO! Finished! Absolutely superlative, hon! Brava to everyone - can hardly wait to see pix.

    As to keys? I feel your pain. I locked the car keys in the car once...with the car running. (In my defense, I was 17 and it was way out in the country. Uh. Not sure what that latter has to do with it, actually, but you know, no one stole the sucker while I waited for Mom to drive 5 miles to unlock me. Just a good thing I'd done it when stopping at the country store to run in quick, y'know? No cell phones in those days.) When I was 20 or so, I left my keys (plus a favorite jacket and a few other things) somewhere on a Canadian ship during Rose Festival. The night before it left port. Gone forever. (It was probably in the canvas locker where my sailor and I nearly got caught by an officer, but I'll deny it forever.) Much later, my father kept teasing Mike and I for paying for Triple A; "What's the use?", quoth he. What was annoying was that for fear of the reaction (he was a terrible tease), we never did point out smugly that both times the keys were locked in the car (not running), Triple A came right away. (I got to laugh, though, 'cause both times it was Mike who left 'em. He couldn't very well hide it from me. I was there when he did it. Both times.)

    Personally, I think your house boggart went along for the ride that night. They're mischievous like that. Happy Thanksgiving anyway! ::hugs::


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