Thursday, April 6, 2017

Where Did I Put It?

Just about everybody experiences the madness of misplacing an item. Car keys seem to be #1 in the ranking of these lost causes.  Trust me, dear reader, as the shadows lengthen these events will be turning up with greater frequency. They come along with your AARP card. You are in the company of many others.

There are some among us who feel that you can beat the odds by developing a “system” to find things.  For example, one pal says that he uses the “bureau top” approach, by placing virtually everything he owns on the surface of the furniture holding his socks, handkerchiefs and underclothes. He cautions that this system can only work for bachelors for “if you are married your wife will use the whole house as her bureau top.”

When my brothers and I were little kids our mother, a devout lady who practiced good deeds throughout her life, had us pray to St. Anthony, the Finder of Lost Things. (“St. Anthony, please come round; something is lost and must be found.”) When St. Anthony came through with a positive result it also served as a thunder clap over our heads to be good. I'm not saying each recovery was a miracle, but it only took one “find” to convince us.

Beyond my friend's “bureau top” approach, there is much to be said about “a place for everything and everything in its place.”  Simplicity and routine are critical ingredients to the “where did I put it?” dilemma. Keys on the table by the front door, credit cards in the wallet in your coat or purse – never loose in the jacket or pocketbook. As for your automobile, use the McGuirk Rule.

During my traveling days I shared many professional assignments with a gentleman named James McGuirk. Jim always wanted to be the driver, and that was okay. But he consistently forgot where he parked our rental cars. Not so good. One evening after I retired for the evening, McGuirk came back from a little night life in San Diego. To avoid a problem this time, he pulled the car right up to the main entrance of the Hilton hotel, got out and locked it up. Next morning chaos reigned with guests trying to check out, taxicab service, etc. But the principle is still valid.  Park your own car out front and lock it up.

Just be sure you're not at a Hilton.

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