Friday Frivolity: Have you seen…

Has anyone seen my  (blank) ?  The import of that rather simplistic question is highly dependent upon who’s asking.   Certainly, if Gene Rayburn is asking Charles Nelson Reilly, it’s a very different situation than Sue asking me.

Rayburn – Reilly exchanges are for entertainment.  When Sue asks; “Have you seen my  (blank) ?”, it is most often accompanied by a blank look.  Actually two blank stares.  Her blank look is because she’s mystified as to the whereabouts of the item in question.  My blank look is because I’m just plain mystified.   Though I’m often tempted to give a Reilly-good answer, the context of her question is not for entertainment purposes.

Such inquiries from Sue are often posed because she doesn’t put things down…they unknowingly escape her grasp.

Recently, when Sue asked me “Have you seen my Cookie Decorating Tip?” (hereafter referenced as tip), I suspected such a grasp escape had occurred.  The tip’s break-out deliverance was affirmed by Sue’s additional testimony: “I just had it in my hand.”    Considering we were in the kitchen, baking cookies, that was the logical place to search for the tip.

Logical, that is, if Sue set it down.

The subsequent, logically conducted, search of the kitchen did not find the elusive tip.  Thus, it became apparent that the tip’s liberty was not gained through Sue’s conscious effort.   The ensuing investigation of the escapee’s whereabouts, located it in the bathroom.

No, Sue had not taken it to that particular room for what you might logically expect.  She carried it there when she went to answer the phone.

No, we don’t normally keep the phone in the bathroom.  Ahhh, I suppose you wonder why the phone was in the bathroom.  Same scenario…different   (blank)    No doubt, the phone was inadvertently emancipated when Sue finished a conversation in that room earlier in the day.

So, you see, the typical context of Sue’s, “Have you seen….” is seeking revelation of a truly missing item.  When I pose the same question, I often know the whereabouts…I’m just attempting to discover the culprit who put it where it did not belong.  Case in point— I asked Sue;  “Have you seen my pen?”

“You mean the white one?”, she replied.

That is not to be considered an admission of guilt, yet it is affirmation that she had some knowledge of the item in question.  She went on;  “I think I saw it on my craft table.”  Not denial of any transgression, but definitely a form of displaced culpability.

The fact that she mentioned color is of little consequence except that it was distinctly referencing the last pen she pilfered from the desk.  I didn’t need to go to her craft table to validate her supposition.  I knew it was there. The purpose of my inquiry was not to locate the pen.  I was just trying to make a point concerning the unauthorized relocation of my writing instrument.

Actually, instrumentS.

Also on her craft table was a black pen which I had conveniently placed on the desk to replace a red & white pen, which went missing a few days ago.  The red & white pen is now sharing kitchen counter space two other pens.

Ahh, but conspicuous by its absence was the Brown & Silver Gel pen which disappeared a month ago.  I found that one on top of the bookcase.  Don’t bother to ask.  When I did, she remarked that she thought she had used it to make a note of something.

“Wow, that’s an amazing revelation, dear.  You can actually use these things to make notes?  And all this time I thought you were just playing your version of Where’s Waldo.”

“You’re such a snot, Ed”, came her quick rejoinder.

Snot or not, I was not asking “what” preceded the pen’s disappearance.  It was almost a rhetorical question to signify her propensity to unwittingly relocate things.  Just in case you have not stood beside either our bookcase or Sue lately, it’s not a wonder she didn’t know where she’d left it.  That information would have required her to recall why she had used a stool to reach the top …and, by the way, where she put the stool after the fact.