The Sandoval Signpost (Web edition) is pleased
as punch (diet punch that is) to bring you the humor
and insightful human observations of Daniel Will Harris,
author of My
Wife and Times. —Ed].
The Land Of Lost Things
By Daniel Will Harris
I've lost my glasses. So if I've made spelling errors here
you'll understand. Text on-screen looks kind of like I'm viewing
it through the same misty lens that shoots Liz Taylor perfume
I've looked everywhere. Well, clearly not everywhere or I
would have found them, because they must be here somewhere.
I haven't looked under the bed... wait, I'll go look.... Nope.
Lots of interesting things (thankfully none of them alive)
but no glasses.
I do have some glasses on. They're so old and big that I
look like Elton John unplugged—a scary thought. The
frames are clear plastic with a kind of pink tint and the
lenses are so big they cover my face from forehead to upper
lip. Thankfully, the prescription isn't as strong as what
I need now, so I can't see exactly how stupid I look. What
was I thinking when I bought them? I must have thought they
looked good. I guess other people didn't notice because they'd
been overcome by polyester.
I can't find my real spare pair, which have the right prescription.
I can only find this old pair I no longer want and keep meaning
to donate to people who don't mind looking like they're ready
to boogie. Oh—if my real spare is missing, maybe I can
find my regular ones.
See, I have a theory about lost things. I believe there's
some kind of "Dimension L" (for lost) where things
go for a little vacation from dust and us. At least one thing
we own always has to be in this special dimension at any given
time. Luckily, this doesn't seem to be the case with files
on my hard disk (wait, I'm knocking on wood, I don't want
to tempt fate).
So while looking for my glasses, I've found many things I
lost and looked for without success in the past and no longer
need. I don't know why I can find things I don't want—but
not those I do. Why don't I throw most of this stuff out?
I have a dream of putting a dumpster in front of the house
and throwing things directly out of my window, like in a wild
French movie called "Betty Blue." Wait—I thought
my Chap Stick had gone to the nether regions of time and space
so I bought another, now here it is, looking quite relaxed
and fresh, and maybe even a little tan.
I can find these things that were previously lost, because
my glasses have, apparently, taken their place in the "Land
of Lost Things." I hope they're happy there. I also hope
I lose something else soon, perhaps my car keys (they always
seem to enjoy a good rest) so that I can find the glasses
OK, the trick is to look for something else. I know—I'm
going to look for a notebook filled with notes I make in the
middle of the night using the pen I bought that lights up
with an alien green light. Naturally the notebook should be
right by the bed but no. That's good!
Maybe I was trying to decipher the contents which, in the
morning light, tend to look like some dead language. Ah, here
it is, too bad. I was hoping it would be gone, so that it
could take the place of my glasses which would mysteriously
reappear on my desk where I know I left them. But wait—the
pen is gone. That's a good sign. Now maybe there's a chance
to find the glasses.
I know—I'll find them the last place I look. Isn't
that an idiotic saying—of course I will, because once
I find them, I can stop looking!
Maybe I left them somewhere near the shower. I don't wear
my glasses in the shower because there's nothing there I need
to see clearly, in fact, it's better if I don't see anything
in there clearly.
Nope. OK, now I've sacrificed my alien pen and still no glasses.
I'm just going to give up—that'll be very Zen of me.
Once I stop wanting something so badly I can find it. I think
while I'm at it I'll stop wanting to win 60 million dollars
in the lottery.
And there they are. Under a stack of mail I'm now throwing
out. I looked through that stack three times, and, well, it
doesn't matter, there they are. Now if I could only lose something
else so I could find my spare pair. No, I'd better not press
At least I know where everything is on my hard disk (and
when I don't, a simple Start/Find can locate it for me). And
I back up every day so I don't lose anything (you should be
backing up, too, before you have to learn the hard way).
While losing something in the real world is annoying, on
your computer it can be devastating and mean weeks or months
of lost work. Most people only seem to learn this hard way,
by losing something vital. Don't be one of them (see info
below about backing up). Now, If only I'd backed up a spare
pair of glasses...
I wonder if, when you lose your mind, you find everything
else. That's just a thought—I'm not willing to try it