Like socks in a dryer, sneaky ghosts spirit away my stuff

Editor’s note: Cole, a known goof-off, is on vacation. From what, we’re not sure. But he claims he’ll come back with all sorts of fresh column ideas. We’ll see. Until then, enjoy this Cole Classic originally published May 14, 2006.

I believe in ghosts. What else could explain how so many of my things disappear, then turn up in the very places I already looked?

Friends have suggested some wild theories, but their ideas hold no merit. And I can’t believe that, as friends, they would suggest such things about my age and the state of my mind.

I never used to lose things. I could stare at the peaks and valleys of paperwork forming the topography of my desk and invariably knew which pile and the correct depth to reach to produce the document I needed.

But now my house and desk have taken on the properties of a giant clothes dryer and the objects inside are like the proverbial second sock — spun to an alternate universe.

Worse, the ghosts are playing volleyball with them. Take the dozen eggs I stashed in a desk drawer. I was convinced somebody had taken them because they simply were not there anymore.

(Don’t ask why I was harboring a carton of eggs in my desk at work. I assure you that it had nothing to do with any sort of juvenile prank. At least not one that happened. I mean, I lost the eggs before I could pull anything.)

I looked through all the desk drawers. Several times. Nothing.

Have you ever tried to explain to your supervisor the circumstances that lead to a dozen raw eggs being pilfered from your work station? Anything you say just sounds wrong.

My editor muttered something about my age and state of mind that was rather unbecoming someone of her rank and standing.

Several days later I was rooting through mounds of papers for an article that just wasn’t there anymore when I found the eggs. They were buried beneath several newspapers right where I’d looked.

Ghosts are the only explanation.

The old joke is that the reason lost things always are found in the last place we look is because after we find them, we stop looking. I disagree. Lately, I can’t even find things in the last place I looked. They show up in the first place long after I’ve stopped looking.

One day, ghosts swiped my debit card. Poof. I searched the dining room table, where I usually empty my pockets when I get home. I searched shirts, hamper, car, garage, even the Krispy Kreme counter down the road (searching makes me hungry).

Six months after I canceled the card, I dug through a basket of laundry I’d never put away, trying to find my pants, when the debit card popped into my hand. It was just there. In a basket. That I’d already searched. Twice.

I’m still looking for the pants.

Ghosts scampered off with my house keys. Then, three days later, stuffed them in a gym bag I’d shook, kicked and clawed a half dozen times during frantic searches.

It wasn’t until I was looking for a book the ghosts were reading that the keys reappeared.

I even lost a whole car once. Turns out ghosts drove it to other side of the parking lot while I was in the grocery store replacing a box of cereal that had vanished.

Enough is enough. I’m going to set my favorite CD on the table and hide behind the couch. When ghosts wearing headphones sneak in to snatch my music, I’m going to pelt them with the eggs.

As soon as I find them, that is. They’ve disappeared from the refrigerator.

Send your ghastly tales to Cole at burtseyeview@tribtoday.com, on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or @BurtonWCole on Twitter. He’ll respond — as soon as he finds his laptop.