Letters and Fetters

Letters and Fetters

Monday, March 24, 2014

Have they checked lost and found?

   My husband’s wedding ring – the one he lost while bagging leaves a few years ago – is still missing.

   So are my son’s glasses, last seen in the Johnson Fine Arts Center and nearly new when they disappeared.

  The mountain bike my son won in a Ken’s drawing a couple decades ago, missing before he had a chance to ride it? Still gone.

    The stroller that vanished from our carport when my firstborn was small:  I never found it.  

   Over the years, I’ve lost my grandfather’s baby spoon, an opal ring, a camera with baby pictures on the film.

 I can still list items, large and small, lost through the years, and remember them with regret.

 Most people seem to carry around a mental list of lost items.

 Of all lost things, though, not many are as large or as significant as a 777 full of crew and passengers.

  Where can Flight MH370 be?

   We all hoped that somehow it landed in a remote area, passengers still alive, taken as part of a bizarre plane-masking experiment, or even a hijacking.

  Speculators have posited scenarios from a slow-moving fire to evacuation into a black hole  -- from terrorism to space alien intervention. One publication even blamed global warming for the difficulty finding the airliner.

  If it’s anything like what normally happens when things go missing, however, surprises are coming.

 You search for the missing USB cable and find the $20 bill you’d forgotten you’d lost a month before.

  Or, while looking for the overdue library book, you find the misplaced tax form, or the school folder your sister desperately needed last week.

  That’s how it works with lost things. You might not find what you’re looking for, but you’re almost sure to turn over something interesting while you look, something else lost a while back. And the found item is never where you’d think it should be. Finding it always comes as a surprise.

  If you misplaced your car keys, you’ll find the flash drive containing last semester’s term paper -- the one you had to do over from scratch -- and you’ll find it in the glove compartment of your car instead of in your laptop case.

  If you’ve lost your gym shoes, you’ll find the two DVDs you spent a whole weekend searching for in January. They won’t be with your other DVDs but in the bottom of an unused gym bag.

  Wouldn’t it be great if -- while search teams were hunting for Flight 370 -- they happened upon Amelia Earheart’s plane?

  Perhaps they’d find the five ships and body of vanished Italian explorer John Cabot, missing since before Shakespeare’s day.

  It would be typical to find something like the stolen Rembrandt painting -- The Storm on the Sea of Galilee -- instead of the cockpit section of the lost 777.

  Bandleader Glenn Miller, whose plane disappeared over the English Channel in 1944, might at last turn up. So would that mysterious hijacker D.B. Cooper.

  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if somehow the search teams discovered, alive and ready for rescue, Bowe Bergdhal, the U.S. Army sergeant captured and missing in Afghanistan since 2009?

  It would not at all surprise me if the sub hunter Poseidon had discovered the lost city of Atlantis while searching.

  After all, lost items do seem to migrate.

  And if, by some odd chance, the Australian authorities come upon my husband’s wedding ring, I’ll be ready for the call to come pick it up.








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