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“The House Camouflage Principle”

April 10, 2012

First things first. I’m pretty sure that there’s a song that contains the lyric “It’s been a while since I last saw you.” I’m also reasonably sure that it is sung by the band called Staind, but then again, I also am still 98% convinced that Candlebox sings “Shine.” I don’t think that any of that really has much to do with this halfhearted apology for my inconsistent blogging, but at least I’m writing again. Sometimes, I may still do some accompanying pictures if I feel like it. But for now, let’s just get on with the show!

I lose things all the time. And by lose, I mean that I have absolutely no idea where the hell my iPod* went – like I thoroughly searched my entire apartment twice and am currently contemplating slitting open my couch cushions with a utility knife because I’m sure that “IT HAS TO BE SOMEWHERE!

Yeah, it’s frustrating when you lose something. The worst part is that the more you try to remember the last place you could have used your iPod, the more you begin to distrust your own memory.

“Did I have my iPod in the garage or the living room? Or wait, I think I remember having it upstairs that one time when I wanted to start jogging again because I remember trying to fit it into that stupid Velcro exercise armband case. Then I stuffed it in my nightstand drawer and forgot about it… Yeah, that’s right! It has to be in my nightstand. Or wait, maybe I put it with the rest of my electronics in the closet.”

My wife says that usually around this point I start muttering to myself, pausing occasionally to wipe the spittle from my beard. It’s also about now that I normally take a break from searching. This is mostly because I know that I can always resume the search again in earnest tomorrow. And as I finally drift off to sleep, if you listen closely, you might just barely hear me murmur “Curse you, you elusive iPod, I’ll find you yet!” while subtly shaking my fist towards the sky.

When I lived with my parents, I named this phenomenon the House Camouflage Principle. In its simplest form, the theory could best be expressed as “No matter what object you have set down somewhere in the house, whether it by a replica of Hadrian’s Wall made out of sugar cubes or a set of car keys or Steve Guttenberg’s career, it will immediately blend in with its surroundings so well that you think it has either been magically camouflaged with Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak or there is a malevolent tribe of gremlins living between the walls that has no greater joy than to hide the very item you are looking for at the exact moment you need it most.”

Now that I’m married and have my own apartment to fill up with an increasing number of holiday decorations, small kitchen appliances and other assorted junk/treasure, I have realized that the House Camouflage Principle is no respecter of persons, geographic locations or the amount of assorted vases and decorative pinecones one has acquired.

Much like that made-up theory of gravity, the House Camouflage Principle affects, and afflicts us all. In fact, I imagine at this very instant there is a chain-smoking Mongolian frantically overturning furniture and searching his yurt, muttering to himself that “I put my iPod right under my pillow 10 minutes ago because I wanted to listen to some music before I went to bed and now it’s not there. Where could it have possibly gone? It’s not like it grew camel legs and then walked away all by itself.”

In review, any person can set down any item in any house, turn their backs for a few moments and the object will have disappeared like magic… like dark, ancient, powerful voodoo magic. Needless to say, I still haven’t found my iPod  yet.

*Please feel free to insert the name of another item that you have recently lost or “temporarily misplaced” throughout this post. Suggestions include keys, cell phone, or water buffalo.

P.S. Stay tuned next time when I either write a post about why the internet is shitty or a post or two on living with foreigners! (Notice my skillful dodge of an actual deadline.  It’s not that I fear commitment per se. I just don’t like to be pinned down.)

P.P.S. In fact, I’ll leave it up to you, dear readers. Express your choice  by commenting (But only if you really really want to. I don’t want to make you commit or anything. No, seriously, we can just be “secret friends” where we act really mean to each other in public or when other people are around, but secretly, we know we’re still friends. So yeah, no commitment whatsoever.)

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  1. Dennis permalink

    I’ve lost my iPod IN MY POCKET on more occasions than I care to admit.

    • Yeah, my problem is generally when I am putting away any household gadget or object that was just laying about, I tend to put it in ridculous places like on top of the refrigerator or in the mail basket or in the rice canister. My thinking at the time is always, “This is such a ridiculous place to put my iPod, surely there is no way that I could possibly forget that I put it here.” I might need to start revisiting this approach, however, as it seems to have back-fired more than it’s helped.

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