SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Got Keys? That Depends.


June 22, 2009

Ketchikan, Alaska - One of the neat-o advantages of turning 50 - other than the 50 percent off coupons for incontinence products - is the fact that I finally have an excuse for misplacing things.

jpg Dave Kiffer

Dave Kiffer

It's not my fault, of course, that things are not where I am sure that I left them.

For example, there is that nasty little thing called continental drift.

You've heard of it. It's the thing that's behind the predictions that in 75 million years or so Los Angeles will be in the Gulf of Alaska. So I know for a fact that sometimes if I leave something in one place long enough it eventually migrates out of my house and across the street.

And there are also intergalactic worm holes. They make it possible for my sunglasses to suddenly jump into hyperspace from the kitchen counter only to reappear weeks later under a sofa cushion.

Finally, there is the fact that I live with a VOP, a very organized person. Usually, my lack of organization cancels her organization out. Kind that matter and anti-matter thing. But every now and then she succumbs to the desire to put something of mine somewhere that makes perfect sense to her. Unfortunately then it ends up in the last place that I would look

I understand these displacement anomalies because they have been happening throughout my life.

I'm pretty sure that my first memory is that of "misplacing" the carved wooden salmon plug that my Dad used to stick in my mouth for a binky (single hook, barbless, thank goodness).

That led to years of wandering around the house looking for whatever it was I had misplaced.

Often it was a pencil (behind my ear) or sunglasses (on top of my head) or the piece of paper that I had already colored on, wadded up and tossed away but I was sure had been left on the table.

I was likely the first child who heard the "thank goodness your head is attached otherwise you'd lose it" phrase. My father uttered it to me during the Johnson Administration (Andrew).

When I was a spring chicken, misplacing things was always a little incongruous anyway. I mean - after all - I was at the peak of my mental powers (insert snarky comment here) then. I had many more brain cells than I do now. And they were young and vigorous ones, not like my current batch of old and tired ones.

But still I kept misplacing things. I once left a girlfriend at a grocery store and then went back to retrieve her, to the wrong one.

Once upon a time, back in college, a friend bought me one of those "clickers" that you would push and it would make your (a) car keys, (b) TV remote or ( c) sunglasses "beep" so you could find them in the debris field that was my rental house.

Natch, I lost the "clicker."

Another time I misplaced my car in the Disneyland parking lot. I sat at the guard shack and waited until everyone else had left and my car was the last one there. It only took until 3:30 am.

So now that I am not just "over" but actually careening down the far side of "the hill," it's finally okay to admit my life long inability to remember where I put things.

Best of all I don't have to feel bad about not being able to find my car keys anymore.

I can celebrate the fact that I generally spend about 15 minutes each morning checking all the likely (and more than a few unlikely) places as I look for my keys.

They are never where they should be. I once found them in the freezer. I once found them in the bathtub. I once found them on the stove next to a burner turned on high and then abandoned (insert hot wire joke here).

A couple of days ago, I walked around the house looking for my car keys yet again. I even checked the freezer, the bathtub and the stove. I checked the secret drawer where I stash my "Depends" coupons. As usual, it turned they were "in the last place I looked."

My right hand.




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Dave Kiffer is a freelance writer living in Ketchikan, Alaska.
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