What have you lost? I’ve lost all kinds of stuff. My kids would say I’ve lost my mind, and that is often hard to debate. When they were small and we passed a sign for a lost dog or cat you could see their little hearts break. From the back seat, they’d keep their eyes peeled in the hopes of being the rescuer.
But what do you do with a sign like this that I saw on Saturday:
If you’re me, you dial the number!
Hello? (the voice was that of a tired-sounding older woman.)
Yes, I’m calling about the wicker loveseat.
Did you find her?
Well, no. I was just curious.
Curious about what?
Well, it isn’t often you see a sign for a lost loveseat.
Ah, I keep it handy. She’s run off before.
Run off? You mean you don’t think it was stolen?
Nah. She’s too ugly and beat up for someone to steal. She just ran off again.
(At this point, I’m thinking bats in the belfry and men in white suits driving a van with padded walls until she began to tell me her tale woe.)
Well, she gets lonely out on the porch, and hates the rain. But she don’t like being cooped up in the house, either. She can’t make up her mind what she wants. She’s been in the family for years but ever since my husband died, she ain’t been the same.
I’m sorry for your loss.
The chair? Or the husband?
Don’t be… about him. He was lazier and more worn out than the chair. But she seemed to like him. You know how you find a chair that just fits your backside perfect? You can look and look for another one, but they just don’t work.
Yeah, I get that.
Well I think it works in reverse, too.
I mean the chair has a butt preference, too and when that butt is gone, no other one will do.
The chair has a favorite butt?
Why else would she keep running away when the butt is gone?
Are you talking about your husband or his backside?
You decide… Look! You called me. Do you know something about the chair or not?
No, I’m sorry.
You gonna help me look for her?
At this point I was feeling terribly guilty for stirring her up, so I agreed to scour the neighborhood for her runaway chair. It was odd. I’ve looked for pets before by calling their name every few seconds, whistling, and making sounds. I didn’t really know the best way to look for a wicker loveseat. What sounds might lure a chair? As I searched, I noticed several other confused men wandering around the streets with me until I realized that I was not alone in this endeavor. All of them must have inquired about the curious sign also – a couple even carried chairs toward the address she had given me. I went to her home and noticed dozens of wicker chairs of all shapes and sizes in her backyard deposited there by men who must have given up and grabbed anything they could find.
I wondered what was going on here. Had I become party to an underground wicker trade? I rang the bell and an old lady with a head full of curlers answered.
If you find her, just put her in the back with the others.
I thought you only lost one chair.
I did. But the party’s at eight and every butt needs a place to settle.
With a parting wink, she closed the door.