Mr. Wonderful* weaves his way through the house, ignoring a house rule, not to start a conversation unless we are both in the same room, and calls out; “Have you seen my cell?” There is no water running or hair dryer blowing in the bathroom so, I hear him and come out.
He is having a conversation with himself, “I just called Marshall, I just had the damn thing, I was sitting in my chair and put the phone on the snack-tray, but, it’s not there.”
He is wearing a heavy hooded sweatshirt and pants. I am dressed similarly. There is a cold wave in Florida. This morning’s outside temperature is 52 degrees; inside the thermostat reads 65. It is much too early to turn the heat on, besides if I remember correctly, AARP reported Arctic air increases life expectancy and being cold burns more calories. Maybe it was not AARP, maybe it was . . . whatever, who can remember; I’ve agreed to enjoy the cold or at least to pretend.
“Did you look in your sock draw?”
“Why would I look in my sock draw?”
“You put on clean socks; did you look in your sock draw?”
He looks at his feet, frowns, and checks his sock draw. The phone is not there, nor on the bureau top, and he says, “This is ridiculous I just had it. It’s in this house, somewhere.”
I pick up the land-line, “I’ll phone you.”
“It’s off, I turned my cell off.”
“Are you sure? I dial his phone and listen as the call goes directly into a message box, and say, “Well maybe ‘The Borrowers’ have it.”
“You know, ‘The Borrowers,’ little tiny people who live in walls and borrow people’s stuff to survive.”
“What are you talking about?”
“You never read the book, ‘The Borrowers’ by Mary Norton? The dad, Pod, risks his life daily getting a potato, afraid he’ll be ‘seen’.”
“No, never heard of them.”
“Pod is a handyman, makes furniture from thread spools and kitchen sinks from Altoids Mint tins. Their home is wallpapered in discarded notepaper and birthday cards. That’s why I’m not upset one of my favorite earrings is missing. The possibilities are many.”
“You’re right it could be anywhere.”
“No, the re-purposing possibilities; the earring is made of wood, and is probably now a table or firewood. The Borrowers like having company for Thanksgiving dinner.
Not amused, Mr. Wonderful does not get it and says, “If they’re so tiny how could they talk on a cell phone?”
“Your cell is more likely their big screen television; they’ll add an app and stream the football game.”
Mr. Wonderful’s retort, “Will they be paying the bill?”
. . . just saying