Dayle and I don’t quite know how it happens but we realize that it has already happened when one of us speaks the ominous seven-word phrase: “I put it in a safe place”. I am beginning to wonder if the phrase has magical power. Here is my evidence.
First, the phrase is magical, because pronouncing it will cause the thing to disappear at least until it is no longer needed but more likely until we move or possibly until the apocalypse. I wonder if “apocalypse” means “the time when things put in a safe place will finally reappear”.
Second, this phrase means that the thing in question was of some importance; enough that Dayle or I spent a little time thinking about a “safe” place to put it. We should remember something into which we put such deliberate thought.
Third, when I ask where something is, Dayle always say something like, “I remember. I saw it when I had just come back from the pharmacy to get Excedrin because you were having a headache from chopping all that wood for the neighbor because the pastor had preached in the good Samaritan and the newspaper had said we were headed into a cold spell with clear nights when we would be able to see the full moon. And the telephone rang – it was my cousin calling to thank me for the birthday card I sent him, and when I went to the phone I saw it and I thought ‘I’ve got to put that in a safe place’ and I so picked it up and … now I don’t remember where I put it.” This phrase “I need to put this in a safe place” has the power to erase all memory for the few minutes after having thought or spoken it. How else can I explain that we can remember where we were when we thought it, what day it was, what we were doing, the phase of the moon, the subject of the sermon the preceding Sunday, whose birthday it was, what we had brought at the store that day, who had just called on the telephone, and of course where the thing was, but have no recollection at all of subsequent events; especially not of where we put the thing?
Forth, saying “I put it in a safe place” expands the number of places to put things in our average-sized place to an infinite number. If not, we would then find the thing after looking “everywhere”. Saying that phrase has obviously increased the number of places to put things in our house to everywhere + 1.
Finally, putting stuff in a safe place really works. As far as we can tell, no harm has ever come to the things we put in a safe place. We are still trying to verify this, but we have been hindered by the fact that a number of items we put in safe places have not yet reappeared.