Thursday, January 11, 2018

Where Are My Effing Gloves?

A few years back (four years ago Wednesday to be precise) I related the story of how I once had mistakenly assumed that a jacket belonging to me had been nipped, stolen, made off with, misappropriated, er, perhaps misplaced, after a night without much sleep followed by a long day. You can read that tale here, I have to say, I did not cover myself with glory on that day.

You might gather from the title of today's post that I, once again, got spun up over something which was actually, and I'll be blunt here, "my own damn fault."

As one ages, things are perceived differently, the brain is jam-packed with information which may or may not be useful on an every day basis.

While it may be really, really cool that I know how to load a smooth bore cannon in the proper manner, it ain't much help in "where are my car keys" and "why did I come downstairs" types of situations that we (okay, I) encounter each and every day.

What I try to do, because of my training and experience, is reduce everything to a procedure, a checklist if you will. My head is full of checklists concerning my everyday activities. My keys and wallet always, yes, always, go in one of two places, depending on the season of the year. I guess if you were to write it out, it would look like this -
  • Am I wearing a jacket or coat?
  • If yes, put wallet and car keys into pockets, zip up the pockets*, hang up the coat.
  • If no, put wallet and car keys on desk, next to security badge (which if not hanging around my neck is on top of my desk, always, no exceptions).
When I travel, I also have certain procedures which I must follow to the letter, otherwise I find myself in situations similar to the tale of woe I have for you today.

As you may know, over the Christmas holidays The Missus Herself and Your Humble Scribe traveled south to northern Virginia, Arlington to be precise, there to celebrate the birth of Our Savior with The Nuke and her two dogs.

As is my wont I scheduled the flight to leave T.F. Green at what The WSO likes to call "the butt crack of dawn." In order to catch such a flight with allowance for passing through TSA, etc., etc., one must arise at such an hour to arrive at the airport no later than an hour and a half before scheduled departure.

While I am not as bad as this guy, I am oft accused of being "exactly like that." At least according to my daughters and The Missus Herself. Perhaps it's Air Force tradition. Which (I have heard) runs something like this -

The Colonel to The Captain: "I want to be "wheels up" no later than 0930 Captain, make sure our people are ready to board at the appropriate time."

The Captain to The Lieutenant: "Lieutenant, have your people in the Military Airlift Command terminal no later than 0630. We want everyone there, a headcount taken, and all baggage palletized before the colonel arrives!"

The Lieutenant to the First Sergeant: "Sergeant, have everyone at the terminal no later than 0530, I will be there shortly thereafter and I expect everyone accounted for, and all the baggage ready to go!"

The Sergeant to The Troops: "Alright, listen up you morons! I want everyone up and ready to fall in outside the barracks at 0300, because the bus to the terminal will be leaving at 0330 sharp. If you're not in formation when I call the roll, I will make you regret the day you were born! IS THAT CLEAR?"


No, I'm not like that at all. But the day upon which this tale occurs, was a day strange indeed.

In order to make my self-imposed deadline for departure to the airpatch, I set my alarm for 0330. Being overly excited at the prospect of seeing The Nuke and celebrating Christmas with her, I had difficulty falling asleep. Finally though, I did fall asleep, my last waking thought being "Oh, well, I can still get at least four hours of sleep..."

Some time later, though not much later, I awakened, glanced at my watch on the night stand and sighed as it appeared (note that word "appeared") that it was time to get up. So I got up, answered the call of nature, and prepared to shave, shower, etc. 'Twas then that I noticed (in my somewhat groggy but semi-awake state) that it was not 0330 but was actually 0230. Yes, I had awakened an hour too soon.

Could I go back to sleep? Nope, not at all. After a couple of minutes of tossing and turning I got up.  I figured, what the heck, I could be all ready to go by the time The Missus Herself got up and then I could fool around on the computer for a bit whilst leisurely drinking a cup of coffee.

Well, yes, that worked. However, when I went to load the bags in the car, I noted that the temperature was hovering around freezing and that it was foggy.

Ruh-roh, says I. What's the problem, asks she. Then I explain how it might be a bit slippery on the roads and that no doubt the aircraft upon which we would be traveling would probably need deicing. Which I explained to her in fairly simple terms, that is, "airplanes don't fly well with icy wings." A concept which she grasped immediately.

(Sarge, what about the gloves? I thought this story was about gloves. - Patience Grasshopper...)

So our flight was delayed by an hour while we awaited our turn to be deiced. Which a hipster a couple of rows up explained to his girlfriend as "they pour hot water on the plane to melt the ice." To which I muttered, "Oh dear me, no, no that's not it at all you maroon." To which the love of my life suggested that I should hold my peace and "Really, you're such an idiot at times..."

Guilty as charged.

All that (he said, finally getting to the point) meant that by the time we got to Ronald Reagan air patch, your beloved OAFS was exhausted, sleepy, and somewhat perturbed. (Especially upon boarding the aircraft and realizing that I was in the grip of the latest airline ticketing scam. That is, you don't get a window seat unless you pay extra for it. I hate sitting in the aisle. Don't care if you like it, yes, I understand why you might, but let me repeat: I. Hate. Aisle. Seats. Gotta have a window, it's who I am.)

Now (as you mutter that I still haven't gotten to the point of this here tale) upon boarding the aircraft, I had stowed my gloves in my backpack. Not in the pockets of my coat. Why you ask, that's not SSOP (Standard Sarge Operating Procedure), what were you thinking?

Well, I wasn't. The non-window seat thing threw me off, so my tired brain malfunctioned and stuck the gloves in the backpack, not the pockets with the perfectly functioning zippers. What could possibly go wrong?

That evening as we took The Nuke's dogs to the dog park, the temperatures had become rather chilly in the great out of doors. The kind of temperatures in which one might want to wear gloves. Which I could not find in the pockets of my coat.

"Honey, have you seen my gloves?" I asked, innocently enough.

"No. Where did you put them?" she replied with a slight tone of exasperation.

Rather than answer, "If I knew that, then I wouldn't be asking now, would I?" I went with the far less likely to get me killed answer, "I don't know. Ah, the heck with it, it's not that cold out." So yes, WSF, I wore my "Air Force gloves," as in "stuck my hands in my pockets."

The next day, The Nuke and I were going to go to the football game. The outdoor football game. For which I had no gloves. (So I thought at the time.)

The Missus Herself: "My gloves are kind of big, see if you can wear those."

As I struggled to put her lady-gloves on my man-hands, The Nuke is chuckling and spouts out, "If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit." in her best Johnnie Cochran imitation.

As I discover that the gloves will squeeze on and seem to allow some freedom of movement, the two ladies are laughing uproariously at my expense. Humiliated, I follow my daughter out the door and we go to the game.

All week long, I puzzled as to where my gloves might be. Well rested now, I had completely forgotten that my gloves had been stowed in a place which I only used while on board an aircraft, or in packing to get on board an aircraft. My well-rested, somewhat rational, mind assumed that I had left my gloves in my car, or on the plane, or at the airport, or any number of other places. For some odd reason, I could not recall having gloves on the way to the airport. Perhaps they were at home, on the dining room table.

Exhaustion is a bad time to try and store information. I'll say that right now. Needless to say, I eventually found my gloves, the day we were getting ready to return to Little Rhody. In my backpack. Which, as I think back on it, was probably not the time to announce, "Hey, I found my gloves!" Perhaps pretending to "find them" in my car when we got back to the airport would have been the smarter, though deceptive, move. Nope. Not me.

The Nuke: "Dad, you are such a moron."

The Missus Herself: "You're an idiot."

The WSO (upon being told the story by her mom): "Hahaha! Was Dad storming around bellowing that someone had stolen his effing gloves?"

Sigh, the abuse I receive at times. Am I perhaps a tad too "dramatic"? Maybe a bit too "excitable"?

Well, no more than the next guy.

Or not.

Yup, covered in glory once more.


* The Missus Herself is pretty good about buying me outer apparel with pockets that can be secured, usually with a zipper, sometimes via a snap.


  1. Have you seen my bluetooth (missing since Christmas Day)?

  2. My kids drop by when they need a tool. They go into the garage and help themselves (perhaps because God helps those who help themselves?). No note. Just an absent tool that vanishes into the ether. I must admit here to being a bit obsessive/compulsive (OCD). The OCD side of me can be annoying at times because I like things ship shape and Bristol fashion. There is no 'crap' in the passenger compartments of my cars. My clothes are washed, ironed and hung or folded soon after being worn, etc. It's how I keep my act together.

    The missing tool scenario plays itself out by "covering myself with glory" except that occasionally it's not the kids... (small voice here), it's me. Drat, entropy and age.

    1. I'm pretty sure I've got a ghost in my workshop. I can put a tool down, turn my back for 5 minutes and return to where I KNOW i left it and it's not there. 'Tis a puzzlement how that occurs.

    2. Mine is called 'Fred.' One day in the old house I lost my keys. Simple, no? I lost a fist full of keys on a big honking keychain. Why so big? Well, because I lose small key blobs easily. Large key blobs are hard to lose. So, right before I needed to go to work was when I realized the keys were gone. I searched the areas I had been in since I had arrived home. No big key blob. I searched outside. No big key blob. I searched the car. No key blob. I searched the clean cloths. NBKB. I searched in, around and under the water bed. NBKB. I felt and listened to the dog to make sure she didn't swallow them. NBKB. I broke down and checked the bags of used kitty litter. NBKB.

      I finally gave up. Called it quits. Called into work with some lame 'car troubles' excuse and bummed the spare spare set of keys from Mrs. Andrew, incurring much shame and exasperation while doing so.

      Fast forward 10 years. Cleaning up a room that I hadn't been in in 10 years, I got to the far corner and there were two old time speaker boxes stacked one on top of another. Moved the first, well, hmm, full of empty stereo boxes that never made it into the attic crawl space (hey, it's Florida. We don't have those big honking attics like you see in the movies. No. We have those insulation filled broiler tunnels you see on COPS where the bad guy, already covered in sweat, climbs into the attic leaving a pound or two of insulation on the ground and then gets further cooked by the insulation wrapped broiler.)

      Back to the story.

      So, first box gone. Move second box. Clunk. A monkey fist of sharp metal falls on my bare toes (which, in case you need to know, are above average length, thus subject to getting pelted by things much more than a 'normal' would have their toes pelted.) And lo and behold, it is the Big Hunk of Keys itself, lost 10 years or more, and 1 vehicle, and several jobs, ago. In a room, in a box, that I hadn't been in for over a year before the keys went missing.

      Must have been a poltergeist or other spook. Thus, 'Fred.'

      Other unexplained disappearances include one left shoe lost on the first day we stayed at the house, a pair of scissors last seen on a water bed and recovered on the stain-glass worktable in a room not used that day, and other spooky stuff.

      But it must just have been me being 'random,' right?

    3. Juvat - ghosts, my new excuse, blame the supernatural. Except I know that the females of the tribe won't buy it.

    4. Andrew - a spooky tale indeed. I swear, Florida is a bizarre place. Must be all those swamps.

    5. I'll admit, it's a hard sell, but now that you've got documented evidence from both Andrew and I, how can they say no? I mean are they "Global Warming" denialists also? Santa Claus? The Easter Bunny? C'mon!

    6. We should do a study, perhaps The Chant can get a government grant?


    7. I've seen lights, kinda like in "Poltergeist," coming out of a rectangular deep hole in the woods behind the old house. I asked one of my Florida history friends, and she said a lot of little homesteads in that area were burned out, with the settlers inside, during the Seminole Wars, and other wars. Very creepy seeing strings of light come out of a hole at dusk. Sure, marsh gas, simple explanation, but why did that spot never grow poison ivy when that stuff grew everywhere else, or why when chasing raccoons (stupid neighborhood yuppie/hippies fed those trash-bandits and then the whole herd decided to attack my house. Was an epic summer of .22Short action, as trapping, drowning, poisoning and all other methods proved unacceptable.)(Back to the story.) Here I was, going all Daniel Boone on the trash-panda, and he stopped dead right before the hole, right where all the green stopped. Damned thing turned, looked at me and I swear it's expression was "Kill me before the hole gets me."

      Never found snakes, frogs, toads or anything else within 3 feet of that 8' deep rectangular hole. Never filled with water, either, even during heavy rains. Water would kinda collect, but then just drain away...

      Never a drop of breeze near that hole either. Sounds seemed kinda muffled. Only went there once near dusk. Once was enough. Was freaky enough during the day, even during the heat of summer seemed cold and clammy. Had a microburst hit near it, saw the trees fallen in a splayed out pattern and then the track headed to the hole. Microburst lifted up when it got near hole, dropped down after hole and then ate my neighborhood up good, going for over four blocks and messing up trees, roofs, trees with roofs, etc.

      I was glad when that area got bulldozed for development, and the developer originally had that spot scheduled for a house, but nothing was ever built. So here sits this somewhat filled in hole next to a retention pond. Retention pond fills up, but hole doesn't. Area around retention pond grows green like the dickens. Hole area trees that grew back were kinda weird and twisted, and dwarfed.

      No, don't believe in spooky stuff at all. There are no bad Kami living/not living in that area. Demons and or devils are just figments of our warped imagination. Nothing exists, there's nothing to see, move it along, and we're walking.... (cue scary music, get the guy with the chainsaw moving, and ask the guy with the hockey mask if he's off his coffee break yet.)

    8. The hole was about 10' x 20' and 8' deepish. No real reason for said hole to sit in the middle of dense oak woods... with some roots growing into it showing it's been there for more than a few years...

    9. Why yes, I will be sleeping with all the lights on tonight.

      Why do you ask? 👀

    10. Well, as to that, there are lots of stories of 'dead spots' like I described lurking in the woods of the New England area, Maine, Rhode Island (the somewhat wooded portions) and such. Think of the areas in New Jersey where the Jersey Devil stories come from.

      Lots of strange things come out of those areas. Not just Stephen King, but what he used to write about. And H.P. Lovecraft (from Providence, R.I. (he he he...))

      Sorry, modern Disney. Mother Nature is not our friend. She doesn't normally actively work to kill us, but...

    11. Mother Nature will kill you if a) she's hungry b) you're not paying attention or c) you're stupid.

  3. Your tale reveals at least two constants....1) THERE they(missing item) ARE! found in last spot searched......2) family comments i.e. "If your head wasn't attached"......sigh. I feel your pain Sarge.

  4. Been there done that...several times.

    Much funnier when it is someone else!

  5. Are your Air Force gloves the same as the Air Force mittens our Army NCOs became unglued when we wore them?

    On my job a backpack with winter survival stuff, backup glasses, geezer goggles (slip over Polaroids) and sundry items goes along. There is one horizontal zippered pouch that holds a point and shoot camera, access badges, and my POV keys. The keys always go there. So, yesterday, they weren't there. Finally found them buried in a compartment that rarely is accessed. How the ^%&* did that happen? I blame Sasquatch.

    1. Gloves, mittens, the very same.

      I'm going to start blaming Sasquatch as well.

  6. Funny story.
    I'm still looking for things I knew I had a year ago.
    moving will do that.
    I have discovered when I walk into a room where I have access to a computer (iPhone, iPad, tablet, Kindle, laptop, et al) I will lose whatever thoughts I had beforehand.

    1. My tech will cause me to lose my train of thought as well. Odd that.

  7. Gotta love that "glory." Sometimes it's all you get.

  8. Some good stories. I don't carry a backpack, but I lost my keys in my jeans pocket once by putting them in the wrong pocket. Everything ( as I don't have a backpack, I carry a lot of stuff in my pockets ) always goes in the same pocket. So when my keys were not in my key pocket, I started looking all over the house for them. It was quite some time before I checked my other jeans pockets and found my keys.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

  9. Procedure. Checklist. Bingo. When ever I'm asked if I can multi-task, I have a pat answer. "Sure. Just make sure the tasks are all end to end". And as per Mark Gungor, don't let the boxes touch.

    I have heard the theory advanced that not all our memory is between our ears. Some is stored farther down. That's why the moment you sit down and get comfortable, you say "Aww crap, now I remember what I forgot to do!".

    1. Well...

      There is such a thing as muscle memory, the military and athletes rely on that.

      The gluteus maximus is indeed a muscle...

      I sense another research grant application is in order!

  10. Ok, so it isn't just a girl thing...good to know. I totally comprehend the checklist method. Otherwise I am totally lost.
    And Hubby says I go into the twilight zone when I walk out of the living room into the hall which leads to the rest of the house. I forget what he ordered for breakfast, what I was just going to go do, etc. When I come back and plant my butt on the couch, it's just like a switch was thrown and I remember what/where I was going.

    My ex used to say that my blonde hair is showing through the gray (for the record I am and have always been a brunette who has been going gray since I was 18, now there is more salt than pepper on top of my head, but hey, at least I have hair on top of my head!)

    I like the idea of Fred, or Big Foot, or tomten.

    1. Fred sounds too real. Sasquatch will do for me.

  11. Fred is real, as real as I can tell. Now the rest of those fairy critters, like Yeti, Sasquatch, a fiscally conservative Democrat, well, those are just plain hokum.

    1. Hahaha! He said "fiscally conservative Democrat." Hahaha! No such thing!

  12. Yesterday I was looking for my roll of bright orange duct tape.
    The roll was not in the garage, basement, many tool boxes or in the box that holds my tape and glues.
    I know it was not in that box as I took it off the shelf twice and looked inside.
    Finally found the tape on the shelf right next to that box.

    1. I swear the stuff jumps into another dimension until it wishes to reveal itself.

  13. My suggestion would be mittens. Maybe the Missus Herself or The Nuke could thread a cord up the sleeves of your jacket and clip a mitten on each end? Problem solved!

  14. It this time of year, I use a pair of tow truck driver gloves, Thinsulate lined leather, ANSI Green backs, with reflective striping. Very hard to misplace, but I have done so!

    1. Amazing how these things happen!

      (Again, I had to pull your comment from the spam filter. Most vexing!)


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