The out-of-home portion of my day got off to an inauspicious start yesterday.
A fraction of a second after locking the back door, I managed to pitch my keys into a bush next to the porch.
I had my ice skates carrying-case draped over my neck and I suspect my hand brushed against it en route to my pants pocket and, well, who knows.
I spent a few moments looking. But it was still dark. And it was foggy. So I decided to go on without them.
My hope, of course, was that they would be easily findable after the sun came up but not so obvious that they posed a security issue.
After getting to the Review Tower and parking my bike, I sent my wife an email detailing my latest adventure in personal competence.
I was confident she could find them after daylight arrived. But something worried me.
What if one of the squirrels that spend time in our yard has pack-rat tendencies? What if such a rodent saw my keys under the bush and thought they might make a nice home-decorating touch?
The two keys themselves are nothing special. They aren't even all that shiny. There's one house key and one slightly longer key to a downtown post office box. They are attached to a red plastic key bob that used to be adorned with a snapping-fingers Stax Records graphic. That has worn off.
As I say, nothing unique. But who knows what a squirrel might fancy for his great room?
And who really can say what it might be like to negotiate with rodents about the return of my keys?
Me: "I am prepared to offer a variety of mixed legumes and a nice fruit platter."
Squirrel: "We want an iPad and a large screen TV. HD."
Chances are, they wouldn't even agree to bargain.
Maybe they would opt to keep the house key and let themselves in whenever they felt like it.
And what about the P.O. box key? Those animals are one STA bus ride away from access to potentially important mail.
Think about THAT, as they say in one truck commercial.
I can just see one of them taking a package-delivery slip up to the service counter and claiming to be me.
As it happens, my wife located the keys. I never had to come up with a ransom.
Perhaps it was wrong to suspect that the squirrels were potential key stealers. But I guess we'll never know.
Today's Slice question: What's the greatest number of people to have been in your kitchen at one time?