That feeling when you’ve lost your complete set of keys!
The shear frustration. Not to mention the dread and the creeping paranoia because our keys are access all areas and obviously, they aren't just mislaid - someone has them.
And not someone like you and I. You know, decent and honest types.
No, some miscreant has my keys and is planning to rob me blind. Just waiting for his chance. Sitting in a van, watching and waiting for my house to be empty - so they can let themselves in and fill their boots.
Such catastrophic thinking is normal, I think, but it doesn’t really stack up. To begin with, during this lockdown, we are never out of the blinking house and so these burglars will need to have the patience of wildlife photographers.
They could take their chances at night but it’s a brazen or foolhardy thief because between a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and me up so often to pee, he is bound to encounter some resistance.
Another flaw in my thinking, is that if thieves do have my keys, then it is odd that they haven’t yet stolen our car.
Logically then, my keys have not been stolen and this is a good thing.
But then, where are they?
I mean, really, WHERE THE F**** ARE THEY?
The search goes on and the frustration mounts.
It should be said that Nikki and I are the most energised of the key hunters – with Sam and Paddy seemingly much less bothered by their loss.
“But Dad, you’ve got another set of keys, right?”
This goes on for days – and soon in to weeks and still, no keys - but still our car remains - and this gives me hope.
We have searched every possible place that they could be – and on numerous occasions, just-in-case.
Goading us somewhat is our dedicated key bowl - a glass bowl within a drawer and specifically designed as a key depository.
This entire drawer and this bowl have been completely emptied on at least three different occasions – just-in-case.
And so I decide that they must have been stolen after all. I should alert the police to be on the look-out for thieves who can’t drive.
Defeated (and still paranoid) I call a locksmith but they can’t come out due to the lockdown and I decide that this is good news. It gives me more time. They’re bound to turn up, right?
I go online and do a tentative search for a replacement car key and fob and my spirits plummet.
£795 plus VAT at 20%
Plus the front door lock will need replacing – and the side gate and quickly I am in to more than £1,000.
Plus I haven’t gigged for three weeks and might not get do so again until October!
People – we need to find these keys.
‘I’m gonna check the key drawer again.’
‘I’ve already checked that twice.’
‘I know, but just-in-case.’
Sam and Harry spend most of their energies suggesting reasons why I needn’t panic – in other words, why they needn’t help looking.
‘But, Dad, we’ve got nothing to steal.’
This is true and pretty decent logic.
We have some TV’s and an array of mobile phones but that’s about it. Small beer and no interest to professional thieves. There is my computer of course – which contains the manuscript of the ready-to-go The Fruit Bowl – but if anyone can get this to shift, then I’m all ears. They need only ring the front door bell and I will gladly cut them in.
And so the search continues.
From its nooks and crannies, my car gives up errant pens, stray golf tees and even an old shoe – but alas, no keys.
We firmly establish that the keys are not under any of the beds and nor are they in my shed.
Two evenings ago, having filled another day with nothing – and feeling dejected, I thought to cheer myself by watching some television and so another familiar search ensues.
‘Where’s the bloody remote?’
I have written before about my disdain for whoever conceived the Apple TV remote – a device specifically designed to be lost.
The mood I am in, I call Paddy down from his room. It’s more lair than room; I haven’t dared enter since the lockdown.
Finally he emerges.
Obviously, I have interrupted a game he was enjoying with his mates and perversely I am pleased.
‘I need you to find me the remote for the TV.’
I don’t explain why and don't need to - he just senses my urgency, understands the gravity of the situation and gets on with his search.
Meanwhile I stare at a brick wall and imagine punching it.
Paddy digs his skinny arm down between the tight seat cushions of our newish sofa – and begins grabbing about blindly. An obvious place to look. Too obvious and I am not hopeful.
But then, his face registers something. He's definitely found something and I hope it’s not another bloody jigsaw puzzle piece. His cherubic face is excited now as he begins to retrieve his arm. I wait, transfixed. It reminds me of those fishing posts on Instagram.
Finally, his hand breaks free from the clutches of the cushions – I hear a jangle and I am confused because remotes don’t jangle. But keys do.
There in Paddy’s hand are the missing keys.
I can’t tell you, the joy?
I’m a grand up – and once again, our house which contains nothing nickable is safe.
Nikki is elated but confused because she had thoroughly searched that sofa.
Fat fingers I wonder but I don’t say this of course. I'm an experienced husband and I don’t want to ruin a beautiful moment.
Well done Paddy and thank you Mr Steve Jobs. You are a genius after all.
I can now revert to worrying about something else – and with this lockdown I have plenty to choose from.
Happy Easter everyone.
Because of this lockdown and my immediate and foreseeable unemployment, I have launched a page on Patreon - a page I intend to cram with great content - or great by my standards, at least. I will continue to post blogs on this site, but for readers and listeners for whom this is insufficient, you can CLICK HERE. There are a few pieces already posted with much more to come, you are very welcome and thank you.