Sunday, May 6, 2007

Quest For The Blue Hat

I have a blue wool hat.  I have worn it exactly one time in my life -- when I went skiing in Park City.  It's warm.  Covers my ears.  Has little braids that hang down. 

I want to take it to Alaska.

It is, however, in my storage cage.  In the back of the storage cage.  In a wardrobe box that I packed up in September (when I thought I'd surely sell my place by the end of the year), with "Note to self:  Don't go skiing" written on the outside.

Today, I went to the storage facility, to free my blue hat.  I brought with me the necessary tools:  An exacto knife (for opening the box) and a roll of packaging tape (for sealing it back up).  I also brought my ice skates and a bag of clothes (jeans that are too big! yay!) to store in the cage.

My cage is narrow -- about 4 feet wide by maybe 12 feet long.  The wardrobe box was at the far end of the cage.  I could not remove the boxes between myself and the wardrobe box.  There were many of them and they were very heavy.  I'd had help stacking them, and knew I couldn't restack them if I'd moved them all.  So I planned a path over to the box.  Grabbed the knife, sidled between a couple boxes, around the coffee table (standing up on its side) and reached the wardrobe box.  Removed the random pieces of cat tree from the top of the box, and applied the knife.

Now, wardrobe boxes have one side that opens really low -- so you can easily put stuff in the box.  That was not the side facing me.  It was facing the wall.  No room in which to turn the box.  I open the box, and peek in.

I had thrown all my hats, scarves and gloves in the bottom of the box.  I needed to move the hanging clothes out of the way to get to them.

Hey!  I remember some of these clothes!  Some of them are summer clothes -- skirts and short sleeve shirts.  They were too small when I was filling the box, but I bet they'll fit now!  I take out a few pieces and set them aside.  One of the shirts is like an old friend -- I'm so happy to see it again.  I empty out the bag of too-big clothes I'd brought to store, and fill it up with clothes from the wardrobe box.  I set the good plastic hangers on top. The cheapo wire ones, I put in a pile to throw away.

Now that some clothes are out, I can see to the bottom of the box, where hats and scarves are swimming.  No way I can reach down there.  I contemplate moving the coffee table or finding something to stand on -- but getting higher off the ground still isn't going to get me to the bottom of a box that's over four feet tall.

I look around the cage for something that can extend my reach.  Hangers.  I grab a sturdy plastic one and reach toward the bottom of the bin.  Still not long enough.  I grab a metal one, loop it onto the edge of the plastic one, and reach again.  Not sturdy enough to catch anything on the bottom.  I set the plastic hanger aside and untwist the wire one.  I'm goin' fishing! 

Armed with my long metal strip (with the hook at the end) I reach far into the box and catch ... the bottom of my robe that's hanging in the box.  I move the robe and try again.  Eventually, I catch a scarf.  I also catch my big, warm ski gloves.  I do not catch the blue hat.  I keep trying to move stuff around down there with the hook of the hanger, but some of the hats are too heavy, and the slim metal gives.  I need to somehow get my hand in the lower part of the box to move this stuff around.  Hmmm.


Idiot.  You have a knife. 

I pick a spot about 18 inches from the bottom of the box and apply the exacto knife, cutting out three sides of a hand-sized hole.  I fold the cardboard back from my makeshift window, and reach into the box.  Success! 

I can now reach everything on the bottom of the box.  Cheap white scarf.  Good white scarf.  Cheap grey scarf.  Blue wool scarf.  Mickey Mouse scarf.  Soft plaid scarf.  (Did I ever mention how I always forget to pack scarves and generally end up buying one in every damn cold city I'm ever in?)  Brown gloves.  Tambourine hat.  (Don't ask.)  Civil War hat.  (Don't ask again.)  Black cap.  Red earmuffs.  Black earmuffs.  (Yay!  I'll take those!)  But no blue wool hat.  I've found some scarves and gloves to take home, but I still haven't found the hat. 

I stand up again -- I go through every piece of clothing hanging there, to see if the hat is between them or (just my luck) on the far side of the box.  Nothing.  I am fairly certain that I've covered the whole box -- and the blue wool hat is just not there.


I tape up the little hole in the side of the box, and retape the top of the box.  I replace the cat tree part.  I go home, carrying the bag of clothes.

I get home, and stick the bag of clothes in my closet.

... where I find my blue wool hat.


helmswondermom said...

I think you and my sister Dee are related!  That is exactly what would have happened to her, except there probably would have been some falling, bumping and bruising going on as well.

hewasolddog299 said...

Stapp's Ironical Paradox, which says, "The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle." seems very appropriate here.

grodygeek said...

What? No cuts or other injuries requiring a trip to an ER or at least a large bandage?
I'm so disappointed. Otherwise, you're perfectly normal. You try to be organized (much better than me) and sometimes it fails.