Have you ever had the opportunity to know, or as in my case, to work with a really memorable character? One of those rare individuals who stand out from the crowd due to their life experiences, their sense of humor, or their easygoing curmudgeonry?
Well, I have. His name was Bill and I had the good fortune to work with him for about eight years beginning in the late 80’s. Bill was a human warehouse of humorous anecdotes regarding things that he had seen and done, the source of countless limericks learned in his college days, and wellspring of unique descriptive phrases which I came to realize were mostly of his own creation.
Bill was 15 or so years my senior and as he moved closer to retirement age he began to describe his problem with weight control as “Creeping Obesity“. It’s a concept with which many folks who are in, or moving beyond, their middle years can readily identify.
Two events that I’ve experienced over the past two days caused me to recall Bill’s Creeping Obesity and to recognize a parallel condition that I’ll identify as Creeping Dotage; dotage being a nice word for senility.
Like most people, I have a smartphone, an iPhone in my case, and I carry it with me for nearly 100% of my waking hours. If it’s not in my hand, it’s in one of my pant’s pockets, or sitting on a table or desk in front of me.
Two days ago, I was walking through my kitchen when I thought of something that I needed to check on. I’ve known for some time that the answer to any and all questions can be found with a quick and simple Google, so I reached into my pocket for my phone.
But it wasn’t there! No problem, I must have left it on the desk beside my computer. Nope, it wasn’t there. Maybe I left it downstairs when I was checking the weather on the TV. Nope. Did I leave it in the laundry room? Nope. The bedroom? Nope…… and on and on and on!
I walked through and searched every room in this house at least 3 times without finding the phone. As I was approaching total exasperation, I walked for a fourth time into the den where I had been watching TV.
As I was approaching the chair in which I normally sit, something in the deep recesses of the back of my mind told me to look down. There, laying in plain sight on the Persian carpet, but perfectly camouflaged, was my iPhone. The phone, in it’s jet black case, presumably had fallen off of my lap as I had gotten up from the chair and had landed face down in an area of the rug which was equally dark.
Fast forward one day to yesterday. Sitting in the living room, I remembered that I wanted to check on a baseball score from the previous night, so I reached into my pocket to get my phone, but wait, it’s not there!
Two days in a row! Surely not! This can’t be!
By this point, I’m confident that you know the drill and will understand that after 3 or 4 circuits of every room in this house, my iPhone was still AWOL.
Equally concerned with the sieve that my mind was apparently becoming and with my inability to locate the missing phone, in desperation I walked one last time into the room which serves as my office. I scanned the desk and moved everything that was on it. No phone. Then that same remote place in the back of my mind whispered to me, “Move the office chair!”
I reached down and grabbed the arm of the chair. But wait! What’s this? As my hand wrapped around the chair’s arm rest, I realized that it had also wrapped itself around my perfectly camouflaged iPhone which had been hidden in plain sight resting on the jet black arm rest.
I’m pleased to report that it’s after 2:00 pm. It’s been over 24 hours since the last unfortunate incident and the iPhone is resting peacefully on a piece of lily white paper just to the left of my computer as I type these words.
Yes, Bill. I hear you. Undeniably, it’s Creeping Senility.
Photo by Tyler Lastovich on Unsplash