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©September 2004

Carol Jane Remsburg



House Gremlin






There's a gremlin in our house.  No, it doesn't take the remote, the cordless phone, or even finish off the last of the toilet paper on the roll.  I know where they go.  However, our little house gremlin is a dedicated one, it only steals two things: tape and scissors.  And it doesn't matter what kind of tape it is either, it could be scotch tape, strapping tape, shipping tape, or even duct tape.  If that little booger finds it, it's gone like it was never even here.


Being the house finder, I'm good at what I do.  If it's an odd piece of lint that had an stud earring back in it—I can find that sucker.  However, if we need tape or scissors to make school book cover out of a brown paper grocery bag, forget it.  I'll go insane.  I can find neither tape or scissors.  In a pinch, after much fracas and tears on my part, I'll end up with heavy-duty aluminum foil until I can go buy more tape and scissors.


In the last six months along I've bought 8 pair of scissors and I buy scotch tape by the gross every Christmas.  I even store it in the same place so I can't lose it.  Somehow it still disappears.


A few years back when Erin was younger, I blamed her for it entirely.  She had her little TY® bear collection and spent an entire weekend building rooms for them complete with kitchens and bathrooms out of cardboard and tape.  I won't tell you how many boxes of cereal were sacrificed for that little venture.  Of course, she used plenty of tape and scissors.


Over the years, whenever I've needed either tape or scissors, I've looked where they are supposed to be—and then invaded Erin's room.  I come up a bust every time.  Interrogations and inquisitions have been mounted in the search.  Raised voices and tears followed by the stomping of heavy feet have ensued—and that was just me.  I get frustrated when I can't find what I need and know damn well they are somewhere within the four walls.  Quite unlike the bucket theft who calmly resides IN the house and sneaks all my buckets outside for truck washing or soaking of wood chips or whatever.  Usually I can round one back up—or, if it's been ruined know it's time to buy another.  But that's once every coupla months so it's predictable and I know just who the culprit is; I married him. 


And even as much as I really tried to blame Erin for the tape and scissor thing, it didn't fit.  This child can't put anything away or even hide anything.  (Okay, we won't discuss the 8 forks and 12 spoons of my good flatware that have hit the trashcan over the years….but she was younger then.)


Hubby isn't the culprit on the tape and scissors either.  Erin got her inability to put things away or hide things directly from her father.  This was a major gene lineage that totally overwhelmed her mother's 'almost orderly' gene—actually obliterated the hell right out of it.  Thus I consider it my penance as I was always 'okay' with housework but not the queen of clean like my mother. 


But still!!!  The only other breathing inhabitants in the house are the cats.  Trust me, while they'll decimate our current cricket population, scotch tape and scissors do nothing for them.  Thus far I certainly haven't found a cache of scissors under the bed. 


Somehow I know you think I must be joking.  In the last twenty-four months, I have purchased no less than 18 pairs of scissors in reality.  I can currently find only two—one pair an antique of my grandmothers that I keep hidden only for dire emergencies, and the other one is a pair of cuticle scissors that Erin gave me in a little $5.99 manicure set from the corner store that I carry in my purse. 


Now I can account for the occasional disposal in error in the trashcan amid wrapping paper or something but not of the dozens purchases over the last two decades.  Now as for the tape, no 3-person family can use THAT much tape—ever.  I even hide it in my office (like that's off-limits to anyone), but at least a roll should be left, one roll at least.


As for the shipping tape, I bought that last year, six big rolls and a dispenser with a handle.  Even the dispenser disappeared.  It was a prickly thing to work with so I know that Erin didn't take it, she wouldn't have even tried.  As for Don, well, he keeps his duct tape stowed in the truck—even the garage isn't safe from our gremlin. 


That great creation by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes, once stated; "If you eliminate all the possibilities, you are left with the answer."  Or it was something like that.


Therefore, I have deduced, we have a house gremlin with a fetish for scotch tape and scissors.  Now that I've settled on that conclusion, I'll have to buy another selection of scissors and tape and store them under the back seat of my truck.  Hey, if hubby can do it, so can I.


Hope you don't have any house gremlins.  And if you do, what do they crave?


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