Sheltered Islander: Flynn’s Laws of Lost Objects on Shelter Island

lost keys on the beach
Lost or just misplaced? Photo: greggdunnett/iStock/Thinkstock

There’s some mathematical axiom that states, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. There’s also a mathematical claim that there is more than one dimension other than the three-dimensional world that we live in. Lastly, most people believe in an afterlife.

These three ideas collided in my head recently after I lost a roll of tape. There wasn’t anything special about the tape, only that I bought it, used it once, put it on the kitchen counter for a moment, and when I turned around to pick it up and carry it to my desk to put it in the spot where the tape lives, it was gone. Nobody in the house but me, and still the tape had disappeared.

It occurred to me that this has happened before. Throughout my life and the lives of everyone I know, small objects disappear—stamps, staplers, tape, scissors, any small object you obtain will disappear at a rate of speed directly proportional to how much you need the object. The three most important daily objects in our lives are keys, glasses and cell phones. All three disappear within seconds of leaving your hands. This fulfills the first theory, that for every action (putting down your glasses), there is an equal and opposite reaction (they disappear). I like it best when other people are around to blame, but things disappear regardless.

The second theory, that there are more than three dimensions, must also be true, because what’s the first thing we say? “I just put it down, it was right there, it didn’t grow feet and walk away. It must be here somewhere!” We spend hours looking for and retracing our steps to find lost objects. We yell at people we love when we know they didn’t take it, but they’re in the yell zone.

I have decided that those missing objects really do disappear, sometimes for a few minutes, sometimes a few hours, sometimes forever. They aren’t lost in the house or the car, because we did a thorough search. They did, in fact, accidentally slide into another dimension. They stay there until someone in the other dimension notices them and shoots them back this way. So while you’re saying, “Where the hell are my keys?” somebody in the next dimension is looking at their kitchen counter saying, “What the hell are these?” And if the tear between the dimensions is still open, they’ll shoot the keys back. But if the tear is closed, they’ll just throw them away, which is how we lose things forever.

Lastly, is there life after death? Simply put, yes. I figure people in all the other dimensions are losing their things through the little inter-dimensional mouse holes the same way we lose ours. All that stuff ends up somewhere because it’s physical matter, and unless it’s converted to energy it has to be laying around somewhere. I think everyone has a little room in the next life where all their lost stuff is waiting. All the stuff that you lost (such as my favorite pearl earrings, for example) will be waiting for you in the afterlife, and because it’s Heaven, there will be no charge for storage.

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