I have now taken procrastination to new heights (or perhaps I should say depths). Avoiding the work I needed to do, I decided to clean under the sofa cushions.
Luckily, I feel justified in having done so.
My daughter was home sick, eating a tea biscuit, while lying on the couch. Crumbs went everywhere.
I got out the hand vacuum to clean up, and thought, while I’m here I may as well do around the cushions.
(I hesitate to admit this, but I had wanted to do this anyhow, having missed the couch crannies in a major “clean sweep” I did after the holidays. That too had begun out of procrastination, but had a genuine goal of trying to find the missing piece to my daughter’s wooden fairy puzzle.)
I started by vacuuming away the obvious crumbs and dirt. Then I thought about fast-food commercials and all the pocket change you can find to buy their value menus, so I started pushing my hand around the furniture’s perimeter.
First note of warning: this can be a bit gross. Second warning: watch out for sharp staples protruding from anywhere — you have to work slowly.
My fingers were quickly swamped with crumbs and such, so I put an attachment on the hand vacuum and had it do the dirty work.
Then I retrieved a pencil, two old business cards, and one quarter. More importantly, my fingers found a hole in the fabric.
Two loonies, four quarters, a dime, a nickel and a penny later, I realized that I probably could buy a hamburger and small fries.
My hands were getting a bit red from forcing them down into the inner bowels of the couch, but the booty was worth it. I stared at the money, a chain of 11 paperclips, a magnet, a pencil, and a three-year-old Christmas card, as if it were gold bullion.
Then I started looking at the couch structure (did you know that there are cardboard panels in the side of some couches?).
What I couldn’t grab from the top would be easier accessed by lifting the edge of the under-material, and tipping everything to that corner of the couch.
Warning No. 3: I recommend doing this when two adults are present (even though they may mock you) because there is some heavy lifting involved.
I popped off six staples and unscrewed one leg of the couch.
The tipping was a little more difficult than I imagined, but it netted me the most wonderful discovery: the missing puzzle piece. Now the fairy’s butt was complete.
It was the sofa equivalent of the solid-gold bust from the booby-trapped cave in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
At this point I should have stopped.
I had joked recently that my son’s missing wand from Great Wolf Lodge must be in the same place as that puzzle piece — perhaps in the land of the lost socks — so my procrastination checked.
I went to the armchair, but found nothing. I was still on a high from the couch find, and didn’t let the chair disappointment deter me.
It was time to tackle the chair-and- a-half.
The left side of that chair produced five dominos, two plastic cookies missing from a numbered set (which I also tried to find at Christmas), a plastic spoon, a rock, and three more paperclips.
With a deep foray down the right side of the couch I had my fingers on a long slim bar. Part of the couch? No — it was the wand that had been missing for more than a year. I was so excited. (I know it is hard to imagine, but it is true).
But wait; there was more (now I feel like an infomercial host). I found my kitchen shears, a pencil, hair elastic, another quarter, two nacho chips, a five-year-old telephone bill, and a sock. The tipping procedure also produced my favourite pen.
I then understood how successful treasure hunters would feel . . . finally being able to say “I knew it” to all the naysayers after numerous unsuccessful attempts to find a cache so close but yet so far from their original site.
Granted, I wouldn’t be buying a Caribbean island and retiring early, and the press wouldn’t be running to interview me, but I had done it — I had found the place where lost things went to in our house; the elusive land of the missing sock.
I wore my scratched, bright red forearms like worthwhile battle scars.
They paled compared to my deep pride of discovery and sense of satisfaction.
With my shining results, I felt so justified in my procrastination, that once I wrote this down, I started work on deciding how to spend my bounty.