Here's the Scoop: Oct. 14, 2009

Disappearing mystery
It had to be here. Without a doubt. Triple pinky swear.
My memory is not always so great. But, in this case, I knew with certainty that I had brought the item in question home. If only I could find it.
Actually, we were searching for two items — pieces of cardboard, each measuring about 3 feet by 4 four feet. But these weren’t just any hunks of cardboard — these specimens were lined with Bubble Wrap.
I’m sure you can see why was I frantic at the thought of having lost these pieces. Or maybe not.
In all honesty, the cardboard (even with bonus Bubble Wrap) didn’t have a whole lot of monetary value. But, being a sentimental type, I had grown fond of the cardboard because it was a gift. That’s not true either.
Someone did give me the cardboard and it was appreciated. I didn’t, however, develop an unhealthy attraction to this gift. I simply needed the material to ship a large parcel and the Bubbleboard (as I had affectionately started calling it), would make a perfect packing material. If only I had the stuff.
As my wife began the process of carefully placing the item to be shipped into two large boxes (also gifts — I’d better get started on the Thank-You notes) I told her I would grab the Bubbleboard. Like many readers, she had never heard of this term.
I tried to explain the Bubbleboard concept, but told her it would soon become clear. After about five minutes of annoyance-coated searching in the basement, I asked if perhaps the Bubbleboard had mistakenly been thrown away. I posed this question nicely, of course.
Nope. She had not seen it.
“Maybe you took it to the transfer station?” she responded.
My immediate reaction was that I would never do that. Then I thought back to the time, many years ago, when a bag containing my birthday presents went right from gift wrap into the trash bin. Not that it still bothers me.
But I knew that such a case of mistaken trash-dentity had not occurred here. There was NO WAY I had tossed the cardboard. It was far too precious.

Locked in memory
I’m not certain about many things, but I was positive — without a doubt — that I had carried the Bubbleboard up Route 28 (against the wind), stuffed it into my car and stored it in the basement for about a week. It was right inside the doorway, I promised my wife.
I knew that I hadn’t been the one to toss out the priceless (it’s value grew every minute that it was lost) Bubbleboard. I didn’t want to accuse my neatnik wife of having thrown it out in a cleaning frenzy, but I could really see any other explanation.
Then, somewhere in the back of my stress-clouded mind, I began to think that maybe, just maybe, I had been the one who had moved the Bubbleboard.
“Um, I’m starting to vaguely recall carrying the Bubbleboard from the basement,” I explained sheepishly, after scouring the basement for the third time.
Then I began a search of the rest of the house. Fortunately, there is no attic, so I was spared that cobweb-covered experience. Our bedroom. Nope. Guest bedroom. Nuh-uh. Bathrooms. Mudroom. Kitchen. Dining room. Zero.
“This is driving me bonkers!” I finally declared.
Secretly, I think my wife was having visions of me neatly depositing the Bubbleboard in the cardboard bin at the transfer station earlier in the day. But she was too polite to say anything.
Finally, the packing process could wait no longer. We (she) improvised and made a really secure package, even without the perfect protection that Bubbleboard would have provided.
The good news was that I slept well — no dreams of our Bubbleboard being sold by thieves on eBay.
When I got up, it was still dark. Even though (or maybe because of this fact) I had yet to tip my first cup of caffeine, my wife asked me to “Look out on the porch.”
I thought our cat had caught a mountain lion — then I remembered that state officials said they don’t exist in the Catskills.
Once on the porch, I discovered that our kitty had brought home something far more impressive — two large pieces of Bubbleboard! They looked suspiciously like the Bubbleboard I had carried to the porch the day before, so they would be easily accessible when it came time for the packing session.
I can only wonder where the cat found them.