Lost & Found & the True Culprit

It’s with immense relief I can say I finally found my lost pair of glasses.

Ironically, they were very near to where I was long certain I’d find them, yet somehow I’d never looked in that particular odd spot. I finally pulled out a flashlight, and the extra amount of light did the trick.

Most of the time I wear contact lenses, and the glasses are a back-up. On occasion, however, they are necessary, and while thankfully I hadn’t had dire need of them in the two months since I lost them, the time would have come.

Piggy bank managerWith my prescription, it is impossible for me to get glasses for less than $300. Don’t bother telling me about any discount outlets or such, because they can’t or won’t deliver for less than that amount, no matter what they advertise. Since I’m out of work right now, that cost is far beyond my reach. I was getting a little scared.

I was very amused to make another discovery: a small stash of improvised cat toys under my bed, in the far corner. A loosely wound ball of yarn, a baby bootie, some crumpled up foil, among other things, were piled together, evidently placed there by one (or perhaps both) of my cats. If I had to name one of them, I’d say it was Mimi, for she is by far the more clever kitty.

It brought to mind a mini-mystery at a favorite job I had several years ago. The office had an honor snack bar in the break room, and all nine or so employees could pretty much be counted on to pay for their candy, nuts or gum, with only the occasional memo going out saying we were short by 25¢ and would the guilty party please pay up. Inevitably we’d then end up with an extra two or three dollars the next time the honor bar was traded out.

Then, suddenly, we began to be short by significant amounts. Ten, fifteen dollars. Again, the memo was sent, and again, we over-compensated for the loss (each of us certain that in an absent-minded moment we’d taken a snack and forgotten to pay). But we were perplexed. Why the sudden dramatic change? (Excuse the pun.)

Office GossipOne employee would knowingly blame another, whispering the suspect’s name in the eager ear of a giggling gossip. It began to be uncomfortable.

This went on for months, and our executive director was exasperated. The honor bar was going, he told us, no matter that we always paid up, there was a problem and he wasn’t going to tolerate it. We were embarrassed and remained confused. A dollar here, a dime there, that we could understand. But this was too much.

Then one day one of the women noticed a suspicious piece of paper peeking out under the supply closet door. She opened it up, but other than what she’d already seen, the small room was spotless.  She peered behind the door, and there was our answer. An enormous pile of wrappers, half-eaten candy and…mouse droppings.

Since that corner was hidden once the door was open, and no one ever closed the door behind them when entering the closet, our house mouse had been able to effectively hide his crime for quite some time.

We got a good laugh at how picky he was. Not a speck of any Snickers bars remained, but the Skittles and licorice, no doubt distasteful to mice, were barely touched.

Unfortunately, our executive director was not impressed we’d found our culprit and solved the mystery. The honor bar was gone by the end of the week.

Angry WomenWe’d spent months secretly suspicious of each other, quietly trying to catch the one of us sneaking off with snacks without paying. Sadly, some of that animosity remained for the rest of the time I worked there.

The answer isn’t always obvious, and people don’t always easily give up their conclusions, no matter how clear the evidence may be that they were wrong.

All you can do is live your life with integrity, and trust the gossips will do themselves in.

It sometimes happens that way.

Image Credits: (Piggy Bank) © BCFC — Bigstock; (Drawings) © marinabh — AdobeStock/Fotolia

5 Replies to “Lost & Found & the True Culprit”

  1. Good grief! It probably was the mouse. I found out quite a bit about them one YEAR when we had an issue. Apparently, they love chocolate, so it makes sense he left the Skittles…bleh! And also they can flatten themselves, so more than likely at night he was squeezing under the door (maybe) and snagging candy lol It’s funny/sad how quickly we can turn on one another.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, we figured it was probably the mouse. I’ve heard they have only cartilage, not bones, and I think that door had a bit of a gap at the bottom. I didn’t know they like chocolate!! How funny!! I suppose between that and the nuts, the Snickers were a real hit!! It was disappointing that the blame game continued. I think that’s part of human nature (not wanting to be wrong), and its implications on a larger scale are frightening.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Just reading this gave me chills as I had a mouse problem. There was one crawling around in my tennis bag at night in my closet. He was after some chocolate I had there. Needless to say, I moved all food out of closet after that!
    Very funny post, Belinda. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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