Solved: the vexing case of the missing iPod

Are We There Yet? • LORI CLINCH

For Christmas we surprised our young Huey with an iHome — a dream machine for anyone with an iPod.

For those of you not in the know, the iPod is the technological replacement for your CDs, 8-tracks and cassette tapes. It’s your whole collection of LPs and 45s on one thin device that makes music easy and the maintenance of your turntable obsolete.

And the iHome? Why it’s the boom box that you put your iPod in if you want to share your music collection with say, the whole dang neighborhood.

We thought that Huey was not as happy about his iHome as he should have been. Instead of jumping for joy or soaring with merriment, he gazed at the iHome and a look of sadness crossed his face.

Then young Huey disclosed the fact that he had misplaced his iPod some time ago and was hoping against all hope that I, his lovely mother, had seen it.

Situations such as this stir angst in the heart of a person such as me. I may appear to be a woman who has a great memory and could lay her hands on an appliance at any given time. But truth be known, if the phone didn’t keep ringing, I’d wonder why I had raced to it.

Worse yet, I have a knack for stashing things in special spots and forgetting where those said spots are.

So with Huey’s significant announcement that his iPod was missing, the whole family banded together and with an air of accusation, turned to me.

“What?” I asked my accusers with genuine innocence.

“Well,” Vernon our college-age son inquired, “what did you do with it?”

“She probably put it away in one of her special hiding places,” charged a Clinch kid with condemning eyes.

“What makes you think I did something with it?” I retorted.

“Did you or did you not once hide the keys to my car?” Vernon responded in a lawyerly fashion, and then he leaned forward as if he were making his case for the courts. “If memory serves, I believe there was a PSP that you stashed in one of your secret places and you’ve yet to remember where that is.”

This started off a series of incidents which I felt lacked validation. They had me misplacing their MP3s, stashing their favorite DVDs, and if one were to believe half of what they were saying, I was responsible for misplacing the JFK files back in the ’60s.

Worse yet, they had me almost believing it! In my mind’s eye, I saw me hiding the iPod in a secure location so that nothing would happen to it. I could easily imagine me putting it safely in a desk drawer, sliding it into a manicure set or better yet stashing it in a cubicle so remote that even the cleverest of thieves would not think to look.

But where would such a spot be? I looked in the laundry room under the fabric sheets and behind the stain stick. I searched my favorite junk drawer to the right of the fridge that houses the pens, pencils and (for reasons we may never understand) several bobby pins.

I searched jewelry boxes, file cabinets, magazine racks and once was brazen enough to dig under the living room couch.

For days the search went on but to no avail. Although there was no living proof that I was the one responsible for the disappearance of the iPod, suddenly it was decidedly so. The kids blamed me and my lack of memory and there was no turning back.

“Hey!” I once said after digging through the broiler drawer, “How do we know that Huey didn’t just leave it somewhere?”

“Oh, this has your name written all over it,” remarked Vernon, with a proverbial “tsk tsk.”

Time passed, days ripped off the calendar, and although the search for the iPod continued whenever possible, the outcome looked bleak.

Then one fine day Vernon experienced a revelation. “I had a dream,” he remarked to his brother with great excitement. “I dreamt your iPod is under your bed, behind a dirty sock and along the wall.”

Huey raced to his room as if his brother were Nostradamus himself and found nothing other than one safely stashed and unscathed iPod.

“It’s a miracle!” Huey called out as he brought it into our midst. As the family gathered around Vernon and praised him for his insight, I looked on skeptically.

That kid might be the psychic, but I’m the one who forgot I thought of hiding it there.

Lori Clinch is the mother of four sons and the author of the book “Are We There Yet?” You can reach her at www.loriclinch. com.