Detective Foster

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

Somebody stole my face cloth. Perhaps you’ve seen it at your house, or while you were snooping around in a neighbour’s bathroom. It was off-white, or perhaps tattle-tail grey, and in reasonably good shape except for the holes, a few unidentified stains and some printing that at one time may have said Property of Ramada Inn.

I know what you are thinking, ‘It’s a stupid facecloth, you bozo, so it’s gone; big deal. it isn’t the end of the world.’ That is true but it is just one more example of our society being taken over by the criminal element. I don’t know who took it; I have my suspicions but if I am wrong and report them to the OPP, a SWAT team would toss stink bombs in every house in Orillia. If Columbo and Jessica Fletcher were still alive I would get justice and quickly. Well maybe not with the Lieutenant, he would have to come back twenty or thirty times. You know how he worked – ‘Oh, one more thing.’ But he always got ‘em in the end. (I don’t mean in their bums, I mean by the end of the program.) So I will have to wait while the slow wheels of justice grind on and on.

First the facts of the case, just so you know, the facecloth was in the washer. My wife put it in there along with the bath towels and some other stuff – or claims she did. I did not actually see her open the lid and plop them in there but I have no reason to doubt her word and even if I did I am not going to risk my life to say she didn’t. I’m stupid but not that stupid.

After the spin cycle, or whatever the manufacturers call the last phase in a washing machine when the clothes go round and round and round and – that’s odd I feel dizzy – the clothes were placed with great care in the dryer. I have no reason not to believe my facecloth wasn’t among the towels and the other items that made the journey. Granted I did not actually witness the transfer from one machine to the other, nor did I stick my head in and count the pieces after they were deposited, but I believe my washcloth was in there.

However, the facecloth did not come out. Everything else did, including a tear-stained Maple Leaf tee shirt that has been missing since last March and a pair of under-britches that disappeared sometime in 2017.

Hence, I have to assume that a theft has occurred.

I know socks disappear regularly from dryers only to miraculously show up days later wrapped inside a gentleman’s undershorts (never in ladies’ undergarments since they are too skimpy to hide much of anything). I do recall when I was a child seeing bloomers on a neighbour’s clothesline. Those monsters were so large they could hide an entire drawer full of socks, two sets of long-johns and a Nemo girdle, but I believe bloomers went the way of button shoes, Derby hats and… and Nemo girdles now that I think about it.

Where was I? Oh yes, we were discussing the strange disappearance of my facecloth.

I have to be careful here since it wasn’t my intention to cast aspersions, or for that matter anything else, on anyone, but it was during the dryer business that a political hopeful knocked on our door to explain to Mary and me why we should take leave of our senses and vote for him (or her). I trust you noticed how vague I am about whether it was a he, she, or any of the other sexes of which apparently there are now dozens, and new ones are coming out of the woodwork every day. I don’t want him to come back and beat me up.

I don’t recall him (her, they, or what have you) opening the door and coming in to the house. Nor do we remember hearing the dryer shutting down while he (she, or your guess is as good as mine) went rooting through its contents for my facecloth, but politicians are sneaky. That’s why they run for office, to get on your good side and while you aren’t looking, swipe your facecloth and anything else that isn’t nailed down. From what I understand, John Wilkes Booth did not shoot Abraham Lincoln for political reasons. It had to do with a missing facecloth.

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