THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING SHIRT
By: Gary L. Rodgers
It has been a long time since the-e-e-e shirt, you know the one; the one that was your favorite and for some unknown or should I say some long since forgotten reason it turned up missing! No one would confess to taking it even after a series of investigations by the department of B-A-S-T (The BED AND SOFA TAGS Agency), you know who they are… They’re the ones who come out as soon as you cut off a bed mattress tag or a sofa tag. Somehow they know as soon as you do it. I think that there may be some sort of electronic sensor embedded into the tag fabric that alerts the B-A-S-T Agency as soon as some hardened criminal like my wife cuts one of them off.
I should have known to keep an eye on her since she has that shady way about her and that innocent look in those deep piercing eyes. The mystery of the missing shirt had surfaced on a miserably cold day on January 7, 2014 when I was about to put on a flannel work shirt with a button missing off of the front. Knowing that my wife was not one to upset while in her PJ’s and fuzzy slippers with the flapping soles, I asked her as kindly and compassionately as I could where the sewing kit was? With her lame left eye and a cup of coffee dangling from her left hand she brushed back a loose hair curler and asked, what do you want that for? Trembling in fear for my life I said very slowly and nervously that I needed to sew a button on my work shirt that came off.
She told me to go sit down!!!! And with that I immediately obeyed her and sheepishly headed off to my computer room looking like an old dog crouched down with his tail between his legs after a harsh scolding. After a few minutes and a huffing and puffing sound I heard the Clydesdale sound of footsteps coming up from the kitchen level. Nervously I kept peering at the Computer Room door when suddenly the flash of a yellow plastic sewing box came into view. I cried out in fear for my life when I saw it and with white bare knuckles she handed me the sewing box. I trembled as I opened the box to get out a needle and thread. Carefully with the accuracy and precision of a surgeon’s hand I sewed the button onto my flannel work shirt. A tear of relief ran down my cheek as I sewed my little heart out putting my button back onto my shirt. As I sat there relieved that I was able to accomplish such a notable task I heard my wife in the other room open the closet door and she re-entered the Computer Room holding the-e-e-e missing shirt from long ago in her hands. She handed me the shirt and said that it was laying in the bottom of the closet because it needed a button sewed on it.
After she left the room and in secrecy I sobbed for probably twenty minutes while I sewed the button on my shirt. Deep down inside I knew what this meant. My poor shirt had been missing for a long time. I bought it when I was fifty years of age and now after 16 years it resurfaced again. I heard my wife in the other room cry out “Darn Socks!” and with that she slammed the closet door shut.
She came back to the Computer Room where I had finally dried the tears from my eyes. She then handed me the socks with holes in the toes and said “Darn Socks!” I nodded my head that I agreed with her and I too yelled out “Darn Socks!” And with that she threw them in the waste can.
That afternoon I called the “B-A-S-T” Agency who promptly showed up at our door. The officer in charge handcuffed my wife and took her to the car. I waved goodbye to my dear wife Sandy and as they drove her away she yelled out that I would starve to death without her!!!
I closed the front door, sat down, and paged through a recent photo album. There on the very first page was a picture of my wife and I staring me in the face with a comment written below which read “Me and Tilley.” Tilley was one of those endearing names that we husbands sometimes give to our wives, a nickname meaning “Tilley the Hon” since she was my honey.
That evening I put on my missing shirt and went downtown to a local favorite Stake House. As I placed my order the waitress remarked that she liked my new shirt. Yes it is quite new I replied!
Would you like to order anything to drink with your meal she asked? Yes! I believe that I would like a Diet Water please! I have a note here on the back of my hand to take my Alzheimer Medication at this time. And with that she turned around and threw her hands up over her head in disgust. The owner of the Stake House came over and apologized for her rude behavior. He told me that she was a parolee from serving time from a conviction from the B-A-S-T Agency for cutting off mattress and sofa tags and not sewing buttons on her husband’s shirts. With that I just smiled and under my breath I said that I hoped that Tilley likes her new orange PJ’s.