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A needle in a (concrete) haystack

A column about a search operation, in which Estevan proved being a great city once again.
Keychain and Keys
Finding a set of keys is not that easy, even in Estevan.

I’m obsessive about not losing things that should be in my pockets.

Wallet, keys, mask – they remain in my pants pockets or my jacket pockets at all times. I guess it’s a coping mechanism for my attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – if I’m not vigilant when it comes to things like this, then it’s going to be pretty easy to lose them.

If they aren’t in a pocket, then it means one thing: it’s laundry day, and the pants or the jacket are getting cleaned.

I hear people complain about how they’re always misplacing their keys, and I wonder how it can happen.

Turns out, even I’m prone to losing my keys.

Saturday was a busy one in Estevan. I decided to walk from the office to the Power Dodge Curling Centre for the youth bonspiel, and then to downtown Estevan for A Miracle on Fourth Street (which, incidentally, was a great event for the community). Hey, it was a nice morning, and we don’t get many of them in Estevan in December.

As I returned to the office, and rummaged around my pocket for my keys, I realized that they were gone. And when you consider the territory I covered, finding them would be like finding a metal needle in a concrete and asphalt haystack the size of a small village. Considering it was five keys attached to a simple key ring, and with my eyesight, it would be even more difficult to find the keys.

If you’ve ever lost your keys outside of your home, and you don’t know where they are, you know the procedure. I checked the curling club. Checked the area around my car. Put out an appeal on social media. Made an appointment with a locksmith to open the door to my apartment later that day. Crossed my fingers that I had the necessary spare keys at home.

A couple of hours later, the good news came. An eagle-eyed resident found them at the intersection of 13th Avenue and Sixth Street, and posted a photo on one of the Estevan’s Rant and Rave pages. This was brought to my attention, and I recognized them right away, as the Mercury office key is rather distinctive.

They hadn’t been trampled. They hadn’t been smashed. I’m sure they fell out of my pocket while waiting for the light to change. They fell out on a sidewalk, not in the middle of the road, in an intersection that still has some heavy truck traffic.

Outside of being wet and cold, and having a funny smell, they were no worse for wear, and they still worked. 

A big thanks to Myla Smart for finding them.

I wouldn’t call it a Miracle on Sixth Street, but I consider myself fortunate.

My initial Facebook post was shared 18 times. I don’t know if I’ve had all my posts shared 18 times combined in the 14 years that I’ve been on Facebook. Yes, even Facebook has its redeeming moments.

It was very nice of people to take the time to share the post, or to check and see if they saw something while out and about on Saturday. This is a very busy time of year and Saturday was a busy day in particular. They have better things to worry about than me.

When you consider it’s five keys on a ring, lost in a pretty large area, the odds of finding them were slim. I would have put pretty good money on not finding them. I’ve been betting horses for most of my life. If you would have given me odds of my keys turning up, they would have been much greater than the odds for my biggest longshot horse racing payoff. (Twenty-seven to one, for what it’s worth). 

There were a lot of people out walking that day. It would have been easy for them to step on them, break them, and not even notice.

I’m not the first person to lose their keys. Or a cell phone. Or a wallet. I won’t be the last. But I still felt like a schmuck that it happened.

Once I get back from my Christmas holidays in B.C., you can be sure that I’ll be making a trip to get my spare keys cut, and I’ll be ensuring that I’ll have a spare set of keys other than the dresser of my condo.

But most of all, you can be sure I’ll be even more vigilant about my keys than ever before.

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