Friday, January 30, 2009

Missing Objects

Today, a weird thing happened.

My printer doesn't have a storage bin where I can load paper. So, in practice, I keep the paper out of the tray until I need to print something. However, I've learned that I always seemed to load too much, in which case I have extra paper lying about, or I load too little and have to get more out. My current method is to count the number of pages to be printed and count off that much paper. It saves a lot of time in the long run.

Now comes the strange part. The document was seven pages long. I put seven pages of paper into the printer. A while later the printer complains that it is out of paper. There were only four pages printed. Somehow, someway, three pages disappeared.

Am I going crazy? I am dead sure I loaded seven pages in. Where did the other three go? It's not stuck in the printer. It's a small printer, there's no place for a piece of paper to get lost or shoved in without jamming the entire thing. They didn't fall off somewhere because there's no wind inside my room and I searched my room. A physical impossibility has occurred and three pages of computer paper now cease to exist in our world.

What is scary is that this has happened before. I've had quarters disappear off my desk. I live alone. No one could be stealing them. I have no mice. They are lying flat upon my desk and when I come home five hours later they are gone. Perhaps the tooth fairy took them?

I've lost cans of soda. I save cans as I drink them so I can recycle them later as a bundle all at once. I'll drink, say, three cans of Dr. Pepper. The next morning, there are only two cans. I was sleeping in the room. Nothing woke me up. And poof. A can is gone. Although I am a pretty heavy sleeper. Trolleys and buses that roar down the street don't wake me up. But still! My door is locked. I don't sleepwalk. Who or what came in and stole a can?

Why the can? Why not my multiple valuables? There's no refund for recycling in Pennsylvania that I know of, so the value of the can is next to nothing. Why bother with a can when they could steal my computer, which isn't chained to the wall? Or my television? If they're going to steal cans, why not the entire set? Why just one of the three?

There is no way I can be a forgetful person. I'm obsessive compulsive. Not literally as in medically diagnosed, but in a mild way, more obsessive than usual but not paralyzingly so. I count three damn cans. There were two in the morning. I have $1.25 in quarters, I come home and it's $1.00. I KNOW I loaded seven sheets in the printer. I have no explanation for this and many many other disappearances.

Maybe I am going crazy and seeing things that aren't there. I don't sweat the small stuff disappearing, but I'm alarmed when money and computer paper disappears. And if stuff has to disappear, could we please keep it to worthless things? I mean, I had the Hawaii state quarter. That's irreplaceable. I'm getting shortchanged in that I paid for one hundred sheets of paper but only used ninety-seven.

In short, I think I am going insane.

1 comment:

Daedalus Young said...

That's really nasty. I know in quantum physics particles pop in and out of existence, but it seems unlikely entire sheets of paper are beamed to another universe. And that would also mean you should find extra quarters where you hadn't put any.
But the world is a strange place, I've heard more often things just seemed to have vanished and there's no explanation. I never witnessed it myself, if only because I assume it's other people in my house moving my stuff. It might still be happening (there's some dvds I can't find anywhere).
So what's going on? I don't know either, of course. If it'd happened only once, you could argue your memory is incorrect. We do know human memory isn't as reliable as we'd think. It's possible you think you put in 7 sheets, but due to some mistake maybe you actually put in 3.
However, since you see it happening on a larger scale, I'd say that's not very likely. You could try making photos of things before and after, but of course you never know when or where it occurs and you might end up with 15000 photos of 4 quarters on the same spot they always are.