I'm finding it difficult to carry stuff from one room to the other because the things I need to transport keep vanishing.

Here's a typical scenario: I'll walk out the door to my car, carrying everything I own in my backpack and get to the car and my keys have dissappeared. So, I go back into the house, find my keys, get back out to my car and someone has taken my backpack. So, I go back in the house and find out I must have caught them in the act, because they have fled, leaving my backpack in the hallway.

I remember I forgot to pack my lunch so I go upstairs, find it, come back downstairs to put it in my backpack only to discover the lunch has vanished right out of my hand and now I'm looking at a bag of frozen peas. The backpack is no longer where I put it and someone has unbuttoned the bottom half of my shirt.

I button up my shirt again, go back upstairs and discover my wallet, keys and sandwich in the freezer, so, with a sigh, I take them out of the freezer, turn around and fall over my backpack, which is suddenly right next to me and — are you getting the idea? It's exhausting.

I usually make it to the car with my keys but it's not uncommon for me to be startled at the first stop sign when my backpack comes sliding off the roof and onto my hood. I hate it when that happens.

The lazy, judgmental thing to do is to just call me absent-minded and leave it at that. It's true I have a lot on my mind. (Recently, I've been wondering why Sonny Bono never earned as much respect as Bob Dylan even though they sounded basically the same.) To say, however, that I'm just being forgetful is a simplistic and totally inadequate, nonsensical explanation for what's going on.

When odd things like this happened in the series "Lost," they played this strange discordant music and we all started formulating theories about what was going on. Stephen Wright, the comedian, once said that he came home and someone had stolen everything he owned and replaced it with an exact replica. If stuff like that happened on "Lost" and to Stephen Wright, why not me? This is something I've had to live with for years now.

In the olden days I used to carry a pager. For those of you who didn't live in the olden days, a pager was a little box you attached to your belt or carried in your pocket that would beep from time to time and let other people know you were important. Most people didn't like them but I loved mine. I would pretend I was a doctor or a secret service agent who had been asked to stay far, far away from the president.

I can't remember why we didn't just have people call us on our phones. I think it's because in the olden days we had to carry around boom boxes and it's hard to carry a boom box and a phone with you everywhere you go.

The problem with my pager was that it was always getting lost. The good part of having a missing pager was that you could just call it and it would beep and you could find it. The bad part was pagers liked, most of all, to get lost in dark rooms where people were sleeping — in my case, where my wife was sleeping.

Early one morning, when I was late for work, I had to go into my bedroom and call my pager in hopes I could get to it before my wife woke up. I crouched down like a sumo wrestler, made the phone call and, sure enough, I was right on top of it. I searched frantically to find it in the dark and could not locate it.

My wife stirred. Either she was still asleep or was faking it.

I made another call. This time I got even closer and started flinging things about in a desperate attempt to get to it before it woke her up. I even lunged under the covers frantically grabbing for it.

It was after I made the third call that the lights went on and I discovered that my wife was not in bed but standing next to me with an angry, early-morning look on her face. She pulled the pager off the back of my belt and handed it to me, giving me a very unpleasant look and asked me to leave the room.

Now, how would you explain that? If the pager was on my belt, I would not have been looking for it in the first place. I've searched in vain to find my glasses, only to have them appear on my face. I've had the lunch meat disappear out of a sandwich I made. I've even been startled when the remote control for our television suddenly appeared on my desk — at work.

There's no easy logical explanation for this. It's clearly a supernatural thing, but what is it that "they" want? Could it be that I'm on some sort of extra-terrestrial reality show or an intergalactic candid camera? Could it be that I'm a superstar in another galaxy? I could be the Chris Farley of the Northern Nebula Universe.

That makes sense, when I think about it. I have a wife who is far prettier than someone like me should have ever been able to marry. Maybe she's an actress — and an alien. She does eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, and I'm not talking about the kind of vegetables they put in chips.

Maybe I should start playing to the screen a bit more. I should sing. I'm a good singer. I'm really good at singing the song from "Gilligan's Island" even though I don't know all the words.

I think that those of you who think you know me should reevaluate my worth. Instead of thinking of me as someone who has lost not only his keys and wallet but also his mind, open yourself to the final frontier. If you see me at a stoplight with my backpack on top of my car, singing, "the professor and Mary Ann are here on Gilligan's..." you might be witnessing something people in Northern Nebula would kill to see in person — their hit reality series —


Steve Eaton lives and works in Logan, Utah. He can be reached at [email protected]. His blog can be found at: http://flamingpandas.blogspot.com/.