Saturday, August 01, 2009

Mystery solved

No, I didn't meet a sticky end following my last post - I've been a little sleepy this summer, probably due to the record-breaking rainfall we've endured this July. There's been little to do in the garden as a result.

But I did accomplish one thing - I solved the mystery of the disappearing kitchen knives.

It was almost entirely a matter of deduction. As Sherlock Holmes said, "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." I then zeroed in on the one remaining possibility.

In our front closet, there was once long ago an ancient burglar alarm. I removed it, and that left behind a small square hole in the drywall.

I intended to patch it, but it was in an out-of-the-way spot, and no one could see it that easily, so I just kept putting off the job. I wondered...could James have dropped things into that hole, and so between the walls?  I tried to find out by lowering magnets into the hole, but they would always be pulled aside by nails in the studs, and could never get to the bottom.

Finally, I decided to take a chance and open the wall down at the floor level. If there was nothing there, all I'd done was put another little hole in the wall, and I could fix that pretty easily. I picked my spot, avoiding the stud, and started to cut with my drywall knife. I quickly encountered resistance - so much so, that I couldn't actually saw through the drywall. I had to proceed by just poking the knife through one half inch at a time.

Eventually I'd opened a 2" space, and could pull out a square plug of drywall. Sure enough, I could see metal blades in the hole - they were packed in so tight, they were blocking the progress of my saw. With great care, I began pulling them out. This is what I eventually retrieved from the space between the walls:
Dean and I did a count, and we discovered 53 blue plastic clothespins, and 64 assorted knives. There were butcher knives, paring knives, several different kinds of steak knives, rounded knives, you name it. Including a brand-new drywall saw, a pair of scissors, nail clippers and a few small toys. I saw rounded knives from sets of cutlery I'd given away to charity or sold at garage sales years ago - obviously, James had been dropping things into this little hideaway for years. It's interesting that, with a few minor exceptions, he restricted himself to knives and blue plastic clothespins. No spoons, no forks, just these items. I had a strange feeling as I was pulling out this pile of ironmongery - I felt like an Irish Republican family, with a hidden arsenal behind the walls for the moment we rise against the British!

I patched the hole the same day, so I hope he abandons this pastime, rather than finding some OTHER place to hide stuff.

3 Comments:

Blogger Aggie said...

Glad to hear the mystery is solved. So James is the "culprit". May he grow up to be the next Canadian freedom fighter! ;P) (My tongue is FIRMLY installed in cheek!)

God Bless Ya'll!

Aggie, Class of '70
An Anglican Firearms "Enthusiast" (ie: Gun Nut)
www.ananglicangn.blogspot.com/

9:22 am  
Anonymous Sibyl said...

Perhaps, in light of the post below this one, you might sleep more soundly if your knives were kept locked away. Maybe I'm overreacting here, but you might want to consider a sophisticated security system, maybe an electronic lock with a number code, a fingerprint or voice recognition entry system.

10:15 am  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Oh, I'm not too worried about any homicidal tendencies on the part of James. It's more the inconvenience of trying to cook without knives. I do a lot of Chinese and Indian cooking, and it's no joke trying to cut up raw chicken with a butter knife!

Actually, I have put away the big knives - I have a magnetic bar mounted to the outside of the door to the garage, and they're all proudly hanging there. It's just a few steps from the kitchen, so they're easy to get when I need them. It was partly so James wouldn't see them and be tempted again, but also because after we found them, I discovered that we now had way too many knives to be able to store them in the kitchen!

9:12 pm  

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