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Where did I put it?

By Ernie Williamson

The Bulletin

It went missing Tuesday afternoon.

I spent a good portion of the next 24 hours searching. I checked likely places: My recliner, the couch, under the table.

I checked unlikely places: The bathroom, the refrigerator, the laundry basket, the trash cans, and my car.

I became obsessed. I hardly slept wondering.

Finally, Wednesday afternoon my wife spotted it under a desk in a bedroom. It had migrated from the living room.

You probably have guessed what had been missing: A TV remote, the item that Americans lose the most.

According to a “Lost and Found Survey” by Pixie, when asked which items they misplace at least once a week, the most common answer by respondents was the TV remote (45 percent), followed by phones (33 percent), keys (28 percent), glasses (27 percent), shoes (24 percent) and wallets or purses (20 percent).

The survey had other findings good for the chatter around the water cooler at work:

For instance:

-Americans spend 2.5 days a year looking for misplaced items.

- We collectively spend $2.7 billion each year replacing items.

-More than half of us regularly report late for work or school due to frustrating searches.

-Half of us have missed an appointment or meeting searching for missing valuables.

- One of the more surprising revelations in the survey is that Millennials are generally twice as likely to misplace items compared to us Boomers and a third more likely to lose items compared to Generation X.

- In the battle of the sexes, men and women are equally likely to lose items.

-Multitasking is the answer most often given when asked why items were lost.

As interesting as these results are, they should be viewed with caution since Pixie has a vested interest in the survey. Pixie is one of the many companies marketing smart technologies that help find things.

There is good reason TV remotes are the most often misplaced items: There are more of them. Our house has televisions in four rooms, and that means there are 10 remotes to lose.

I thought that was an excessive number of remotes, but Logitech, the Swiss gadget-maker, found in a survey that half of all living rooms have four or more remotes.

If you are like me and reluctant to admit you need help finding things occasionally, there are clues for tracking down lost remotes yourself.

According to a survey with thousands of respondents, your sofa is the likely suspect. Slightly over 40 percent of the time, your sofa is going to be hiding the missing remote, followed by the bathroom and dresser drawer (both with 8 percent), the refrigerator (4 percent) and the car (2 percent).

That leaves me to wonder how the remote from the TV in the living room ended up on a bedroom floor under the desk.

The most logical explanation is that it fell off a tray I carry on my lap.

I am paraplegic and use a wheelchair. It is hard to carry things and roll the chair at the same time, so I often have a tray on my lap to carry things like my phone, my iPad, a bottle of water....and once in a while a TV remote.

I suspect the remote fell off and slid unnoticed under the desk.

If you have a story about the weird places you have found your TV remote, feel free to email it to me at the address below. I will share them if we get enough.

(Please contact Ernie at Or, send letters in care of The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton, TX. 77516)


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