The life of lost things
There are staggering gaps between different people’s perceptions of what is helpful.
“Where did you last have it?” is a stock start. That’s excellent. Not having considered that, I’d left that stone unturned. “It’s always in the last place you look!” Good. Let’s ignore the logical conclusion to that, which is that to continue looking for something after you’ve found it is a sure sign of encroaching mental instability. “Well, it’ll turn up somewhere.” Which surely signals that you’re going to get no help searching.
No, the truth is that after days and days of searching, your lost item is tucked away in some cranny that you, by definition, cannot imagine. Lying in some dark, forgotten space (“Well what’s it doing there? I never put it there!” – I once found the TV remote in the fridge), or perhaps enjoying a new life of celebrity in the home of another (“Did we ever find out whose this is? And what is it anyway?”)
And being unable to find it will drive you to distraction, a distraction that can often only be broken by replacing said item. Of course according to Stebbing’s Third Law, the expensive replacement (or in extreme cases, just the ordering) of the item “will bring about the rediscovery of the hitherto lost item”.
Leaving you with an unwanted pair, instead of an unwanted none.