There’s a difference in being stupid and being senile.
I forgot what that difference was, which reminds me of the mystery of the lost camera.
I was at a high school basketball game to take photos for the newspaper. I was standing against a wall, waiting for the game to start when I noticed I didn’t have my camera.
Hmm, that’s odd, I thought to myself. I had the camera just minutes ago.
Mind you, this isn’t a camera I can stick in my pocket. It’s a large camera with a cumbersome strap that goes around my neck.
I started to retrace my steps. Just five minutes earlier, I had been in the bathroom and remember having the camera then. I then went to get a drink at the concession stand. Aha. That’s where it is.
I went to the concession stand. Wasn’t there. And no one had seen me place it on the counter. I went to the bathroom, looked everywhere, even in the trash can. Went to the ladies at the gate.
“Have you seen anyone walking out with a large Nikon camera?” Nope, no dice. They promised they would stop anyone leaving with a large camera.
I went back to the wall next to the court where I noticed I no longer had the camera, and started searching my brain.
“Brain,” I said, possibly aloud. “I know you don’t like me. But did I go anywhere other than the bathroom and concession stand five minutes ago?”
My brain didn’t respond, other than to notice a shiny button on a woman’s jacket on the third row.
After I escaped that trance, I struggled to imagine what happened to my camera. I had the camera strapped around my neck just moments before. Could someone have bumped into me and lifted it? You would have to be quite an accomplished pickpocket to pull that off. Did I have a blackout of some type and forget what I did for a few minutes?
Did I mindlessly leave the camera somewhere (which I’ve done before) and a thief absconded with it?
While wondering and wandering around the lobby, I happened upon a deputy, who told me to talk to the school resource officer. He could look at the school’s cameras and maybe find the culprit who took my camera, the deputy suggested.
I found the school resource officer and told him of my predicament, and he graciously went to his office, where he surveyed the cameras in the vicinity. We watched me walk to the concession stand with the camera hanging from my neck. We watched me go into the gym and lean against the wall, camera still in tow. Then we watched me walk somewhere out of vision, then back to my perch, but without my camera.
Suddenly, my listless, uncooperative brain came to life.
“I went to the scorer’s table to get the scores from the girls game,” I announced. “That’s where my camera is!”
I didn’t see the school resource officer’s reaction, but a rolling of the eyes would have been appropriate.
Sure enough, there at the scorer’s table was my camera I had left there 15 minutes ago, but forgot about.
A moment of stupidity or a “senior moment?”
Well, in order to determine that, we have to ... wait, what was the question again?
Len Robbins is editor and publisher of the Clinch County News in Homerville. His column appears weekly.