It’s amazing what you can find when you clean. What you find isn’t always expected, however.
I got rid of all those boxes I talked about last time, and sold a lot of old tools at my garage sale two weeks ago, and with all that stuff gone it seemed like a good time to give the shop one of those top-to-bottom cleanings it gets only once every year or two. In the process I found seemingly hundreds of screws, washers and fittings that vanished after being dropped and never found, and numerous hand tools stashed in spots while working that were then forgotten. Even a $5 bill that, judging from the dust, had been there since my last garage sale – the one six years ago.
But the weirdest thing I found was a perfectly fossilized donut. Now, right away I can think of a few people who will think I’m making this up, but I’m not. The donut was hard, dry and thoroughly dust-covered, but it looked otherwise like it had just come out of the bakery. If the bakery was run by the Flintstones.
How is this possible? Well, we have two cats that like to wander my shop on occasion so I never have mice. And except for spiders, there’s no other insect life I’ve ever had to contend with. No ants or other donut-munching pests. That donut was just sitting where I left it, untouched.
The funniest part is that I know exactly how it got there. As much as I love donuts, I rarely buy one. In fact, the only time I eat them is when I go somewhere they’ve put them out for free. Having no willpower, in those occasions I take advantage of the feast.
Except once every few years I’ll just have a craving I can’t satisfy, and I’ll buy one (or two). That particular donut was part of a pair I bought on September 25, 2009. I know this because according to my files that’s the day I finished up a magazine review on track saws. I bought them as my reward for finishing the article, and actually had enough willpower to wait till everything was wrapped up, at which point I opened the bag and started munching.
I’d finished the first and was about to enjoy the second when my wife came home. Not wanting to be caught eating a donut I set it on a high shelf behind one of those plastic tool cases. And never, ever went back and got it. The rest, as they say, is history.
Or, considering that snack’s fossilized state, prehistory.