The lost phone: A timeline 

2:13pm Daddy realises he’s lost his phone for what seems like the 15th time today.

2:14pm Starts to think deeply about the number of times he’s lost his phone and whether this is evidence of some form of irreversible cognitive and mental decline.

2:15pm Is thinking so deeply about this he forgets that the reason he’s thinking about it is because he’s lost his phone.

2:16pm Sits in his favourite chair content that his powers of thought are not in decline.

2:17pm Remembers that he’s lost his phone. Curses his mental complacency.

2:18m Begins a search of the house.

2:19pm Abandons search in exasperation. Casts accusatory glance at son.

2:20pm Mummy has been in her office working all day. Daddy bursts in enquiring ‘Where’s my phone, have you seen it?’ His tone of voice goes further, seeming to suggest ‘Everything I lose is because of this infernal obsession you have with keeping the house clean and moving my stuff.’ Mummy calmly explains that she’s been working all day and has not been near the phone. Suggests daddy tries calling the phone. Daddy grumbles a sort of unimpressed consent that this is a sensible idea and leaves the room.

2:25pm Starts to dial the mobile number from the landline.

2:26pm Goes back upstairs to ask mummy what his number is.

2:28pm Goes back to landline and dials number. Remembers that he has phone on silent and quietly curses the foolishness of the idea.

2:30pm Checks under the sink where the bleach and washing powder is kept. Phone is not there.

2:33pm Sits down defeated on sofa beside son who is watching CBeebies. Interrupts The Clangers to explain to son how daddy has been cursed with bad luck following an unfortunate encounter with a fortune teller on Blackpool promenade some years back.

2:36pm Son rudely breaks into daddy’s story short midway through to say ‘Daddy, what’s that in your pocket?’ Searches in pocket. Phone is there. He has 0 missed calls. 0 messages. 0 notifications.

2:37pm Shouts upstairs to mummy that son had hidden phone under the sofa.

2:43pm Son asks daddy if he can have a drink of water. Daddy asks if he can not hang on until the end of Fireman Sam.

2:45 Son says he’s really really thirsty.

2:46pm Shaking his head sadly daddy rises from sofa and goes to kitchen.

2:47pm Sets down phone to get glass of water.

2:48pm Returns to living room. Has missed end of Fireman Sam.

2:52pm Realises that he’s lost his phone again.

2:54pm Searches kitchen.

2:57pm Decides to look in drawers in kitchen unit despite voice in my head telling him ‘you haven’t been in those drawers today’.

2:58pm As he searches through drawers voice in head tells him ‘Jesus, I don’t think we’ve ever been in these drawers in our life.’

3pm Discovers DVD set of Godfather films. Daddy is delighted with this development as DVD had been assumed lost.

3:01pm Sits on floor and reads DVD sleeve. Decides must watch again ASAP.

3:03pm Removes every item from drawers and sets on floor.

3:05pm Start to pile items back into drawers. Daddy is not skilled at returning items in an ordered fashion.

3:06pm Voice in head says ‘You’ve made a fecking horlicks of that, those drawers won’t close now.’

3:07pm Daddy starts to close drawers. Begins to use brute force.

3:08pm Daddy concedes that drawer is stuck fast. Voice in head says ‘You’re on your own mate’.

3:09pm Daddy begins the process of removing drawers from unit and storing items in a more ordered fashion.

3:18pm Having finished task with kitchen unit daddy returns to join sofa to join son in time for Andy’s Wild Adventures.

3:21pm Remembers he still hasn’t found phone.

3:22pm Returns to kitchen.

3:24pm Finds phone on sideboard beside the sink. He has 0 missed calls. 0 messages. 0 notifications.

3:25pm Considers the productivity of his afternoon.

3:26pm Decides he has achieved enough to deserve a reward.

3:27pm With son happily watching TV daddy decides to slip into the other room to enjoy his newly rediscovered Godfather DVD.

3:28pm Turns on TV and DVD player. Blows dust off DVD case, handling it gently like a valuable antique.

3:29pm Opens DVD case. DVD is not inside.

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