Sunday, 27 December 2020

A Christmas Day Mystery!

Our eldest granddaughter, having resigned herself to the fact that her ex-boyfriend is not going to return her much loved Labrador to her anytime soon, has acquired a young border collie, one that was up for sale as she was too “energetic” - i.e. bouncy, boisterous, lively - for a household with a toddler. She seems to be a very nice dog, just in need of a bit of training, which our granddaughter has taken in hand. 

So on Christmas Day, when the aforementioned granddaughter was coming to lunch along with her mother, her siblings and her mothers’s partner, the dog came to visit too. We had to make sure she didn’t poke her nose in any of the food served on low tables at the back of the kitchen/dining room - we had organised a system of small extra tables there so that we could all be socially distanced - but otherwise everything went reasonably well. Not too much mess to clear up. 

When everyone was ready to leave, our daughter’s car loaded with people and dog, our granddaughter rushed back to look for “the dog towel”. It seemed she had brought an old towel with her in case the dog got her feet and legs wet and needed drying off to come into the house. Now she couldn’t find it. She hunted in the car. I hunted in the house. All to no avail. The towel was not to be found. 

Granddaughter Number One blamed her teenage sister who was apparently charged with carrying the towel into the house. Granddaughter Number Two denied all knowledge of this. Had it been handed to Granddaughter Number Two without her realising it and consequently been dropped in the road as they got out of the car? There was no sign of a towel in the road. I checked again on Boxing Day morning, just in case it had not been spotted in the dusk as they left. Not a sign of it. A mystery!

This morning I went to sort out washing from the rather overflowing washing basket. Among the various items I found a grey towel which I did not recognise. According to its label it came originally from Tesco. I had no memory of ever buying towels from Tesco, although that was not beyond the bounds of possibility. However this towel was very unfamiliar. Was it, perchance, the missing “dog towel”? If so, how had it ended up in my washing basket? Who had put it there? Another bit of Christmas mystery!

I thought back to Christmas day. Our daughter had arrived with her carload of people + dog, later than scheduled but that’s fairly normal as she always has so many to herd into the car. Maybe she could make use of the border collie’s sheep dog instincts! Car unloaded, she got straight back in and set off to meet her partner, my almost son-in-law, who had decided he wanted to run here, or at least to run as far as he could get before our daughter met him and licked him up. Would he be able to shower on arrival? But of course! Nobody wants to sit at a table with a sweaty runner. 

I was busy in the kitchen and so I asked Phil to organise a towel for the sweaty runner and make sure he had everything he needed. Some time later the now-not-sweaty-runner joined the rest of the party, we drank a fizzy toast to Christmas, to family, to better days ahead and eventually went down to the kitchen/dining room to eat. At some point my almost son-in-law commented that he had put the towel he used in the washing basket. Today, as I sorted the washing basket and discovered the mystery item, it occurred to me that he might have used the “dog towel”! Oh, no! Shock! Horror! But how had it happened? So I made some enquiries.

Yes, the “dog towel” was grey. No, Phil had not put a grey towel in the bathroom. Then my daughter told me that her partner had admitted that he had “found” a towel on the stairs and had assumed that this was for him and so had picked it up and taken it to the bathroom with him. He had been a little surprised that this was a smallish bath towel, not the kind of bath sheet size he had expected. Nor was it particularly soft and fluffy, not very good quality at all. But you don’t look a gift towel in the mouth and he was too polite to complain or even comment. He simply put the towel in the washing basket after use. When the “where is the dog towel? incident occurred later in the day he did not put two and two together. In fact, he was probably quite oblivious to the whole fuss and kerfuffle. 

Granddaughter Number One is making “yuck, how horrible!” noises because she says the towel was not even particularly clean! And it was a “dog towel”!

But ... Mystery solved! Apparently! Well, almost. Who brought the towel into the house in the first place? Who left it on the stairs? Granddaughter Number Two still denies all knowledge of it. The excitement of being allowed into the grandparents’ house for the first time in months was clearly too great for small details like what-is-this-in-my-hands? to be noticed. I think we’ll never find out! But the towel has now gone in the washing machine.

Life goes on! Stay safe and well, everyone! 

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