Years ago, whenever one of the New York Mets hit a home run, Ralph Kiner, an announcer on Channel 9, had a little catchphrase he’d like to say.
As the ball sailed over the fence and the ballplayer rounded the bases, Ralph would loudly declare, “it’s gone, forget it, goodbye!”
That line came back to me this week, but it had nothing to do with the national pastime. Except perhaps for the fact that I wanted to hit myself over the head with a baseball bat.
Here’s the play-by-play: I came out of my gym on Saturday morning, bounced down 86th Street to a local card store and stocked up on about 14 bucks worth of cards.
This was the first of several stops I made that morning in my shopping odyssey back to my crib. After the card store I hit the vegetable store, deli and ended up at the dry cleaners just a few blocks from home.
And it all went fine. I dumped my various bundles in the kitchen, had some lunch and went for my post gym nap. It wasn’t until 3 hours later that it occurred to me something was wrong.
I couldn’t remember what I had done with the greeting cards.
Fighting a growing sense of panic, I looked through all the plastic bags I had brought home, checked my gym bag, and a shoulder bag I use to carry my shirts. And I struck out with all three. The cards were not around.
I kept replaying this memory I had of putting the cards in the shoulder bag when I picked up my shirts at the dry cleaners. So where the hell were they?
I raged, I wailed, and cursed the fates and myself for being so goddamn careless and inattentive, and for some odd reason that didn’t help any. The cards were still missing.
I was tired and I had absolutely no desire to leave my house. But finally I gave in and started retracing my steps, starting at the dry cleaners and working my way back to the deli and vegetable store. Nobody had seen my cards.
I had nothing to show for all this effort and time and I felt like I had just taken 14 bucks out of my wallet and thrown it down a sewer.
It’s unnerving because my father was plagued with memory problems toward the end of his life and I’m fearful the same thing could be happening to me. But I also overreacted—big time.
I didn’t bother going out on Saturday night since I was in such a foul mood.
I woke up the next morning exhausted and washed out, but logic slowly started creeping into the equation. It finally occurred to me that there are a lot more serious things going on in the world than a handful of missing cards.
Part of me is convinced those cards are around my apartment someplace, and if they are, that’s just fine. I’ll always be able to use them.
Until that time I’ll just tell myself that they’re gone, forget ‘em, goodbye.