Did anyone see a lemon? Did anyone use my lemon? It was just here a little while ago!
I joined in as my daughter searched the kitchen for the solitary lemon she had purchased for a recipe. It was Christmas eve and I had seen the lemon sitting in a basket with two sweet potatoes and a few bananas. “It was right here!” she reiterated.
“Yes, I know. I saw it there myself just a little while ago.
We questioned everyone present. There were four additional family members present. Two of them were just children but they too had to be considered possible suspects. The two toddlers did not understand this line of questioning. If either the three or one year old had moved the lemon, neither was willing to take the rap. Not even under the looming threat of baby jail. Time was growing short. It was Christmas Eve and the stores were shutting down early. The lemon had to be found or a trip made for a replacement.
It made no sense. Lemons do not simply disappear. We removed the potatoes and banana but they were not covering up for the lemon. Establishing a perimeter of approximately three feet, we got down on the floor inspecting likely areas where the easily identifiable piece of citrus might have fallen and rolled. Not in the adjacent pantry nor the laundry room. A low-level search of the entire kitchen dining area was conducted. Nothing. Not so much as a piece of rind. Perhaps someone saw the lemon and decided it would best be stored elsewhere.
We moved every item in the freezer and refrigerator. Still no lemon. The clock was ticking.
We looked in all the cabinets. Perhaps in our hurry to put away other groceries the lemon was placed behind a canned or boxed item. Still no lemon. After about 45 minutes the decision was made to run out and purchase a replacement.
Even after a new lemon was brought in the search continued. It had not been a dream or illusion. We had all seen the lemon. No one was playing a joke. It was no joking matter. A young woman was trying to complete a recipe. As a husband and father of three daughters I know that this is not something to be trifled with.
The cost of the missing lemon was forty-four cents according to my daughter’s description. It wasn’t the money – lemons can’t disappear. Twenty four hours have passed since the lemon went missing and still there are no more clues than when we started.
As we made merry and continued our Christmas Eve and eventually Christmas Day celebrations I thought for certain that we would come across that lemon. No such luck.
They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. What about when life takes lemons away?
On December 24th, 2013, the impossible happened. A lemon vanished into thin air.
PS: A reader asked if I looked in the garbage. As a matter of fact, I donned a pair of rubber gloves and went through every piece of trash. No lemon.