The Case of the Disappearing Dishrag; And it Did Not Run Away With the Spoon

Based On A True Story

It wasn’t a hole in the ground. But CSI (Constantly Short of Information) Mac A. Roney, thought there might be a hole in the universe. The case was one for the books.

A German housewife, Frau Dulent, had just finished washing dishes with her new dish cloth woven with micro-something that she bought from Fred’s. (It was on the packaging). She had bought a pack of them and they were nice and soft. They dried counter tops better than the five-to-a-pack from Walmart and held a good suds for the dishes. German women are completely OCD when it comes to clean. Mac knew because, coming from German ancestry himself, he had experienced the business end of a broom on his backside for tracking mud in the house.

He heard the screech from two blocks away and reached the kitchen door just in time to see Frau D tossing the place. Since it was her own kitchen, he didn’t clap her in irons, but he did consider calling for the paddy wagon — with lots of padding. What had set the woman off? Ducking flying objects, CSI Mac stabilized the distraught Frau D by the simple expedient of removing anything from her reach that was not nailed down.

“Ohhhh,” wailed Frau D, “I’f guten a wery vicked Valmart potergeese in my kitchen.”

“Uh . . . what?” said the CSI (Completely Stumped Intelligence-wise). It turned out, after much confusion and speak-slowly-and-enunciate instructions, that Frau D thought there was a very wicked Walmart poltergeist making mischief in her kitchen.

“Why,” asked Mac reasonably, “would you think a vicked Val–, I mean, “some neurotic nebulous spirit from Walmart would be haunting your home?”

“Because my nice new olif-green dishrag is missing.”

“Uh . . . what?” said the CSI (A Communications Stalwart Individual).

“It just wanished. Into thick air.”

“You mean, “thin air?”

“I been cooking bratvurst vit beer un onion. The air vas a little thick.”

“Okay. And why would a Walmart poltergeist with sticky fingers pilfer a green dishrag.”

“Olif green.”

“Okay. Olive green. But why?”

Frau D rolls her eyes at the ignorance of the question. “BeCAUSE, I bought the vashrags from FREDS instead of Valmart.”

CSI Mac mulls this over in his mind for a moment . . . or two. “And how did you get the impression a wigilan–, a vigilante Val–, Walmart wraith with vengeance in mind, burgled your new, olive green dishrag?”

“Nuting else makes sense. I vas vashing dishes one minute, then turned about to put the dishes avay. Ven I turned back to the sink ver I had vrung out the dishrag, it vas GONE. Wanished.”

“You looked for it?”

“Off course I looked for it. You think I’m stupid? I efen looked in the refrigerator and through the garpage. Three other olif green rags I had laid out on the counter top. Two for setting the vet dishes on as I vashed them, and one to dry them vith vin I ffinished. They ver accounted for. The one I vashed the dishes vith, even though I had vrung it out, vas still holding much bubbles. It vas vet vith lots of bubbles trapped in the micro-vhatefer. The other rags vere nearly dry. And no bubbles. So, I ask you. Ver is my vet, bubbly vashrag?”

CSI Mac couldn’t answer that question until he had done a thorough investigation. He revisited all the places Frau D had searched. The sink. The refrigerator. The garp– uh, garbage. The cabinets. The microwave oven. Under the sink. They moved from the kitchen and searched the whole house. No vash– no washrag. And Frau D had not once left the building.

CSI Mac got out his investigating kit. He dusted for fingerprints, but found none out of the ordinary. He examined every olive green dishrag in the house. Not one was wet with lots of bubbles trapped inside. The sink had a metal drain trap that could not possibly allow the passage of so big an object as an olive green dishrag, especially one woven with micro-fibers.

Advising Frau D to give it a few days to see if the dishcloth would turn up in some unusual and unlikely place, CSI Mac went on his way. Returning a few days later, Frau D’s olive green, micro-fibered dishcloth had still not put in an appearance. But the next time Frau D went to Walmart, the wheels on her cart squealed ominously and jittered, and no matter how often she tried to catch up with an illusive employee, he or she would mysteriously vanish around corners. She was afraid to go back to Freds.

Sooo. . . the CSI (Creepy Spirit Investigations), consigned the “Case of the Disappearing Dishrag” to the dead file, where poltergeists could play to their hearts’ content.


NOTE: Though I took great liberties with this rendition of my true story, and mixed several accents into one, I did buy some olive green, micro-fiber dishrags from Fred’s. I loved them. I really had wrung out the rag I was washing dishes with, but it still retained lots of suds, which I was going to rinse out.

I put the dishes away and looked around for my wet, sudsy rag. It was nowhere to be found. Mike helped me look. And we DID look in the refrigerator, the garbage, the cabinets, and even elsewhere besides the kitchen. It has never been seen again. I’m beginning to think there might just be a —

WAIT! What was that? That funny noise? Iss Valmart at it AGAIN?