I came very close to giving my son a clip around the ear last night. I didn't because, in the first place, I have never been very good at violence, and secondly, he is bigger, fitter and stronger than me. If we were boxers, he would be a fairly handy middleweight whilst I would be an over-the-hill sack-of-potatoes-weight. The reason I was driven to thoughts of violence was because I had been the victim of one of his annoying little habits : he moves things. This isn't moving things to create space, nor is it moving things to improve one's feng shui : it is picking things up carrying them around and then putting them down in some entirely different place without any pre-conceived plan and without any knowledge of it having taken place. When you are the victim of one of his moving episodes you are likely to find some of your possessions in the most unusual places : your toothbrush in the fridge, your car keys in the bath, your wallet in the dog basket. And that's if you are lucky : if you are unlucky you might not be reacquainted with some vital aspect of your day-to-day existence for months or years. If you challenge the little bugger he may be able to recall having picked something up but he will have no idea where he put the said object down.
Last night he picked up the little clip which I use to attach the wire which runs from my cochlear implant processor to my MP3 player. Without the small spring-loaded plastic clip the wire pulls down on the implant : so when I turn my head I am in danger of either pulling the wire from the processor or pulling the processor from behind my ear. Simple as the little clips are they are almost impossible to source : I originally had two : the first one came off my coat collar and fell over a bridge onto the M62, and the second went .... who knows. The wonderful folks at the Yorkshire Cochlear Implant Centre have none and it seems that the implant manufacturers, Cochlear, don't supply them anymore. I am lost. You might just as well have taken away my crutch and melted it down for scrap, or had my guide dog turned into sausage.
The focus of my life is now trying to find a replacement clip. My first idea was to try one of those ubiquitous shops that sell mobile phone accessories. My idea was that a similar type of clip is sometimes used to anchor hands-free kits to a suitable collar. In almost every town there are now numerous little shops which sell dangly things to tie onto mobile phones or replacement pink flowery battery covers. I have never actually been in one of these shops but they always appear full of little plastic things and I was definitely searching for a little plastic thing. Unfortunately I was in Sheffield today and being unfamiliar with the city I had difficulty finding the ubiquitous shop in question. Eventually I remembered that such shops - for reasons unknown to me - seem to have a symbiotic relationship with tattoo parlours. I fairly quickly tracked down a tattoo parlour and sure enough, next door was a mobile phone accessory emporium.
As well as stocking 250 different replacement mobile phone covers and 50 types of lanyard, such shops also seem to provide a useful public service in providing employment for people who have failed their Stage 1 City and Guilds exams in customer relations. Explaining my search parameters to the chap behind the counter he managed to adopt a look which implied that I had just stepped off the stage at the wrong stop. The wrong stop in the wrong country in the wrong century. I abandoned my attempt to find an easy solution to my search : finding a replacement clip would not be that simple. When Alexander sets me a challenge, it generally turns out to be a good one. Tomorrow I intend to start trawling the entire Internet for a source of tiny spring-loaded plastic clips. If, by any chance, you happen to be a manufacturer of such a product, why not get in touch and save me a lot of trouble. And save Alexander from a virtual clip around the ear.