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Keeping me baffled, one piece at a time

What's black and plastic and 2 inches tall with a dome-shaped top?

Don't ask me. I have no idea.

Nor do I know what it belongs to, how it got into our house or how long we should keep it before booting it from our own little Lost & Found, the home edition.

No one in my family seems to know or, quite frankly, care. So do I dare get rid of it? No I don't. Because I know what will happen.

Someone, someday, will ask: "Has anyone seen something black and plastic and 2 inches tall with a dome-shaped top?"

And that person could be me.

So it stays.

But it has company, this quirky little piece.

It joins the brown plastic disc with two tiny prongs on the back. The black hollowed-out 1-inch square with ridges. And the discolored plastic cap that looks as if it could possibly be a protective piece for the base of a chair leg -- but what chair?

The chair that is part of a patio bistro set now stashed away in the garage loft?

Perhaps. So it stays.

Anyway, maybe I'm still in the organizing spirit of the new year, but I recently gathered together and displayed such items to my family -- hoping to edit our collection.

I presented it as sort of a guessing game -- holding up a single piece at a time, waving it in the air, passing it around. (Boy, we sure know how to have fun at our house, don't we?)

A few items were identified but, sadly, most responses to my "Does anyone know what this is" queries went like this.

"I don't know."

"It must go to something."

"It looks important, but I don't know what it's for."

"Isn't that from your old car?"

I know it's not so unusual to want to keep things we feel we may need someday. I also know that guests often leave things behind from their toys, little electronic devices and so on.

Still, no one recalls the origins of the 6-inch spiral stick protruding vertically from a round base.

Or the chunk of black plastic that looks as if it goes on the end of something -- and should really, really be there.

Or that black plastic dome-shaped piece I mentioned before. Someone suggested it might go to a chess set.

It does not. That much I know. But that's all I know.

For now, I will put it and other mysterious objects together in an old plastic zipper-top bag. I might even label the bag with a big question mark.

There's always next January to try again.

e-mail: smartin@buffnews.com

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